Participants in last week’s How to Research in Genealogy Records online workshop shared tips and asked questions in daily chats about everything from researching in libraries to backing up genealogy data.
Just for you, I smuggled out a bunch of tips on finding women ancestors, backing up your data in the cloud and preparing for a library research trip:
Finding female ancestors
For a hard-to-find female ancestor, go sideways by researching her children, husband, siblings and other family.
Family Tree Magazine editor Allison Dolan shared Sharon DeBartolo Carmack’s advice from way back in our April 2001 issue:
“Historian Elizabeth Fox-Genovese said that the ‘history of women cannot be written without attention to women’s relations with men in general and with ‘their’ men in particular, nor without attention to the other women of their society.’ … Those who successfully find the maiden names and parents’ names of female ancestors aren’t focusing their research efforts on just the woman in question.“
Allison also shared her favorite websites about women’s history and genealogy:
- Feeding America: Historic American Cookbook Project (as a way to discover social history)
Backing up your computer “in the cloud”
Online community editor Tyler Moss and Sunday chatters exchanged ideas for cloud back-ups. He uses Dropbox, which offers 2GB of free storeage plus more if you can get others to join the service. Subscriptions start at 100GB for $9.99 per month.
To use Carbonite, you pay a subscription fee (starting at $59 per year per computer) to have your computer automatically sync with your backup on the cloud.
SugarSync is a backup service that lets you start with a free 5GB account.
Google has some storage options starting with 5GB of free space.
Tyler also shared this article on cloud storage systems from tech site Gizmodo.
Preparing for library research
In the chat I facilitated on genealogy research at libraries and archives, folks shared what they bring with them to the library.
I take change for copiers, $1s or $5s in case I need to buy copy cards, a flash drive for saving digital images if the library is so equipped, notepad, pen, a snack (to be consumed where permitted), catalog printouts for materials I want and any necessary family tree info.
Others recommend a personal scanner or phone with a camera, laptop, sweater and sticky notes. Tyler even comes prepared for long research sessions with a chair cushion.
Some libraries don’t permit scanners, cameras, sticky notes or other items, so check the website or call ahead.
We were all impressed with one chatter’s description of her master genealogy to-do list: She keeps a spreadsheet with columns for
- the information sought
- title of the item needed
- holding library
- catalog number
- format (book, microfilm, etc.)
- priority level (high, medium, low)
… and more. She can easily sort the list by library name and priority. I need to try this!
Fall 2012 Virtual Conference
You, too, can take online genealogy classes from experts and be part of exclusive chats and message board discussions with other researchers—it’ll all be part of Family Tree University’s Fall 2012 Virtual Conference, Sept. 14-16.