Using Google Docs to Back Up Genealogy Data?

One of the challenges I took on for the Winter Genea Blogger Games is to back up all my genealogy data. I would like to use an external source (my flash drive) and an online source. This way I will have two backups in case of backup failure (like the time my Zip Drive failed and all the data on the diskettes was lost).

This was one of the challenges I took on in 2008. I decided to use an free online storage website to store my genealogy data backup. After researching several sites, I chose one to upload my data to.

I thought everything was peachy keen until December of 2009 when my computer hard drive crashed. I got a new computer in January, installed all my old software, then went to download my files from the storage website.

I found out very quickly what a mistake I had made. The site that I chose gave me a tremendous amount of web space. However, the free service did not allow me to download folders. Only the paid service allowed bulk download. This meant that I would have to download thousands of files and photos one file at a time.

Luckily, I had most of my data on old CDs. I recovered most of what I had except some documents I had downloaded from October to December and my photographs from December 2008.

It was a hard lesson to learn at the time when I so needed a miracle!

In order to complete part two of my back up plan, I need to find a free online website. I could use something like Flickr for the photographs. There is a monthly limit, but I think over a month or two I could get all of my old photographs uploaded.

I’m looking at Google Docs as my secondary backup for my genealogy databases and documents. Does anyone use it? If so, what is your opinion of it as a backup source? I read that you don’t need to convert documents to google docs format.

Let me know what you think about this option. Can it handle RootsMagic database and larger JPG documents? Do you see Google Docs as a good option for keeping your documents online?


Let the Winter Blogger Games Begin!!!

It’s time for the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games!!! The event runs from 13 Feb to 26 Feb. With medals awarded on the 27th at the Closing Ceremonies.

I will be participating in the games. I am representing a mish mash of nations.  Can you guess which? ;) It represents 3 nations: France, the USA, and Portugal. But, really, it represents the fact that my heritage is varied. It takes 7 flags to represent all the places my immigrant ancestors came from. I represent them all.

Here is my flag:

Ancestral Flag

Ancestral Flag

I plan to participate in these categories:
Go Back and Cite Your Sources
~I hope to earn a Silver Medal status by inputting 20 new citations

Back Up Your Data
~I hope to earn a Plantinum Medal by backing up my data digitally. I plan to back up all my genealogy databases, files, and photographs. I was given a flash drive for Christmas and it’s about time that I put it to the purpose it was meant for.

Organize Your Research
~I hope to earn a Diamond Medal by completing Task A, B, D, and E.
This will involve 20 items each:
*Organize and file into the appropriate binders at least 20 hard files from the mountain to my left.
*Organize digital files
*Organize digital photos
*Input new entries into my database, scan 20 photographs, or scan 20 documents

I will be happy if I accomplish Task A and get further than 20 items!

Expand Your Knowledge
~I hope to earn a Diamond Medal in this category by completing Task A, B, C, and E.
I’ve already got a handwritten ancestral map, so it will be fun to locations on Google Maps.
I will create a timeline on one ancestor. Maybe I’ll use the application suggested.
I will create a memorial page on for one of my ancestors. I have been doing this off and on all year, so I’ll add another one to the site.
I will create a surname visualization using Wordle or Word it Out once I figure out what the heck those are.

Write, Write, Write
~I hope to earn a Dimaond Medal by completing 3 tasks in this category by completing Task B, C, D, and E.
I will participate in a genealogy blog carnival.
I will prepare several posts in draft mode and pre-publish them.
I will write a brief biographical sketch on one of my ancestors.
I will create a page on my blog listing my surnames, ahnentafel, or something of that nature.

Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness
~I hope to earn a Gold Medal, and maybe a Diamond Medal in this category by completing a combination on Task A, B, D, E, and G.
I am going to concentrate on commenting on blogs, posting photographs to, and assisting another researcher on a research request. But, I may throw in some work on an indexing project that I’ve been working on for 2 years now, and use the follow feature on Blogger.

Phew! Just looking at all those tasks makes me tired. I know that from participating in the Summer Games that motivation follows participation. I hope that I’ll get through at least half of what I set out to do and maybe even more.

My enthusiasm for blogging and genealogy has waned a bit lately (due to a family member’s illness and recovery). So, my main goal is to get back on track. I am hoping by having assigned tasked I’ll get that kick in the butt I’ve needed the last few weeks.

So, Let the Games Begin!


My Puppy is Growing Up

While I’m waiting for my domain issue to straighten out, I thought I’d take a break from our normal genealogy programming.

My puppy, Misha, has turned 8 months old.  Here’s the little stinker:



In this photo, she’s enjoying one of her favorite past times.  She’s hiding under her favorite blanket.  That’s where she takes her naps.

She’s maturing each week, though is still very much a puppy.  Some days she is the sweet dog I love and other days the rascal I have to put on time out.  Typical puppy, eh?