23 June 2014

No, Ancestry.com? No, Problem!

I am sure by now everyone has heard that ancestry.com suffered a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.  Most everything is back to normal at ancestry.com now, but when it wasn't available I read a lot of grumbling about it being unavailable.

I chose to take a different approach. Ancestry.com is a great resource for those of us doing genealogy research, but it isn't the only option available to researchers.  Plus, not everything is online.

I decided to go off-line!  During the last few months, I put folders on the desktop of my computer as a sort of to-do list and decided it was time to tackle the folders. My folders consisted of pictures that needed to be labeled, record copies that needed to be attached to my Roots Magic genealogy program, my Roots Magic to-do list, a document of summer genealogy road trips to be taken, and notes of ideas gleaned from the SCGS Jamboree 2014 live streamed sessions.

I started with the picture folders.  I opened each folder, opened the pictures using Windows Live Photo Gallery, clicked edit, and renamed each picture.  The advantage of using the photo gallery is after you rename it you can use the arrow to go to the next picture.  After all the pictures, hundreds of them, were renamed I moved each picture to its' final folder.

My final folders are organized with my records and pictures by surname.  Inside each surname folder is the name of my direct ancestors with their birth and death dates.  For example, inside my Glover surname folder I have my grandfather, Harry Glover (1883-1950).  (see screenshot above)

Inside each ancestor's folder I have sub folders for birth, marriage, death, military, census, etc. One folder is labeled 'children'.  This folder has the children of my ancestor, one folder for each child, organized the same as the individual folders.

The photo's were renamed and organized and I moved on to the records I had saved.  I am trying to go paperless and when I see a record image in my online research I save a copy.  I record and source the facts to my genealogy software program as I research, but save the images to be attached later.  I didn't have as many record copies as I did photographs, so this didn't take too long.

Next, I moved on to the notes of ideas from the lived streamed sessions of SCGS Jamboree.  As I watched the sessions I would jot down ideas that I had from the information provided.  For example, I watched Paula Stuart Warren's Manuscript Finding Aids session and thought of manuscript papers I would like to look for.  One is Michigan Governor Josiah Begole, a first cousin five time removed.  Another is Anna Glover paper's.  Anna Glover wrote Glover Memorials and Genealogies: An account of John Glover of Dorchester and his descendants (Boston: David Clapp & Son Printers, 1867), and I would like to know her research notes or sources are available.

I found a few manuscripts with Josiah Begole's name at Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and at Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.  I added those to my Roots Magic To Do list.

Lastly, I looked at the list of summer genealogy research trips I would like to take.  I decided I would go to Ypsilanti, Michigan first to do a little Glover research.  I worked on a research plan for this trip.  Next, I created a list of places I would like to go to.  I plan to go to two cemeteries and Historical Society of Ypsilanti Archives.  If time, a visit to the courthouse or public library may be added.  This will be a day trip as I only live 90 miles from Ypsi., as the locals call it.

I used online resources to compile a list of what grave-sites I want to visit.  The gravestone pictures are on Find a Grave, but as people are touchy about the use of their photographs, I want to take my own.  Another list was compiled using the online resource of the Ypsilanti Historical Society, which I plan to write a separate blog for.

The list above kept me busy and I didn't even miss ancestry.com.  My desktop only has one folder on it now, down from about 12. How did you handle the ancestry.com outage?  

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