World Backup Day 2016 – How Safe Is Your Genealogy Data?

Do you have a backup plan for ALL of your genealogy data? Get ready for World Backup Day 2016 with special deals from Genealogy Bargains!

Today, March 31st, is World Backup Day! Don’t be an April Fool – make sure that not only your genealogy data is backed up and secure, but also make sure you are being “data smart!”  Remember last week’s announcement from Ancestry.com about lost data at RootsWeb? Here are some resources and FREEBIES you can use to start putting a comprehensive backup plan into action TODAY!

Freebies

  • Backing Up Your Genealogy Data – a free article by genealogy author and educator Thomas MacEntee on how to set up a data backup plan and a review of various backup options! Click here to download the PDF.

Digitization Options for Family Photos: Including Slides, Film Negatives, and Home Movies by Thomas MacEntee

  • Digitization Options for Family Photos: Including Slides, Film Negatives, and Home Movies – download this FREE e-book from Amazon Kindle* – “Are you sitting on a pile of old family photographs and wondering what is the best way to preserve them? What about boxes of family vacation slides, photo negatives or home movies? As more and more Baby Boomers take on the task of organizing family history materials, we’re uncertain about the best way to preserve these memories. And an over-abundance of technology doesn’t help! This short guide, Digitization Options for Family Photos: Including Slides, Film Negatives, and Home Movies, offers various ways to map out a plan and process for family media preservation.” Click here to download.

* Note: you DO NOT need a Kindle device to read free Kindle e-books. Click here to download the free Amazon Kindle App to read Kindle e-books on your tablet, smart phone or computer.

External Hard Drives

Save 41% on Western Digital 1TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive – normally $99.99, now just $59.00 and FREE SHIPPING for Amazon Prime members! This external hard drive is one of the most popular backup devices for genealogists – click here to shop! Via Amazon

Save 24% on Seagate Expansion 5TB Desktop External Hard Drive – normally $169.99, now just $129.99 and FREE SHIPPING for Amazon Prime members! For those who need more storage, this price works out to about $25 per terabyte! Click here to shop – via Amazon

USB Flash Drives

Save up to 40% on SanDisk Storage! Includes SD cards and flash drives – at amazing prices – via Amazon!

Backup Services

EXCLUSIVE! 80% off iDrive 1TB and 10TB plans! The 1TB plan is normally $59.50 a year, get your first year for only $11.99! iDrive offers automatic backup over multiple devices including tablets, mobile devices and more! Plus check out the new SmartDocs option which lets you scan important documents and set a reminder - like when a license or passport renewal is due! THIS OFFER IS TODAY ONLY! Click here to save - via iDrive.

  • EXCLUSIVE! 80% off iDrive 1TB and 10TB plans! The 1TB plan is normally $59.50 a year, get your first year for only $11.99! iDrive offers automatic backup over multiple devices including tablets, mobile devices and more! Plus check out the new SmartDocs option which lets you scan important documents and set a reminder – like when a license or passport renewal is due! THIS OFFER IS TODAY ONLY! Click here to save – via iDrive.

Family Photos, Movies and More!

Larsen Digital - save 20% on home movie to DVD transfer!

  • 20% Home Movie Film to DVD Transfers and MORE from Larsen Digital! SD 480×7220: 15¢ per foot (normal price is 19¢) and HD 1080×1920: 19¢ per foot (normal price is 24¢). Add MP4 digital files (highly recommend) for only $5 per disc.  The MP4 file will allow you to edit footage, cut out clips, and easily send files to friends & family! In addition, if files are transferred in HD, they can be saved to a Blu-Ray for $29.99. Larsen Digital also offers digital color correction for customers who feel that their film has begun to fade for 12¢ per foot. IMPORTANT: use promo code Thomas20. Expires April 21st. Click here to save – via Larsen Digital

Are you sitting on a collection of old 35mm slides, 8mm or 16mm home movies, or perhaps boxes of photo negatives? I hope you realize that the material breaks down over the years . . . that’s why it is so important to scan and digitize those materials as soon as possible. The Jumbl High-Resolution Scanner handles many media types and does not require a computer or software – you can scan right to its internal memory or memory card! Right now the Jumbl, which has high ratings, is 50% off at Amazon – only $99!

