Monday, January 12, 2015

Genealogy Insurance

It is the New Year and I have many genealogy goals for 2015!  I want to attend more conferences, speak at more conferences, finish a book, and finish my certification.

I worry about all my hard work being lost.  I worry that data will be lost, computers will crash, or pictures will be destroyed.  There is no amount of insurance that could ever replace all that I have gathered for my family.  So what to do?

In the past, I would make CD’s for each of my sisters.  The CD would have a GEDCOM file saved on it, any stories I had written, and all family pictures I had scanned.  They would be required to put it in a safe place.  I also had a copy I kept in a fire proof safe.  

These CD’s would quickly fall out of date as I was speedily adding to my family history.  CD’s don't last forever either!  They can become degraded over time depending on many factors.

And then I heard about “the Cloud”.  Google Cloud Storage is an Internet service to store data in Google's cloud.  Google Cloud Storage allows world-wide storing and retrieval of any amount of data and at any time. [1]

However, if you are just interested in using this for your personal things, you can use Google Drive. Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service offered by Google which provides user cloud storage, file sharing and collaborative editing. [2]

It is a virtual server of sorts.  A place out in internet land that you can save things like you would on your home computer.  You can access this information anywhere, anytime, and on any computer with just your user name and password.   Your house burns down and all your pictures are gone?  No problem…they are on the cloud.  Your computer crashes and you don’t have a backup thumb drive?  No problem…GEDCOM’s and pedigrees are on the cloud!

I use Google Drive.  It is free and it is pretty darn safe.  I am sure that many would worry that your things will be hacked or personal information can be found there, but it is secured by a password and considered one of the safest sites.  

So here is how to begin.  Start at  If you DO NOT already have a google account, follow these steps:

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3: 

Step 4: Click "Sign in" and use your email and password to open your account or begin here if you already have a google account:

Step 5:  Once you are signed in, click on the little box of squares in the top right corner:

Step 6:

Step 7:  You are now on Google Drive and it should look like the picture below.  Be sure to read the the screen shot on how to create a folder here:

Step 8: Once you have made the folders, you may upload to them like this:

Step 9: 

Step 10:

And there you have it!  You have learned to use the cloud via Google Drive.  Take some time to save your family history may be glad you did!

[1] definition of “google cloud storage”.
[2] definition of "google drive".

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