by Lisa Cooke | Jun 17, 2015 | 01 What's New, Disaster Prevention, images, Organization, Preservation
Not so long ago, my computer backup plan against various calamities looked something like this:
- Against flood: keep my laptop off the floor.
- Against fire: grab my laptop in one hand and my youngest child in the other.
- Against theft: hide my laptop under a different pile of blankets every time I leave the house.
No lie, this was my plan. You don’t have to tell me how terrible it was.
Fortunately, I’ve improved somewhat. I stash copies of important files in Dropbox. Older photos and files are backed up online and on an external hard drive. I started using cloud-based email.
But last week my laptop got sick. First it ran a fever, then shut down entirely. My computer repairman, usually an optimist, said, “Please tell me you have everything backed up.” I hesitated. He sighed.
That crash took three days to resolve and resulted in a prescription for a cooling fan and the dire news that my laptop is living on borrowed time. I was sternly instructed to back everything up, because in those three days I had discovered considerable gaps in my backup plan.
Fortunately, Lisa had just announced buy pain medication online legally Genealogy Gems’ new partnership with Backblaze. I figured if Lisa could entrust thousands of audio, video, image, text, communication and other files to them, I could do the same. So….I signed up for Blackblaze. It’s $5 a month ($50 a year). Less than I spend on Redbox movies for my kids.
It’s taken Backblaze a few days to process my initial backup of over 120,000 files. It’s running continuously in the background and will continue to do so as I work. Like a little data butler, waiting to tidy up after me and be there for me when I need it. Backblaze will even backup my external drives, too (“no extra charge, madam”).
It’s so comforting to have Backblaze that I’ve stopped hiding my laptop under blankets when I leave the house. Because I was still doing that.
If your backup plan needs a little help like mine did, consider Backblaze. It’s easy to sign up, it’s comprehensive and it’s just a few dollars a month. Click here to check it out: www.Backblaze.com/Lisa. Whatever your backup strategy, watch our blog for more on disaster planning and prevention.
by Lisa Cooke | Jun 23, 2014 | 01 What's New, Libraries, Photographs, Preservation
You have precious family history files, both physical and digital. Have you ever wondered if they are in the proper form for safe, long term preservation? Consider taking a cue from the United State’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holding more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats.
According to their announcement today the Library of Congress today released “a set of recommended formats for a broad spectrum of creative works, ranging from books to digital music, to inform the Library’s acquisition practices. The format recommendations will help ensure the Library’s collections processes are considering and maximizing the long-term preservation potential of its large and varied collections.”
The recommended formats can be viewed here www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/ and cover six categories of creative output:
- Textual Works and Musical Compositions
- Still Image Works
- Audio Works
- Moving Image Works
- Software and Electronic Gaming and Learning
What I like about this recommendations is that they rank the various file formats on the digital side of things in order of preference. So even if you aren’t in the position to change your digital file’s format right now, you will know where it falls in the spectrum of long-term preservation.
For example, here are the recommendations for digital photograph files formats in the order of preference:
Formats, in order of preference
- TIFF (uncompressed)
- JPEG2000 (lossless (*.jp2)
- PNG (*.png)
- JPEG/JFIF (*.jpg)
- Digital Negative DNG (*.dng)
- JPEG2000 (lossy) (*.jp2)
- TIFF (compressed)
- BMP (*.bmp)
- GIF (*.gif)
Download the PDF of recommendations from the Library of Congress here
by Lisa Cooke | Apr 2, 2015 | 01 What's New, British, FamilySearch, images, Jewish, Records & databases, Trees, United States
Ketubah Circa 1860.
This is the ketubah (marriage contract) of Hannah and Hayyim from their marriage on Tuesday, April 6, 1886 (א׳ ניסן תרמ״ו) in the town of Brody. Image by Yoel Ben-Avraham on Flickr Creative Commons at https://www.flickr.com/photos/epublicist/1355967207/in/photolist-.
Looking for an online resource of Jewish family trees?
“The Knowles Collection, a quickly growing, free online Jewish genealogy database linking generations of Jewish families from all over the world, reached its one-millionth record milestone and is now easily searchable online,” says a recent FamilySearch press release.
“The collection started from scratch just over seven years ago, with historical records gathered from FamilySearch’s collections. Now the vast majority of new contributions are coming from families and private archives worldwide. The free collection can be accessed at FamilySearch.org/family-trees.
According to FamilySearch, “The databases from the Knowles Collection are unlike other collections in that people are linked as families and the collection can be searched by name, giving researchers access to records of entire families. All records are sourced and show the people who donated the records so cousins can contact one another. New records are added continually, and the collection is growing by about 10,000 names per month from over 80 countries. Corrections are made as the need is found, and new links are added continually.”
