My website was down for about a week while it was moved to another server. I am fixing the broken images on the last few blog posts now. They should all work by tonight!
Last Friday, my goal was to cleanup the 1880 US Census source citations in my family file. I accomplished that and more! I ended up cleaning up 1880 US, 1881 England and Scotland, 1892 New York and 1895 Kansas and New Jersey. Granted those other ones are smaller amounts in my file but progress to me is progress.
Unlike last week, I think this week’s goal will have to be done bits at a time throughout the week. This week’s goal is the 1900 census.
In my original file I only had 148 citations and in the new merged file there were over 600.
The other thing I’m exploring this week is using Microsoft OneNote as my main note-taking software. I’ve been wishy washy (technical term :p) on whether to use OneNote or Evernote. When my family decided to go in together on purchasing the subscription to Microsoft Office 365, my mind was finally made up. I have not only my Dropbox account now but also my Microsoft SkyDrive for backup purposes.
The biggest curve is just learning all that it can do. It’s really quite a powerful tool. I’ll try and get a more in depth entry up. My sister has completely mastered it and I’m trying to get her help in adapting her college notebooks for genealogy use. Basically I’m trying to pin her down for a tutorial!
So far, I have one notebook for my mother’s side and one for my father’s side. I’m still trying to work out exactly how I’m going to organize it but I’ve already learned about attaching links to files and creating checklists and things of that nature.
This is the first thought pattern I had on how to organize my notebook. It drills down from the Moore Line main notebook to the Moore surname. Then from there I have pages setup for individuals. From there I’ve added sub-pages for each section that I might need.
I don’t know if this is going to be effective yet because I’ve just started. We’ll see what my sister thinks when I finally sit her down!
Do you use OneNote? How do you organize your research? I’d sure love to hear!
First of all if you’re reading this, back up your files…
It seems I’m always apologizing to my blog for being neglectful. Here I am again. I can’t tell a lie to my blog or what blog readers stumble across me here. These computer issues really threw me for a loop.
So to sum up, in September I made an expensive decision to finally replace my aging desktop computer. At the time my computer was still limping along and I thought it was the perfect time to actually prepare for a computer swap before it needed to happen. Then the computer got delayed in production… Yikes.
About the time of the delay, my old computer did the unforgivable, it crashed unexpectedly and uncharacteristically, and it corrupted my working family file. I still cringe thinking about it. Luckily my new computer got here and I was able to start slowly working my way through getting things moved in an organized way.. Then….
If you’ve made it this far, back up your files…
My second hard drive corrupted itself. Luckily I had been scared enough by all my issues that I had been backing them up in various places and I was able to get all my files back onto my main computer, just with no extra hard drive to share the burden of a digital file hoarder.
I limped along again, downloading my synced tree from Ancestry, merging it with my working family file and now making one universal file. I’m not going to pretend that I was spending a ton of time on that, because I wasn’t. It’s very monotonous what I’m doing and I’ll get more into that another day.
If you’re still reading back up your files…
That’s right there’s still more to this story. Apparently my new Alienware computer was too much for my old battery back up because one night in stinky, smoky fashion, that too decided to take a permanent break.
So at this point I realized enough was enough. I was done limping along on my shiny new cluttered computer.
I got myself a new battery backup that self tests and lets me know all kinds of useful electricity information that I don’t know how to use. The important part though is that it works and it works well. In fact, when there was a power surge, the backup immediately switched to battery for 1 second until it was over. I have no idea why we had a power surge but it’s good to know my battery backup has my back.
I also purchased myself a new external hard drive. This one is pure backup. In fact I have it set to automatically back up. It’s also connected to my Dropbox account which is going to be super handy.
The third thing I did was take the hard drive out of my old desktop and I formatted it. This one is now in my new computer as my “Genealogy Drive” and it is also set to back up to the external drive.
I’m still not completely comfortable using my old main hard drive as my genealogy drive but at least it is backed up onto my external every time there is a change made. This buys me more time until I’m able to purchase another internal hard drive that is the size and price I like.
So now after all this technology breakdown, I am back up and running, but very behind in emails and having to cancel most of my genealogy memberships due to the price of all the new equipment. I’ll get back up there though! Just slowly.
How do you deal with full equipment breakdowns? Replace, repair, or give up completely?
Disclaimer: I am not connected to any of the companies I listed in this post. Just a paying customer and I didn’t receive any compensation to write this post.
