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I Want My Trees To Outlive Me #general


RichardWerbin
 

David Mason,
DVDs are not a long term option.
Today most laptops & desktops no longer include a DVD / CD reader. It is considered to be an obsolete options and is no longer supported.

Richard Werbin


RichardWerbin
 

Rebba Solomon,
At this time, Ancestry.com does not require a subscription to have a family tree.
To access the tree, a person need to have a login. Their guest login option is free.

I set up a tree in this fashion for a friend who does not have any ancestry subscription.
She can login and edit the tree.

They also have good privacy settings. But, if you use those, people will need an explicit invitation from you to access the tree.
They do require a subscription for data search.

Richard Werbin


mab@...
 

Information on Genealogies on Family Search is available at:

https://www.familysearch.org/search/family-trees



- Miriam Baker


Jody Gorran
 

I strongly urge you to go to www.geni.com

It is free and our family has been using it for years.  It is owned by MyHeritage.  It can also link your tree to other trees of other families as part of a world-wide tree.  It is terrific.

Jody Gorran


erikagottfried53@...
 

Peter, I could not agree with you more, and you've described this problem so well and succinctly.  

My experience as archivist for a special historical collection for more than three decades completely bears out your too-valid fears about preservation of digital data.  Entire databases I created using mainstream software are no longer accessible or readable.  And I've seen online data disappear. This is what keeps me up at night (or used to before the pandemic became my number one worry).  The digital dark ages is a threat to more than genealogical data.

I'm also with you about keeping genealogical information and family histories online and/or in digital form as well as on paper.

My own question, though, is -- how best to preserve genealogies and family history in print when most of the data you've gathered has been stored either online and/or on your computer within a software program?  I think that's situation that many, if not most of us, are facing. Most of the data I've collected, for example, I've stored in Family Treemaker.   FTM does have a report format, but its reports don't appear contain all of the information that I've saved into FTM, and I would like to retain every bit of that information that I can.  And converting that information into a formal book is a daunting prospect.  Also, I would want to be able to update the information easily and as often as necessary (I'm envisioning an annual or semi-annual print out) so my descendants would have the most recent data I had available--but a book is static.

What would be the best way to preserve all of the data in print that would be efficient and clear, but not as a book? Something serviceable, but not necessarily smooth and pretty!  (This foregoing is another thing that has keep me up at night!) Any advice from you or anyone else on this question would be welcome.  

Re electronic genealogies, I believe that Family Search would be the best bet for attempting to preserve genealogies digitally because of its institutional affiliation with the Mormon church.  The Church has been, and I think is likely to continue to be a more stable entity than any online company--commercial companies come and go, but major religions tend to stick around longer.   Also, because of genealogy's central role in Mormonism the motivation for making sure the data is protected and continues to be available and accessible is greater than that of commercial enterprises.


Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey


Joan Parker
 

DVDs are not a long term option.
Today most laptops & desktops no longer include a DVD / CD reader. It is considered to be an obsolete options and is no longer supported.

Yes, that is true but an external DVD player can be bought (mine from Best Buy).  I've had mine for about two years and it works very well and is inexpensive.. I also bought much earlier an external hard drive.  


Joan Parker
Past President/Archivist
JGS of Greater Miami, Inc.
1) GOLDBERG/ GOULD, GOODSTEIN/GUDSTEIN, BERGER, GERBER/CRAWFORD, JAGODA-Lipno, Plonsk, Plock, Poland-Russia; Warsaw, Poland-Russia; Galveston, TX; Bronx and Brooklyn, NY, Portland, OR, Los Angeles/Hollywood, CA.
2)  PARKER/PINKUS, WINOGRAD, (GERSHO-BEROVNA?)., R0SEN, -Brest (Litovsk), Belarus; Grodno, Russia; Bronx and Brooklyn, NY. WEISS, NEIKRUG, DEL PINO--Brooklyn, NY.  RABWIN--Hollywood, CA, Salt Lake City, UT. CLAYTON-California.
3) GELFAND, KRITZOFF, KATZ, TROCK --Berezin/Bresin, Kodima, Minsk, Belarus, Bronx, NY, Miami and Miami Beach, FL.



YaleZuss@...
 