The database was started by Todd Knowles, a Jewish genealogy expert at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Jewish communities from around the world have added to it: “The Knowles Collection has grown from Jews of the British Isles (now with 208,349 records), to Jews of North America (489,400), Jews of Europe (380,637), Jews of South America and the Caribbean (21,351), Jews of Africa, the Orient, and the Middle East (37,618), and the newest one, Jews of the Southern Pacific (21,518).” Keep up with the Knowles Jewish Collection at its blog.
by Lisa Cooke | Jun 11, 2015
In the last year I’ve moved from Earthquake Central (California) to Tornado Alley (Texas) and it’s been a bit of an adjustment, to say the least! Recently I presented a live webinar on using Evernote for genealogy during a tornado watch, with my husband fretting in the background. Not long after, we spent an hour in our shelter room during torrential rains, non-stop lightning, and nearby tornado touchdowns.
All this threat of danger and destruction has reinforced my decision to bring into our Genealogy Gems family a brand new sponsor. Backblaze is now the official back up of Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Backblaze isn’t new to the genealogy space: if you’ve been to RootsTech, you’ve likely seen their booth. Backblaze is a trusted online cloud backup service that truly makes backing up all your most precious computer files super easy.
Many of you have asked me which company I use to back up my files. I’ve done my homework and Backblaze is my choice. The thought of losing my genealogy files is too much to bear. Now I can concentrate on keeping my loved ones safe through the storms of life because I know Backblaze is taking care of my files and photos! A few things to consider:
- They back up ALL your files (or just those you select). Music, photos, data, documents, etc.
- You have an unlimited amount of data storage on Backblaze.
- In the event you lose data, you can download from any computer or have a hard drive FedExed to you.
- For the price of a single average hard drive restoration (when it’s even possible), Backblaze could back up your computer for 50 years.
- External drives are great, but if they’re sitting next to your computer, they would be lost in a natural disaster, too.
- Backblaze serves both Mac and PC owners.
- You can get started for free. And then it’s really inexpensive to have them continuously back you up. Only $5 per month, last we checked, or $50 for an entire year.
I invite you to visit www.Backblaze.com/Lisa and get all your files backed up once and for all!
by Lisa Cooke | Dec 16, 2016 | 01 What's New, Records & databases
It’s snowing like crazy in some parts of the U.S. this week and it’s blown up a blizzard of great new and updated genealogical record collections! Take a look at this week’s round-up for Bishop’s Transcripts in England, Veteran Memorials in New Zealand, and records for Peru, United States, and Canada.
England – Devon – Bishop’s Transcripts
England, Devon Bishop’s Transcripts, 1558-1887 is a collection found at FamilySearch. Though a rather small collection, these Bishop’s transcripts contain an index from the county of Devon and cover the years of 1558-1887. Availability of records will vary by year and locality.
Starting in 1598, parish priests were to make a copy of their parish register and send it to the archdeacon or bishop each year. Many priests stopped producing bishop’s transcripts with the beginning of civil registration in 1837, but they did not fully disappear until after 1870.
As bishop’s transcripts generally contain more or less the same information as parish registers, they are particularly valuable when parish records have been damaged, destroyed, or lost. However, because bishop’s transcripts are copies of the original records, they are more likely to contain errors than parish registers might be.
This collection refers to baptism, marriage, and burial records. Baptism record entries are the most common in the index, followed by burial records, with marriage records being the smallest portion.
England – Worcestershire – Probate Records
The Worcestershire Probate Index 1660-1858 at Findmypast contains over 51,000 records taken from four types of probate documents. Each record includes a transcript only, however the transcript may include some or all of the following information:
- First and last name(s)
- Document type
England – Buckinghamshire – Marriages
The Findmypast collection titled Buckinghamshire Marriages contains over 49,000 records. The collection consists of transcripts covering 26 parishes within the English county of Buckinghamshire. These transcripts will cover the years between 1538 and 1838. Here is the list of parishes and years covered within this collection:
- Amersham 1561-1812
- Aston Clinton 1560-1812
- Bradenham 1627-1810
- Chalfont St Giles 1584-1812
- Chalfont St Peter 1538-1812
- Cheddington 1552-1812
- Chenies 1593-1836
- Chesham 1637-1838
- Cholesbury 1576-1810
- Edlesborough 1568-1812
- Fingest 1607-1812
- Hawridge 1600-1812
- Hedgerley 1540-1811
- High Wycombe 1600-1812
- Hormead 1575-1813
- Instone 1665-1812
- Iver 1605-1812
- Ivinghoe 1559-1812
- Masworth 1591-1812
- Mentmore 1575-1812
- Pitstone 1576-1812
- Slapton 1653-1812
- Soulbury 1575-1812
- Stoke Poges 1563-1812
- Turville 1582-1812
- Wendover 1576-1812
New Zealand – Church Records, Veteran Memorials, and Civil Service Examinations
Three new databases for New Zealand are available at Findmypast. The first, New Zealand Officiating Ministers 1882 is an index containing over 600 records and covering 13 religious denominations. Each record includes a transcript that will reveal the officiator’s official title and the church they served.
