Monday, 16 March 2015

Are You Doing Thorough Back Ups of ALL of Your Work?


So, you have a blog, you have web sites, and you back them up, right??  Well, good.

And, you have a data base for your family research, and you back it up.  And, you have your images and documents linked to your data base, you have those files backed up. Well good.

And, you have mega files and photos and scans on your hard drive waiting for work to be done, it’s heaven having all those files.  Really it is.  You have them backed up, right??  Well, good.

And, you are active in Social Media and you have backups of that as well, right??  Well, good.

And, you have some nice extensive biographies on some of your Find A Grave memorials, and you have those backed up too, right??  


Yea, really, you need to back up your Find A Grave Memorials, if you care about the work you did creating those memorials.

Here is how I know.

Last month, I got caught up in a mess with Find A Grave over old memorials transferred to me by a disgruntled “graver”.  The Find A Grave staff decided to restore thousands of memorials that had been deleted by this disgruntled “graver”.    Trouble is the “graver” had transferred just a very few of their memorials to me before they deleted those other thousands and left Find A Grave.

Now, the details really just don’t matter much, but, when Find A Grave restored those thousands of memorials, they over wrote and took over the few memorials I had received.

Trouble was, I had spent several days writing long biographic stories for those memorials.

Lots of time was spent, lots of energy.  I was happy with the work.

I did NOT save copies of the work, anywhere.  I mean, WHY??  They were on Find A Grave, I had care of the memorials, and all was well with the world.


Short of it, after much angst, the memorials were returned to my care.  Short of it, the biographical stories were gone.  Find A Grave, apologized but, could not restore the biographies.

And, several days worth of work, gone, zap, poof.  Yes, days, as in 10 hour days.

Lesson: back up everything you do.  Back up your data bases, your images, your documents, your scanned photos, your stories, even the ones on Find A Grave.

Back it all up.  And, oh, ya, more than one backup.  You probably have that routine down, you have files in the “cloud” and additional backups on other media.  External hard drives are inexpensive these days and are small too.  Many of us have more than one external hard drive, and many of us store at least one of those hard drives off site. Translated that means, you have a full set of data backups stored in a safety deposit box, or one of your children stores a hard drive at their home, or maybe you take a backup drive to your place of employment.  (Oh, and make sure you update that off site hard drive at regular intervals.  Once a decade is not considered a regular interval in my book.)

I personally have 3 external hard drives, one is used for a full set of data backups made on the 1st of the month, the second is used for a full set of data backups made on the 15th.  The third hard drive is used for overwriting files on a daily basis.  If I change a file during the day, I overwrite it on that hard drive.  I take that hard drive with me everywhere.  Yes, everywhere.  It goes into a small case and into my back pack and when I leave the stick built or Tana, it goes with me.  That hard drive has been on a uncounted number of shopping trips and even a hike or two through some of our beautiful National Parks.

So, are you doing thorough back ups of your work?  Of ALL your work?

* Both photos on this post are of my every day backup hard drive.   First one is in the little travel case I found for it, actually a case for a GPS unit.  The second photo shows the hard drive, cord in the "travel" mode.

** Yours truly and hubby have been traveling steady for several weeks now.  I was woefully behind in many things genealogical, including reading this blog.  After I wrote this and posted and scheduled, I took a few minutes to read the posts from the last several weeks.  It seems that several of your contributors are thinking about similar subjects.  I just found that quite interesting, and thought I would share.

Now, carry on, and preserve your work.  Good luck.



  1. Thank you for the reminder! I am so far behind in backing up my blog and had not even thought about Fiind a grave bio backup!

  2. You are welcome Kristin, time can sneak up on us, before we know it, a long time has passed between backups.

  3. Carol,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Why thank you Jana. You have a great weekend too.

  4. I have backed up a lot, but not all, and you are right, this is a hot topic! I must get it done! Thanks for the challenge! Helen


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