60% Off Jumbl Audio USB Portable Cassette Tape-to-MP3 Player Adapter with USB Cable - was $49.99, now just $19.99 - are you sitting on a collection of family history interviews on cassette tapes? Now is the time to convert those tapes to digital for safe keeping! Click here to shop - via Amazon

©2016, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

DNA Discovery Inspires Author to Create the First Fully-Illustrated Children’s Book about Legendary Irish King, Niall of the Nine Hostages

Author Lance McNeill embarks on a publishing project all based on a DNA test showing his relationship to legendary Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages.

[Editor’s Note: In this guest blog post, author Lance McNeill shares information about this amazing publishing project which started with a DNA test!]

Niall and the Stone of Destiny is the first ever fully-illustrated children’s book about the journey of renowned High King of Ireland, Niall of the Nine Hostages. Inspired by his FamilyTreeDNA test results linking him to Niall, author Lance MacNeill embarked upon months of research to uncover the legend of King Niall. Combining the historical evidence with Irish mythology and a bit of MacNeill’s own imagination, Niall and the Stone of Destiny is a unique work that both entertains children and engages them in their Irish heritage and ancestry. The book is available in both e-book and hardcover formats only to those who reserve their copy now through Kickstarter. Since the campaign’s launch at the beginning of March, nearly 50 people have reserved a copy. For many, it marks the trailhead of a long journey to understand their heritage. One Kickstarter backer said, “Since I know next to nothing about Irish history and Niall specifically, I thought I’d like to read your book and learn a bit more about my ancestors’ history”.

Indeed, many of us have that same desire. For more than 1,500 years, the story of King Niall was thought to be pure Irish mythology. According to legend, Niall was born in the late fourth century AD and reigned as the High King of Ireland until sometime in the early fifth century. In 2006, an article was published by a research team at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Their research provided DNA evidence that a common lineage from the Irish Dynasty UÍ Néill, which translated literally means “descendants of Niall,” did in fact originate sometime during the fifth Century AD. The study found that as many as 1 out of 5 people living in Northern Ireland are descendants of Niall and estimates close to 3 million people worldwide can also claim this royal lineage. With this groundbreaking DNA discovery, King Niall is being propelled from the annals of folklore into the books of Irish history and genealogy.

When author Lance MacNeill received his DNA results, he set out to discover as much as he could find about Niall. “He’s actually mentioned quite a bit in historical records, as well as many mythical tales,” MacNeill said. While conducting his research, he thought how special it would have been to learn the stories of King Niall growing up as a boy, but was surprised when he searched for children’s books about Niall and found that none exist. So, he set about to create his own.

“I hope that this story captures the interest of the next generation of Niall’s descendants and engages them in their Irish heritage and genealogy.”  The book is great for all ages to enjoy, especially for children ages 6 – 10. The map of Ireland below shows how Ireland was divided back in the time of Niall. Ireland was divided into 4 provinces + a 5th neutral province (like D.C) where the High King of Ireland ruled. To learn more about the story of King Niall, visit the book’s Facebook page or join the 50+ other people who have reserved a copy of Niall and the Stone of Destiny. The Kickstarter campaign ends April 18th and if the project fails to reach its goal, there will be no publication run.

DNA Discovery Inspires Author to Create the First Fully-Illustrated Children’s Book about Legendary Irish King, Niall of the Nine Hostages

About the Author

Lance McNeill is a native of Austin, Texas. He holds two Masters Degrees, one from Texas State University and the other from the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs. He’s been writing poetry and memoirs since he was a young boy and has devoted countless hours to researching his family tree on Ancestry.com and FamilyTreeDNA.com. Until discovering his connection to King Niall, Lance had hit a roadblock on his Scotch-Irish ancestry with Elder George McNiel, who came to the United States from Scotland around 1750.

Witch Hunts, Mob Mentality and the Online Genealogy Community

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Witch Hunts, Mob Mentality and the Online Genealogy Community

Must social media and using it to highlight issues in the genealogy community always turn from civil discussion into a witch hunt? How do you balance the airing of diverse views and the input of many voices? In addition, shouldn’t pointing out the actions of a community member rise above personal attacks and a mob mentality?

