Protecting Your Genealogy Research

What will happen to your genealogy research once you are gone? Do you have a plan?

There is a simple and affordable way to protect your research and insure it will still be accessible after you are gone. Even better, this resource will help you grow your family tree and it costs you nothing! All you need to do is import your family tree into FamilySearch.org.

The LDS Church has made family history a mission. For more than a century, they have collected, preserved and shared genealogy records and resources worldwide. We can thank the church members who have collected and digitized an amazing archive of records from around the world and made them available to all of us at no cost. Their Family Tree component gives you a view of your family, but that’s only a small part of it. Instead of creating a tree for each user, FamilySearch is building one amazing tree while sharing your part of it with you.

FamilySearch mobile app

This has research advantages for you. You will meet cousins you never knew existed and often they have research to share. There are also elements which make it possible to add photos and memories to help bring your ancestors to life. If you choose to post photos, letters, diaries and other ephemera to an ancestor’s Memories, those memories will be insured a long and fruitful life. Along the way, your research cousins will have added their own memories which add even more to your research too.

But that’s just the beginning. FamilySearch offers free apps for desktop and mobile devices to build your trees. In addition to documenting the information you have about your ancestors, FamilySearch continuously searches their massive archives and posts hints to records that look like they relate to one of your ancestors.

Memories screen in iOS appAlong with that, there’s also an amazing amount of research support. There’s something for everyone – from beginner to experienced family historians. The Help menu on the desktop apps includes the Help Center, Learning Center, Research Wiki and even consultants if you need them.

The research, memories, documents and photos you collect in FamilySearch will always be available to you and your research cousins online while the originals are maintained by experienced archivists and stored in their Granite Mountain Records Vault – “a long-term storage facility designed for preservation”.

Protecting Your Privacy

If you are looking for networking options that do protect your privacy, you might take a look at MeWe.com. You won’t be bombarded with advertisements either. MeWe operates as a “freemium” service. Every user receives 8GB of storage (for photos, videos, files, etc.) at no cost. Should you need more, you can add it via an in-app purchase. Other paid services include Secret Chat, custom emojis and more. MeWe also supports groups and there are a number of groups focused on genealogy.

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User home page in MeWe

The genealogy groups I joined are quite active. It’s easy to start a conversation or ask for help. Take a look at MeWe. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Five Things You Never Post On Facebook

If you think that having your privacy settings set correctly is all you need to do to stay safe on Facebook, think again. To protect yourself and your family, there are five things you should never post on Facebook or any other social network:

  • You or your family’s full birth dates. This is one of the things thieves look for to steal your identity.
  • Photos of your children tagged with their names. Predators use this information to convince children that they aren’t really a stranger.
  • Posting your current location tells everyone your not home. If you are on vacation, wait until you get home to post the pictures of your trip.
  • Never post that you are home alone. Make sure your children don’t either.
  • Don’t post your relationship status. This is another way you could be letting stalkers know you are home alone.

The best rule of thumb is not to post anything that you would not want a stranger to know. And, just because your privacy settings are set correctly doesn’t protect you if one of your friend’s account is hacked.

Worldwide Indexing Event – Oct 20-22

If you aren’t familiar with indexing, it is transcribing the information contained on original records to make that record searchable. These include things like census records, court records, military records and much more. Indexing isn’t difficult and it significantly increases the number of records available online. You’ll find details at Worldwide Indexing Event — FamilySearch.org

DearMYRTLE hangouts

Pat Richley, also known as DearMYRTLE, and her cousin Russ have put Google Hangouts to work as a open genealogy classroom. You can participate in study groups on specific topics or just watch a discussion on various research topics. It’s all free and quite easy to view. All you need is a good Internet connection and either a computer or tablet with speakers.

Visit DearMYRTLE’s hangouts page to see what’s coming up and how to participate.