Happy Mother’s Day!
I want to take a moment today to recognize some wonderful mother’s in my family. All of these women have helped shape me into the mother that I am today. I cannot thank them enough for loving me, supporting me, and teaching me. I love you!
I recently started this blog to share stories about my ancestors. As I have written the first several blog posts, it has become abundantly clear that I need to take some time to scan and reorganize a bunch of my research. I thought that I had a pretty good system set up that would make it easy to find anything I have input and sourced in my genealogy software. I realize now that my system is not so great, especially when you want to quickly double check stories and facts when writing a blog post.
I have decided that I need to spend at least 50% of my genealogy time devoted to achieving these new goals until the project is done.
I have taken some time and thought about exactly what needs to be done and how I want to reorganize my data both in binders and on the computer. Here is the goal list:
- In my computer, create a new library that holds genealogy files only (they will no longer be split across the documents and photos libraries). Organize files by family name and specialty folders such as places, books, etc.
- When moving all files to their new ‘home’, rename any file that doesn’t match the way I have been naming files the last couple of years. Also check each file to make sure citations and information about the image is located in the comments section of the image properties. (Yikes, that means adding source information to all of the federal census images I have saved – thank goodness they are all printed on my transcription copies.)
- Go through all family binders and check to see if all data (including letters, photocopies made on research trips, photos, and vital records) has been scanned to the computer. Any information that has not been scanned will get put in a clear plastic box.
- Scan all of the stuff that gets put into the plastic box being sure to put the proper citations in the comments section of the image properties.
- Attack my stack of research data that needs to get input into my genealogy software. Each document needs to be cited to the correct ancestor, scanned, filed to correct family folder, and printed copy filed to family binder.
- When finished with this scanning project, burn a new set of backup DVD’s. I will be backing up during the project to my Sugarsync account.
I expect this to take most of the rest of the year to complete. I will keep you updated as to my progress every now and then.
Why Redundant Backups Are Necessary
This week Amazon experienced significant problems at their Northern Virginia data center. The outages brought down part of Amazon’s cloud services. Since Amazon is one of the largest providers of cloud services, this was a major event. Many companies were unable to access their data or their websites were unavailable on Thursday and Friday.
I joined the cloud revolution this year to back up my genealogy data. I personally use Sugarsync’s 5 GB free account. One of the other popular providers is Dropbox. These services are great! You can back up your data off site to protect against a myriad of things including hardware crashes, earthquakes, and 2 year-olds. These cloud sites also allow you to access your data from other devices when you are not at home. For example, you can access your files while at the library if you forgot to bring something with you. Or the reverse, upload photos and document scans to your data backup while still at the library.
Amazon’s problems this week should also effect the way that we (the home user, blogger, etc.) backup our data. My suggestion is to back up your data in multiple ways. This will ensure that if any one of the back up methods fails, you will still be able to access your data. I personally backup my data at multiple levels.
First, as mentioned, I have my genealogy data automatically backup to a cloud service. This keeps my data off site (out of the house) in case of a massive natural disaster. In California, we are always worried about earthquakes.
Second, at my house, we have an external hard drive attached to our computer. We periodically delete all of the files off of the external hard drive and copy over all files from our computer (every couple of months). This backup is to cover us in case the hard drive on our home computer fails. Hardware failures are the largest cause of lost data.
Third, once a year, we copy all files to DVDs. The DVDs are supposed to be kept in a safe spot at my in-laws house. I have to fess up that the case holding these are in my house right now. Note to self – drop them off as soon as possible! Again this keeps all of our data off site in case something happens at our house. We find this a cheaper way to back up our photos and music than subscribing to a larger cloud account. Our backup plan is not perfect but it works for our household and is something that we can maintain.
Redundancy is the key and this was proven this week at Amazon. Many large companies (such as Netflix) pay for upgraded Amazon services to have their data backed up to multiple data centers. These large companies pay for redundancy. In return they did not experience any outages since their data is backed up in multiple locations.
The Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Sedgwick, Kansas has many Bender’s buried there. The family patriarch, John, his wife, Matilda, and three of their children are buried around a tree in the middle of the cemetery. Many members of the immediate family and extended family are buried just to the east of the tree (behind the tree in the photo below). This post includes the tombstones that surround the tree and their inscriptions.
John Bender and Matilda Bender are my third great grandparents on my mother’s paternal line (William H. Lawbaugh ->Effie Bender->William H. Bender ->John Bender)
Charles Oscar Mattson married Wendla Botmaster (Johnson) on February 13, 1904 in Berkeley, California. Wendla unofficially took the last name Johnson when she arrived in the United States from Finland. They had 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl, during their short marriage. Unfortunately, Charles died only nine years after they married on May 13, 1913.
Charles and Wendla are John’s second great grandparents through his father’s maternal line (Shirley Gingg -> Agnes Mattson ->Charles Mattson.)
Abraham Strickler was born at home along the banks of the Shenandoah River South of Luray, Virginia on October 24, 1853. The Strickler family was one of the original 8 families that settled what is now Page County, Viginia in the 1730’s. The original Abraham Strickler who settled the area would be this Abraham Strickler’s great-great grandfather. Abraham’s great-grandfather, John was granted the 230 acre family farm on the Shenandoah river. John’s son, Martin (Abraham’s grandfather), bought out his brothers upon John’s death to own the entire farm. He later bought adjoining property to bring the farm to 350 acres. Abraham’s father, David Strickler, was running the famliy farm at the time of Abraham’s birth even though his father, Martin was still alive. Abraham’s grandparents, Martin and Anna, lived in the original family home next to the Abraham’s family. David built the fancy ‘new’ brick family home in the years immediately before Abraham Strickler’s birth (1851-1852).