These are questions that I am always struggling with as I use social media on a daily basis as part of my business model and in building an online following within the genealogy industry. However, at certain times, such as with the recent Barry J. Ewell plagiarism discussion from late last week, the need for answers becomes much more pressing.

Separating Actions from the Personal

It has been disheartening to see a variety of comments and reactions that are not only counter-productive to discussion and change, but also make the online genealogy community appear as if it thrives in an environment of drama and turmoil. We do not need comments that demonize a person and make him or her less human. We do not need comments hinting at physical attacks. Would you say these things face to face to someone? Consider that when you are part of a discussion online. It is not easy and even I sometimes forget to ask myself when typing my words: “Is it kind? Is it true? Is it helpful?”

Try to separate the act from the person perpetuating it. Try to put yourself in his or her shoes and ask yourself, “Why do they do this? Could I ever be in a situation where I would do the same thing? I wonder what they are going through right now?”

Avoiding Generalities and Stereotypes

I am convinced that when a discussion is filled with the perpetuation of generalities and stereotypes, it is due to intellectual laziness and a lack of information. Many people just want the easy way out yet still feel they are contributing to a discussion. Having personally been on the receiving end of stereotyping much of my life, I know not just how harmful this can be, but also how it can quash meaningful discussion and cloud the issues.

I have seen the recent plagiarism plague attributed to members of the LDS church and their role in the genealogy community. Nonsense. Utter nonsense.

No one should ever need to defend his or her faith. In addition, I am more than happy to step up and defend my Mormon brothers and sisters. Although from a faith perspective I may not agree with everything in terms of their beliefs and practices, I do need to say that not all Mormons are plagiarists as someone recently suggested. Why anyone would say such a thing is beyond me. Whenever I hear new genealogists go on an anti-LDS riff, I will always be there to defend what the Church does for genealogy. Our community would be nothing without their contributions.

Online Communities Are Much Like Our Ancestors’ Communities

In my family history research, I often focus on the towns and cities where my ancestors lived. How did the community react to problems, how did they discuss issues, how did they handle dissent? Unfortunately, I have found a history of witch hunts, mob mentality and running someone out of town because they did not subscribe to that community’s norms. At times and even now, it is called community survival. You do not want scam artists or thieves to thrive, so you call them out and warn others. As a community, you develop a system of consequences tied to actions.

However, I have also seen the concept of redemption in these very same communities. Someone who has broken the rules or has committed certain types of actions may have been shunned, but then is welcomed back into the fold. This usually happens when a person has taken responsibility for their actions, worked to make amends, and going forward worked towards positive community contributions.

I am a big believer in redemption, being someone who has done some stupid things, especially in the genealogy community. I am human and some of my past actions have had consequences. So what do you do? If you want to stay in the community you “name it and claim it” and then make amends and move on. You try to be a better person than you were the day before and add more to the pot than what you take from it. I think that is all we can expect from anyone in a community.

Conclusion

Let me make it clear that I still subscribe to the “there’s room at the table for everyone” mantra that has been a hallmark of my participation in the genealogy industry. This includes dissenting voices, even those that might run counter to established practices and even laws and regulations.

With the current discussion on plagiarism, if anyone would like to make a strong, competent argument for using the content of others without proper citation or attribution, I am still willing to listen. However, offering excuses and non-responses is not a way to make a case. I am willing to accept that in the growing digital world, how we look at content usage will change over time, and perhaps not adhere to practices developed in a world dominated by printed works. However, in order to evaluate another perspective, again, we need solid, well-researched information for a discussion to move forward and not devolve into finger-pointing, insults and personal attacks.

What I am asking for now is a focus on the issues and that we work towards positive solutions. Remember that words have meaning and consequences and that despite the impersonal aspect of social media, that there are real people with real lives and livelihoods behind those avatars and account names. You can still be critical yet be kind. You can still discuss issues and listen to other views. If I did not believe in the power of social media to create change, I would have stopped using it a long time ago.

©2016, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.