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November 25, 2013

Is Your Genealogy Family History Backed Up and Safe?

Is Your Genealogy Family History Backed Up and Safe?
Recently this story appeared on a British website Burglars steal a laptop holding family history

It seems a local chauffeur had his home broken into and several items stolen. Among the stolen items was a laptop which contained a 12-year family history project which his father, aged 87, had been working on. 

And you guessed it, there were no backup copies. Ouch! 

The prudent thing to do is protect your genealogy research! Back it up in a cloud storage site, on a flash drive, on an external hard drive, or wherever. Make more than one copy and don't have them all in one home. Give one to your brother or sister or son or daughter or a friend. 

That way if you have a fire or flood or are burgled, all your family data will not be lost. Remember that old adage - don't put all your eggs in one basket

That holds true for genealogy research and family tree data as well. Keep it safe and don't lose what you have probably spent years compiling.

I use Drobox and Bitcasa as my cloud storage and I also have Western Digital MyBookLive for a personal cloud storage system networked to all my laptops and computers. 

As well I have Western Digital Passports for a portable external hard drive system where I can store my files. You can read my review of all of these at Five Cloud Storage Services Revisited

I also like to create  books on Shutterfly which hold a summary of the family ancestors along with photos and scanned documents. I keep one copy for myself and gift other copies to my children and siblings. The more places I can put my family trees the more chance they will survive. 

If you've never created a book using Shutterfly you may want to watch my Shutterfly video tutorials showing how at Creating a Memory Book - Video Tutorials 

Credits: image of burglar by chanpipat  and image of "Cloud Computing Devices" by ddpavumba on


The Grandmother Here said...

Good advice. I've got my Personal Ancestral File (I'm old) and the related pictures on a flash-drive in my purse. A year ago I gave my six children each a matching flash-drive. I'd better update those. I am working on getting my family tree on where I know it will be preserved. That's going to take years because I'm being careful that it's only information with reliable sources. I am concerned about storage on the cloud because there is the possibility of identify theft of the living people.

Rosemary said...

I use an online backup service (Carbonite). I've had to restore from it 3 times for various reasons (new computers, hard drives blowing up) etc.

For "The Grandmother Here" Carbonite encrypts all data stored on its servers as do other continuous backup services. The encryption key is only known to my computer and my account at Carbonite. I have no qualms about storing financial data there.