Like anything reproducible you want to preserve, the best approach is diversification, i.e., multiple copies on paper, on the computer, on a service, etc.  Another place to preserve your data is by sending it periodically to family members who have expressed an interest in it.  That gives you copies on other computers and/or hard copy in other places.

I developed my own formatter for my trees, so I can print it out as hard copy or to a .pdf which can then be sent to my mailing list of relatives.  At the request of various cousins, I don't post it online.  I have one chart and mailing list for each of my great-grandparents; anyone descended from any of them who has expressed interest gets a copy of any tree on which (s)he appears. 
 
There are about two dozen copies of each of the trees floating around in different combinations of the US, Europe, Israel, South America, and the Pacific.  Barring simultaneous loss of interest by all of these people, or an Andromeda Strain-type pathogen, the only remaining contingency not addressed is earth being struck by an asteroid.  I'm working on that.
 
Yale Zussman


David Mason
 

Richard Werbin –

 

External CD/DVD drives for laptops and desktops remain an option.  Plus most desktops still have 5.25” bays, plus SATA power and data connectors, so internal drives are easily added. 

 

If the day arrives when you need to move to a system without these options, then it’s time to copy data to some other medium.

 

Meanwhile, I would certainly want long-lived storage that I can retain (several copies) and easily distribute additional copies, that does not heavily depend on “the kindness of strangers”.  Neither magnetic nor “flash” media are reliable enough for the long haul. 

 

Archival paper -- printed with toner rather than ink – is another option, but it isn’t reliably machine-readable.  I have used OCR for both English and Russian text.  The output has ALWAYS needed careful proofing and correction.

 

-David Mason


Marcel Apsel
 

I am also using FamilyTreeMkaker and regularly make an Outline Descendant report on paper.  But there is a possibility to add or create new fields on the report.  With the facts windows.  I have not done it yet with the 2017 version, but on older versions it worked properly.

 

Marcel Apsel

Antwerpen, Belgium


rebasolomon
 

FamilySearch Update: I have been following up on the suggestion to put my trees in Family Search‘s special Archival area. As far as I can determine, this area is called IGI-International Genealogical Index. In the past, it accepted LDS and other family trees for archiving. It has NOT ACCEPTED NEW TREES since 2010 when the entire index was assembled and became part of Legacy’s collections. 
If I am incorrect and you know of a different FamilySearch archive still available out there, please let us all know. 
Reba Harris Solomon, New York


rebasolomon
 

Dear Yale-
I agree so strongly. Diversification is a MUST!

I have also sent my trees to cousins, printed out and mailed, and I maintain a list of interested parties for each branch. Updated trees were sent in .pdf but I doubt that a single one of those got printed as each is over 100 pages, including my source copies of original documents.

I will leave a printed copy of each tree with each of my children (though no one has asked 😢.)

We almost did have the asteroid this spring, but thankfully I think I still have time to find a free online archive. 

Reba Harris Solomon, New York


rebasolomon
 

Here’s something different as a written long-term solution: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
https://www.loc.gov/rr/genealogy/gifts.html
I haven’t read it through thoroughly, but it seems that if you print out on archival paper with margins for binding, they will do the rest. It’s not searchable, for that I’m still looking for the online archive, but it is a good solid place for a written copy with documents and photos. 

Reba Harris Solomon, New York


JPmiaou@...
 

Reba, the Genealogies upload is hidden at the bottom of the Search - Genealogies page.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/family-trees

Click the button labeled "Submit Tree" to get started.

Julia
./\ /\
.>*.*<


Joyaa Antares
 

The Guild of One Name Studies is a good option for some researchers.  A key feature of the Guild's work is sharing and preservation - see  https://one-name.org/guild-sharing/.  Of course, spouses surnames etc. form a part of the database.
Sincerely, Joyaa ANTARES
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
___________________________
Researching ZAUSMER, ZOUSMER, ZESMER, CHOUSMER, CHAUSMER, TSOUZMER etc, MARCUS, DAVIDOFF in Polangen, Kretinga, Darbenai, Libau, Riga, Memel
SCHORR, SCHERZER, JURIS and DAWID in Buckaczowce, Ottynia, Nadworna, and Kolomyya
ZUNDER in Buckaczowce and Ivano-Frankivsk
KEMPNER in Berlin, Lodz, Warszawa and London

