Data Backup Day September 1, 2009

flash drive

You put years of time and effort into your genealogy research but how much time do you devote to backing up your data? When was the last time you went through those data folders and made sure you had a backup copy either on a CD, DVD, flash drive or uploaded to an online service?

Backing up your data is essential since hard drives fail, laptops are stolen, and some media like CDs don’t last forever. The first day of each month has been designated as Data Backup Day as a way to motivate our readers to at least think about their data and the consequences of not having access to it.

So here’s our way of nagging you. We won’t post a story about someone’s data loss – we’ve either experienced it or have heard from others who have. Do it for your data and the ability to pass your research on to someone else in your family. Just do it.

Data Types To Backup

The main focus is your research database but think about backing up these items as well:

  • Internet favorites and bookmarks
  • emails
  • photos and scanned documents
  • blog posts and templates


Here are some links that will help you determine the way to backup your data as well as some personal stories from other genealogy bloggers about data loss:

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

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