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Renee
06 October 2005 @ 11:10 pm
I finally completed the index on The Settlers of Beekman Patent, Vol. II, by Frank J. Doherty. I am so pleased to have that completed. I compared 10,588 individuals against a 205 page index. The book including the index is 1,206 pages long. I had to keep going back and forth checking information and updating my records. In some cases I data entried whole families. I do have two families I need to enter into my databases. The Backus family belongs in my Weatherwax database. I am copying the whole thing. The Allen family is the other one I have to copy, that I am going to photocopy because it will take a while to fix the mess on my Allen family. That line was all messed up because I had to copy it from Ancestral File when I lost my 3 separate backup copies of my database.

Let me tell you the story about my backup disks. I went back to college in 1995. I knew I would be leaving my genealogy alone for a while so I went out and bought new disks. I made three separate copies of my database, I was using PAF at the time. I kept one copy at home, one with Randy and one at the family history center. I actually had a few more older copies at home. The point is I made sure I had my backups and in a separate and safe place. After I finished school I went to work full time and didn't have the time to devote to my genealogy. Several years past....

I decided to start working on my family history again. My first backup copies didn't work. No problem, I got the one from Randy, that didn't work. I was starting to get nervous. I went to the family history center and they still had my disks in the file cabinet for me. I tried to restore that backup copy, no go it was bad. All three copies were bad. Why? Because I bought cheap new disks and let them sit for several years. The disks demagnetized over time, something I wasn't aware of.

I tried some of my older copies and once got it to back up a portion. Then that to gave up the ghost. When I came home from the library with that one it wouldn't restore again. It was such a frustrating lesson. I did every thing I could think of doing at the time to protect my database.

Luckily I had submitted my information to Ancestral File and was able to go back and retrieve some of it. You know how frustrating it is to get downloads of everything. It's great for direct lines but lousy on collateral lines. (I could go on also about the errors my database now has because of Ancestral File merging my information with others, and the loss of notes and sources.) I had some hard copies and had to manually enter that information into my database. When I started the project of re-entering my information I made the decision to separate my databases - I now have it into four files. Zamora (my husbands), Weatherwax (my mother's), Harris (my paternal grandfathers), and Miller (my paternal grandmothers). I am going to create one more database. It will have my daughter as the start person then all her direct lines, connecting to the CD I bought "Royal Lineage's to Adam". That one I will just keep as direct line only.

At some point while trying to restore my older disks I happened to submit my gedcom to One Great Family. I don't know why but I just did it. It was when they were new. I might of even done it at the family history center. Well now One Great Family has the only copy of my older database. I explained how frustrating One Great Family is in a previous blog. Sometime I will use the free trial membership and see if I can down load the full gedcom.

The lesson I learned from all this was you can never have enough backups. But use different mediums. I copy now on my 2 flash drives, CD's and place my gedcoms on RootsWeb and GenCircles. I also have hidden on one of my websites zip files to download from. The other place off site I use is my main email account from my internet provider. I don't give out the address for people to email at it. I just use it to store copies of my zip files, so I can retrieve my gedcoms from there. I think now I have a safe plan to protect my databases. I also like having it on line because if anything should happen to me and my genealogy just gets thrown out it's not really lost completely. Everyone will be able to have access to my genealogy on-line still.

Well that's my plan and I am sticking to it. Time for bed.
 
 
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