 


Joan Parker
 

True, most laptops or desktops of today no longer have a DVD built-in slot, but many stores sell USB DVD portable attachments as well as USB external hard drives. I have both and they work very well.
Joan Parker
Past President/Archivist
JGS of Greater Miami, Inc.
1) GOLDBERG/ GOULD, GOODSTEIN/GUDSTEIN, BERGER, GERBER/CRAWFORD, JAGODA-Lipno, Plonsk, Plock, Poland-Russia; Warsaw, Poland-Russia; Galveston, TX; Bronx and Brooklyn, NY, Portland, OR, Los Angeles/Hollywood, CA.
2)  PARKER/PINKUS, WINOGRAD, (GERSHO-BEROVNA?)., R0SEN, -Brest (Litovsk), Belarus; Grodno, Russia; Bronx and Brooklyn, NY. WEISS, NEIKRUG, DEL PINO--Brooklyn, NY.  RABWIN--Hollywood, CA, Salt Lake City, UT. CLAYTON-California.
3) GELFAND, KRITZOFF, KATZ, TROCK --Berezin/Bresin, Kodima, Minsk, Belarus, Bronx, NY, Miami and Miami Beach, FL.



dennisaron@...
 

Here is an excerpt of an article I wrote on the subject:

Preserving family history research

Many of us, as we age, think about how all the work we have put into researching and documenting our families will have value for future generations.  One easy solution is to pass on the desktop computer software and family trees to the next generation.  You can pass on your passwords for the online genealogy web sites.  That’s fine if you have a next generation that not only cares, but is willing to put in the time and energy to understand what you’re passing on.  My kids are overwhelmed with the responsibility of parenting their kids and earning a living, especially in this time of COVID.  It’s not going to happen.  My brother’s kids will be in the same situation.  Will my grandchildren be interested?  Who knows?  So, I’m faced with no comfort that anyone will take over. 

I’m also faced with the concern that the technology currently supporting my family tree will become obsolete while no one is paying attention to it.  We are all faced with this.  I felt some urgency to resolve this issue while I could.

A major focus of my research documents the impact of the Holocaust on my family.  My family tree includes documentation of over 1,500 family Holocaust victims who are shown in the context of their families. 

The tree includes almost 500 photos of Holocaust victims and images of over 60 Theresienstadt death reports. 


I had to find a way to preserve these memories.  I considered my options:

1.     Put the contents of my tree onto a website that will keep it available and guide it through changes in technology over the generations.  A couple come to mind:

o   Beit Hatfutsot, The Museum of the Jewish People in Jerusalem has the ability to accept a gedcom file of a tree, load it onto their system and make it available online, keeping private any information on living people.  They will even permit you to send periodic updates.  I will probably end up using this option. https://dbs.bh.org.il/

o   JewishGen offers the Family Tree of the Jewish People which essentially is the same idea as Beit Hatfutsot.  I would expect someday they would merge.  I don’t know if JewishGen can take updates to submitted trees. https://www.jewishgen.org/gedcom/

o   Geni.com has the goal of its users combining to build a single world family tree, not just for Jewish families.  Thus, your tree could get combined with that of others. https://www.geni.com/

2.       Contribute PDF reports documenting my family to a museum relevant to my family.  Here again, some come to mind:

o   The Leo Baeck Institute in New York and London is devoted to the history of German-speaking Jews. Since all of my documented ancestry is German this would be a good choice.

o   The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.  Since much of my research has been on the impact of the Holocaust on my family, this would also be a good fit.

o   Yad Vashem in Jerusalem for the same reason.

o   The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, DC.

I’m sure there are other options, but I was satisfied with these.

I developed a report format that I believed would do the job, so option 2 was the route I would take. Now, which museum?  I wanted an institution that has the financial support and political stability to maintain its collection for many generations.

Fortunately, I have a cousin who has worked at Yad Vashem.  I put the problem to her.  Her paraphrased response:  “Of course, I have to say Yad Vashem, but if I were you I would select the Washington museum. You’re an American and it’s much closer to you than Yad Vashem. It also receives significant funding from the United States Government. Thus it is economically stable and not in the middle of perpetual threat from other countries.” 

Right now, the US government provides about 50% of the museum’s funding; the remainder primarily is from contributions.  I had my answer.  USHMM became my choice.