Wow guys! I sure didn’t expect to be down a whole month from the blog. I had told you about my ordering my new computer, and I was happily still working on my cleaned up files until about 2 weeks before the computer came. Then my old computer committed an unforgivable act. It corrupted my working file. Fortunately for me that was the day my computer was originally scheduled to be delivered. Unfortunately, the computer was delayed twice due to parts being out of stock. I was scared to use my old computer so I just put up my genealogy and worked on quilts. I was very lucky that I had just backed up, so I lost almost no progress. Phew!
Now I have the new computer and it’s wonderful! I didn’t realize how much my computer had slowed down and didn’t work until I had a working one again. The only problem is now I’m faced with the mess I left behind with the old computer. Good news being that I lost zero files.
Being honest with myself tells me that no matter what happened, the second I bought my computer I was going to have to face this issue. No getting around it. After reading the FAQ on Ancestry and thinking out the situation I think I know how I’m going to proceed.
Bottom Line = New Computer means that my Online Tree and FTM file are no longer synced. There isn’t a way to connect the two again except for the options I’m about to outline.
Option 1: Upload FTM file to new Ancestry.com tree
I can upload my current file to Ancestry.com as a brand new tree. I have a few problems with this. #1 being that I’ve had a public tree and people have saved my pictures to their trees. I would like to keep these links between trees in tact. For the collaborators and myself. I like having the links, it’s partly why I went public. I like being able to easily share my images with my spread out extended family. A lot of times I can get the pictures to them faster by just putting them in the tree attached to who they belong to.
Option 2: Download from Ancestry.com to new FTM file.
Option 2 leaves all the links in tact and the only drawback being that all my pretty sources are in a bit of trouble. Still I don’t think it would take much to get these in order. I’m still unsure on how to get the media files back into my organization method without breaking the link. I’ll probably try that a few times with a test tree before fully committing to option 2. This one seems like the most likely way to get back to business for me.
No matter which option I choose, I’ve still been working on my family file cleanup. I’m actually almost done with it. This also throws a kink into Option 2, but I’m debating fixing the 50+ person difference with a merged file.
Oy, tons and tons of decisions to make. I don’t regret the new computer and I can’t wait to be fully operational again.
When viewing this website you may get a script error. I am aware of this problem. It is a conflict in my plugins that I’m trying to correct. You can hit stop script and not have anything in the page mess up. The problem is with the ShareThis! plugin. I think because WordPress added it into it’s Jetpack plugin and I had it installed as a separate plugin.
I just wanted to let you know I haven’t been ignoring the problem and I’m hoping to get it solved while I work on the new design.
Thanks for you patience!
What you see above is a tweet that automatically posts to my twitter. Back when I first started the blog, I decided to automate that kind of tweeting from my website with the Twitter Tools plugin. Lately I’ve been rethinking it.
For what seems like months, I’ve noticed that my website tweets will sometimes be missing my default hashtag of #genealogy or sometimes don’t show up at all. That may not seem like a big deal, but it really is for me. I don’t want to spam my friends, family and twitter followers with multiple tweets about the same blog post. What is the point of auto-tweeting if you have to go back behind it and either delete and redo the tweet, or post a new tweet anyway. It seems kind counter productive to me.
I usually tweet from my phone, but I might have to give TweetDeck another try if my auto-tweeting is going to stop working. Oh well, I think going the old fashioned way might be better anyway. Maybe it will slow me down and make me think through what I’m doing more thoroughly.
/Random Monday Blogging
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned during my cleanup is to always track down what the original source was. For me, I like to know what website I got each record from, but that’s not the most important part of the citation. When you’re citing your sources, it’s most important that if something crazy happens, you could actually track down that original source again if the need arose.
For example, say one day (a horrible day) FamilySearch lost all their servers and records. (I did say a horrible day.) In light of this unfortunate (and completely fictional) incident, I decide I’m going to Brown County, Ohio to research the Carter family because that’s where I am in my cleanup. Well, I knew I last left off with Daniel Moyer and his wife Hannah Carter. However, I want to look at their marriage record for more clues, or even the same time period of marriages to track down their siblings. Well, you can’t always do that from what you get from the FamilySearch indexes. They don’t always leave reference numbers.
This is where my lesson comes in. I’ve started going to the very first images in a group of images and the picture above is what I find. This gives me the exact direct source information for the marriage record of Daniel and Hannah. With this information, I would know exactly where I’m going at the Brown County Courthouse in order to find this record in it’s original form.
Not that there was much information on the original record, but you never know!