Tags: rootsweb

Renee Zamora

Is Tomorrow Another Genealogy Day?

Well it 9:26 a.m. and I am sitting at a computer at the Alpine Tabernacle Family History Center. I work here until 1:00 p.m. So far no one has come in, but I'm ready for them when they come.

I meant to write yesterday but I got too busy working on the minutes to our July UVPAFUG meeting. Without the notes with me I can't think of anything to share. This month for our August 12th meeting we are having double class sessions. If you want to see the class schedule you can find the info on our website: http://www.uvpafug.org

The important thing I wanted to discuss with you is a plan for what happens to your genealogy when you pass away. Collapse )

Using Email to Organize Your Research

A recent suggestion by Jody Nantais in 29 Nov 2005, Ancestry Daily News, Quick Tip Jamboree is the inspiration for this article.

"Online E-mail Archive - Jody Nantais

When searching large websites of info, I open a new email message and copy the info into the email and label it in the subject line and send it to myself and to my Hotmail account so that if my computer crashes, I always have a back up there. Also I do this with any important info that I receive from others. You can get free email accounts from many different places on the Web and as long as you check them every thirty days, you should never lose them. "

I have written earlier on my blog about my use of free mail accounts in particular Hotmail. But what this suggestion inspired in me is to tell how I use my email to speed up writing down what I have found on the internet and in books at libraries. Then how I later organize and search the information.

I am a pretty good typist and typing is a lot faster than writing for me. When I go to the Family History Library in Salt Lake, I like to sit at a computer. I will have two internet windows open, my Hotmail email account and RootsWeb. I do carry folders with research notes on the people I am working with; but, I always stumble across something I wasn't planning on researching. Pulling up my database stored on RootsWeb gives me quick access to what information I already have and what is missing. I do carry my Palm Pilot with my database but not everyone is in it. (My database is much to large now for my older Palm, need to upgrade that.) So, looking online at my database is very helpful.

When I find something in a book I want to save, instead of photocopying it, I email it to myself. Now of course if it's a large amount of information I will photocopy it, or scan it if the library has that ability. It's just sometimes faster to type than to wait in a long line for the copier. I really like to keep things organized and hate to waste paper and have too much clutter around me. When I get home from the library I will copy and paste my emails into the notes on my database. I have really found this a fast way to organize and enter my information.

The really nice thing about emailing your research findings to yourself is you have less of a chance of losing your information. Now you have to be careful and proof read your typing, making sure you especially type names and dates correctly. One of the other nice things about emailing your finding is you can record the source easily with the information. When you photocopy you have to decide if to put a sticky note on the paper with the source or copy the publication page separately. I like having the source right with my information in an email.

I use this same method of emailing myself information when I'm at home. If I find a website with information I need I will open up an email and copy and paste the info and the link and send it to myself. Then I can later go through my emails and copy and paste the information into my database. The nice thing about this method is it's quick, complete and accurate. I don't have to shift through a pile of paper to find the notes I made to myself. You just have to remember to title the email something that will trigger your memory.

When I have finished using the emails I have send to myself, I store them in a folder in my email. Periodically I go through my email folders and copy and paste them into my TreePad database before deleting them. (You might want to read my article on TreePad at http://www.livejournal.com/~rzamor1/2005/09/20/.) One of the nice things about TreePad is its search function. Whenever I have a question and need to find a source or note I made to myself I can search for it in TreePad. Using TreePad's eBook creator I can take my file with me and search it while at the library. TreePad's search function has been a lifesaver to me many times.

Then with my research findings safely stored off my emails and into my genealogy and TreePad databases I am off to the library again. I hope I am describing the process of using email to organize your research well enough that you can picture using this technique yourself. It will help save time and effort in the long run. Just think of jotting any note down to yourself in email instead of on paper. Then you can later organize your notes and thoughts anyway you like.

Happy organizing and see you tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Final Cleanup, Downloading to Rootsweb, Gencircles and Making Backups.

