Cloud Genealogy: A Short Glossary

By Diane Haddad

We were joking here in the office yesterday that “cloud genealogy,” a nebulous term (haha—see what I did there?) you might’ve heard tossed around, is when you’re having bad luck in your genealogy life.

But what cloud genealogy really means is that your research is stored online, so you can access it from anywhere using any device (such as your laptop, desktop, smart phone or tablet), and you’re always working on the most-updated version of your research.

This also means your family tree, research notes, images and other files are always backed up online and protected from a computer crash or other tech disaster. Some types of cloud services you might use for genealogy are:

  • family tree building
  • note-taking
  • file backup
  • file transfer
  • photo storage

Our Cloud Genealogy Bootcamp workshop, coming up Aug. 24-31, has classes and expert advice to get you started doing cloud genealogy, help you find the best tools for the way you do research, and devise an easy-to-use cloud genealogy workflow, and decipher nebulous terms like these:

  • the Cloud: basically, the internet, where you can store information to access from anywhere, on any device that’s connected to the internet.
  • app: an application (such as the Evernote app or the MyHeritage app) you install on your smart phone, computer or other device; many applications will let you connect to the internet and access your files and data stored on cloud services
  • sync: short for synchronize, this is the act of updating a file or other data on all your devices, so you’re always working on the same, most-recently updated version; this generally happens automatically on cloud services
  • file transfer service: a service, such as Dropbox, intended to help you share files between devices or users; these sites aren’t intended for long-term storage of file backups
  • backup service: an online service that helps you back up files on your computer, either automatically (the backup just happens on a regular schedule, or whenever you connect to the internet) or manually (you must start the backup and designate files to be backed up)

Learn more about our Cloud Genealogy Bootcamp and see the workshop program at Family Tree University.