The second collection titled, New Zealand Waikaraka Cemetery Memorial 1902-1940 will help you find out if you have military ancestors who were memorialized as veterans who fought for the Empire and died at the Auckland Veterans’ Home between 1902 and 1940. Each record includes a transcript that will list their birth year, death year, age at death and force or regiment.
Lastly, the final collection at Findmypast is the New Zealand Civil Service Examinations 1906-1907. More than 700 records are available to explore and uncover the details of those who sat for the annual examinations for admission to, or promotion in, the Civil Service in mid-December 1906 and mid-January 1907. This collection is of transcripts only, but may contain the following information:
- First and last name(s)
- Examination location
Peru – Puno – Civil Registration
Also at FamilySearch this week, Peru, Puno, Civil Registration, 1890-2005 has been updated. This collection includes births, marriages, deaths, and indexes. Some of these records have been indexed and are available for search. It should be noted that these records are written in Spanish.
Civil registration record for a birth in Peru via FamilySearch.org.
Within these records you may find any of the following helpful information:
- Date and place of registration
- Name and gender of child
- Date, time, and place of birth
- Religious affiliation
- Parents’ names, ages, origin, and residence
- Presenter’s name, age, civil status, occupation, origin, and residence
- Witnesses’ name, age, civil status, and residence
- Sometimes, grandparents’ names
Marriage records may include the following:
- Date and place of registration
- Names of the bride and groom
- Date and place of marriage
- Groom’s age, civil status, nationality, race and occupation
- Names of groom’s parents, origin, and residence
- Bride’s age, civil status, nationality, race, and occupation
- Names of bride’s parents, origin, and residence
- Bride and groom’s religious affiliation
- Names, residence, and ages of witnesses
Death records may include:
- Time, date, and place of registration
- Name, gender, and age of the deceased
- Cause of death
- Date, place, and time of death
- Civil status, and occupation of deceased
- Nationality, origin, and residence of deceased
- Parents’ names of deceased if a minor
- Presenter’s name, age , and occupation
- Presenter’s origin, nationality, and residence
- Names of witnesses
United States – California – Cemetery Transcriptions
California Cemetery Transcriptions, 1850-1960 is a small collection at FamilySearch, but keep an eye on it as it will likely be added too. The collection consists of abstracts from cemeteries for 1850-1960 in the following counties:
You can do a search for your targeted ancestor, or you can browse through the collection. To browse through any of the FamilySearch collections, you can read our article here and follow the step-by-step instructions.
Cemetery abstracts are actually quite useful to genealogists, especially if there has been a loss of death records in the targeted area.
Cemetery abstracts may contain the following information:
- Name of Cemetery
- Location (Town, County, State)
- Full name of deceased
- Lot number
- Date of Death
- Place of Death
- Names of Parents, Husband or Wife
- Other Important Facts
- Place of Birth
- Date of Birth
WWII Veterans – Interviews
We have found a free collection of oral histories and interviews of WWII veterans from around the world. Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation
is an online video archive of in-depth interviews put together by the Flying Heritage Collection. The project, which took 15 years to complete, went live Wednesday on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. All 335 video interviews — some of which are two hours long — will be available on the Flying Heritage Collection’s website at www.flyingheritage.com/chronicles
Another free collection includes eyewitness accounts by U.S. military personnel and family members in Pearl Harbor at the time of Japan’s 1941 attack. You can now access this site online. The Pearl Harbor Archive (http://1941.mapping.jp/
), also carries photos of U.S. warships ablaze and sinking. The interactive website material was gathered by Katrina Luksovsky, 49, an American living on Ford Island in the center of the harbor. The website was created by Hidenori Watanabe, 42, an associate professor of network design at Tokyo Metropolitan University.
The website works similar to Google Earth and is really quite remarkable. If you are a WWII buff, this is right up your alley!
The Canadian Museum of History and Library and Archives Canada
collaborate on new exhibition gallery. This gallery is named Treasures from LAC
and will showcase some of Canada’s most historically significant documents, making them more accessible to Canadians and enhancing public understanding of Canada’s history and heritage. Many of the documents showcased in the gallery will be referenced in the Canadian History Hall, a new permanent exhibition opening July 1, 2017 at the Canadian Museum of History. The LAC documents will complement the Hall and add greatly to the visitor experience.
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