Digital reports of all my ancestral lines totaling thousands of pages were recently accepted into USHMM’s permanent collection.  They will not be available online, but will be available to researchers in the museum.  I am satisfied that documentation of my family history is likely to survive many generations.

But, I have not given up on family members continuing the research.  I wanted this research to be in their hands as well.  Over my years of research and networking, I have collected email addresses of many family members.  I have a mailing list for each ancestral line that has between 17 and 80 email addresses per family line.  For each ancestral line, I sent out an email to each person with a link to that family’s Family Reference report. 

I received no reply from a majority of my cousins.  Not everyone is interested in their family history.  However, I was pleased that these documents led come cousins to send me corrections and additions.  They also sent pictures.  I was especially pleased that some sent their family trees and emails of others in the family that I had not met.

The Family Reference Report

Each of these reports has the same format, adjusted as necessary to portray any unique characteristics.  Below as an example is the table of contents for my Heinemann Family ancestral line.

  • ·       The family introduction gives the size of the family, a summary of its losses in the Holocaust and acknowledges others whose research had been important sources for me.
  • ·       Notable family members are just that.  This family’s notables include a Hollywood script writer, a novelist, a leader in England’s undercover Special Operations Executive in France, a scientist/artist, the victim of an 1875 multiple slaying and a discoverer of documents and art in post-war Germany (not a Monuments Man).
  • ·       The Holocaust sections are self-evident from their titles: Victims, victim photos and documents, those whose fate in the Holocaust has not been determined.
  • ·       The Family Album is just that
  • ·       Family Locations is a Location Index for all events recorded for family members
  • ·       The Niedenstein section describes the family’s home town with a narrative on the town’s Jewish community and photos.
  • ·       The family reports are an outline register and a full family register including all notes, articles and obituaries for individuals.
  • ·       The last chapter "A Brief History of the German Country Jews" was written by a UCLA history professor (also a cousin) as an Introduction to a book recently published in Germany on some small town Jewish communities.  Since some family branches have long been in the states, today’s relatives have heard little or no information about where they came from.  This article provides them with an understanding of Germany their ancestors lived in.

These reports were prepared with out of the box features of Family Tree Maker desktop genealogy software.  However, setting my tree up to take advantage of these features was challenging to figure out.  It was worth the work; I’m very pleased with the final product.


Dennis Aron


rebasolomon
 

WOW!  What a well thought out approach and diversified plan of action. Our thinking is along the same lines, but I am far behind you. Thank you so much for this response.

Reba Harris Solomon, New York


Emily Rosenberg
 

I would suggest for Yale Zussman and others who are sharing with cousins that you maintain a list or database of those you share with noting their relationship to you and their contact information and perhaps contact for their next generation. This gives them more ways to find each when you are no longer here running the whole project.  Depending on privacy concerns this could be included with the materials you give to each branch or could stay with your personal papers and be prominently labeled with importance of sending it out in the future.

Emily Rosenberg


Susan stone
 


What would be the best way to preserve all of the data in print that would be efficient and clear, but not as a book? Something serviceable, but not necessarily smooth and pretty!  (This foregoing is another thing that has keep me up at night!) Any advice from you or anyone else on this question would be welcome.  

Re electronic genealogies, I believe that Family Search would be the best bet for attempting to preserve genealogies digitally because of its institutional affiliation with the Mormon church.  The Church has been, and I think is likely to continue to be a more stable entity than any online company--commercial companies come and go, but major religions tend to stick around longer.   Also, because of genealogy's central role in Mormonism the motivation for making sure the data is protected and continues to be available and accessible is greater than that of commercial enterprises.

Erika...Everything you said is what I am thinking about...a book is static.  But it's better than nothing to give to relatives.  AND..what a conundrum about printing portions for each part of my tree!  I have Ancestry.com famiy tree but I think I will add it to Family Search.  Here's something I never thought I would have to say..."I hope the Mormons are around a long, long time!".

Susan Stone
Evanston, IL


James
 

Please remember that computer printers produce paper documents that also are not like printed books using real ink that soak into the paper, rather they are bonded on top of the paper. These "surface bonded" print outs are not very permanent!

James Castellan
Rose Valley, PA