But what if an earthquake destroyed Ancestry.com’s servers? What if a virus crashed Footnote? Would all that data be lost—along with the master version of the family tree you’ve been constructing online?
All genealogical data sites take measures to protect their data. Many follow standards for top-tier data centers, which include compartmentalized security zones, fully redundant systems (for backup) and even a subterranean location. But many, for security reasons, won’t comment on them. Though contacted, the family treebuilding site Geni and data sites Ancestry.com, Footnote and FamilySearch declined to provide information for this article.
And FamilySearch does reassure submitters to its Pedigree Resource File that their data are being well cared-for. “A copy of the genealogy files (GEDCOM format) that you submit will be preserved in the Granite Mountain Records Vault located near Salt Lake City, Utah,” says the submission screen.