Well it's been an all nighter. I just had to finish merging and cleaning up my Weatherwax database. The merge went well. I did find more people to merge by comparing names in the index tab. I opened two copies of the same database in Legacy and then worked out who might be possible matches. I found several groups to merge that way.

The next step was to go over the marriage list first sorting by husbands and then sorting by wives. I found several people to merge this way. I had several mixed up families. I reviewed the submissions of others on Rootsweb to get a consensus of opinions. Once again it was interesting to see who copied submissions from others, just listing the source as someone else's gedcom who might of copied that from who know where. By systematically going through each member of the families in question I was able to discover quit a bit and add to my file. I put To-do items on a few people because they needed much more time than I could devote.

I ran potential problems on the people and cleaned up more that way. I was surprised by one way I found people to merge - it was through the sort order of children's list. I found two families that had duplicates individuals. I made sure all my localities and event addresses were combined.

Of course, throughout this whole process I made many backups of my database. I would often run file maintenance on my database. When I determined that I had everything taken care of I reset my rin numbers. Moving the highest rins into the lower blank rins. Then I purged the file of abandoned information and compacted it.

These are the stats of my merge. Originally I had 978 individuals in my database with 331 marriages. I added 924 individuals and 278 marriages. I merged together around 169 individuals and 42 marriages. My Weatherwax database now contains 1733 individuals and 567 marriages. This makes a total of 755 new individuals and 236 marriages. I took me about 10 days to complete.

After doing all this I had to then manage my backups. I made two gedcoms of my database, one complete and the other with living individuals information suppressed. The first goes to Rootsweb the other to Gencircles. I uploaded the new information to both. Then I cleaned out my older zip files. I left the past 6 previous zips of each database on my hard drive. Finally I deleted the old Legacy folder off my flash drives and loaded the new legacy folder so I have the current .fdb files, gedcoms and zip files on my flash drives. Before the deletion the folder contained abt 528MB, now it's 108MB, total for my four databases.

Now if I want to view my older records I will have to go back to an older CD and reinstall it. I was going to make a CD of my Legacy file before I deleted older stuff but I was brain dead at that point. It's not a problem because the last CD has the stuff I would want on it anyways. Besides that I also have a copy of my older information stored on my website and in my email folder.

Am I crazy about backing things up? You bet, once burned you never go back.

Well I need to get some sleep today so thats all for now.

The Settlers of Beekman Patent - Backup disks

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.

The Settlers of Beekman Patent - Data Entry

Well I spent most of the day doing data entry from the book "The Settlers of Beekman Patent, Vol II., Doherty, Frank J. What I mainly have left to do is finish going over the index and see if there is additional information on people that I may have missed. I am half way done with the index only 106 more pages to go, WAHOO!!!

As you can imagine I am tired. Tomorrow I am going with Teresa to Salt Lake. We are going to the Family History Library, pick up my free book from the Relatively Speaking radio show, and getting free massages. Hopefully we both feel up to going.

I updated my genealogy database on RootsWeb tonight.
Renee Zamora

Fibromyalgia, Updated my gedcoms on RootsWeb & GenCircles

I planned on doing my data entry today. I sit here now at the computer and am unable to do it. I am having fibromyalgia pain, it really stinks sometimes. I did get as far as doing file maintance on my databases. Everything came out fine. I created gedcoms, one for Rootsweb - has all the information showing. And one for GenCircle, that one I have to suppress living information. Rootsweb lets me suppress living information directly on their site. I had forgotten to update GenCircles. I don't think I ever updated it since I put it on-line. I think that was in 2002. Anyways, now both sites information is updated and current.

I have had several people recently tell me they found me through my GenCircle submission. I think GenCircle is google searchable while RootsWeb isn't. I will have to try that theory out on google sometime.

At least I was able to call the library today about my inter-library loan books, "The Settlers of Beekman Patent". The librarian said the state was very strick about not renewing interlibrary loan books. She asked how much longer I needed and I said a week. She advised me to keep it and just pay the late fine on it. That's not bad. I told her then the book will be late. So at least I have some time now to do my data entry, not much, but any extra time is a help.

Well it's off the bed for me. Hopefully this pain doesn't last long.