USGenWeb is Partially Down

The USGenWeb site seems to be having problems. I have received several email messages claiming the site was down. When I looked at it, most of the individual state web pages were working but with a few exceptions. The USGenWeb home page at http://usgenweb.org states:

Many USGenWeb state and county sites are hosted on RootsWeb sites.

That server is undergoing problems and sites will be unavailable until RootsWeb’s problems are resolved.

Please watch for updated information posted at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com.

We apologize for this inconvenience and request your patience.

Thank you.

14 Comments

Rootsweb.Ancestry.com is my go-to site for some many reasons. I hope it is fixed soon.

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Note that there are also quite a few USGenWeb state and county sites which are hosted on other servers, and they will not be affected.

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I had problems accessing the WorldConnect database and search page today. It is also hosted by RootsWeb. I hope this isn’t the next casualty of ancestry.com’s pruning of expenses.

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    Yes, WorldConnect search has been down since at least Wednesday. I was also hoping that this was not Ancestry’s way of trying to force everyone to go to them. Everyday it has gotten worse. If you happen to find on Google a link to a page on WorldConnect, they were still opening right away, even though the WorldConnect search doesn’t work. Now if you find a link to a page, it “may” open after taking a long time. Without WorldConnect, I don’t know of anyplace that a person may upload a Gedcom. It is also the first place I always went to see what may be known of a person, as many uploads include a lot more information and sources (and easier to access) than on Ancestry.

    Liked by 1 person

It’s not just USGenWeb that is down. It is ALL of RootsWeb — the websites, mailing lists, message boards and everything else.

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    Not quite. At least some WorldConnect trees are still accessible, albeit painfully slowly. I just confirmed this by drilling down to particular individuals on two different WorldConnect trees I use.

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I share the concern of other commenters — that this is Ancestry’s way to get rid of RootsWeb. That would be a major disaster. People do still use WorldConnect; and the Mail List Archives are an invaluable resource where transcriptions and references to original sources were posted in the early years, one of the ways of countering the “creative” trees often found on Ancestry itself. Call me paranoid, but what they did to GenForum stands as a sad example.

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Aaaah, the beauty of cloud computing. Just imagine if you were relying on the site to store your genealogy files and couldn’t get to them for days, weeks, ever.

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    —> Just imagine if you were relying on the site to store your genealogy files and couldn’t get to them for days, weeks, ever.

    Well, you do have backups, right?

    If you ever depend upon only one copy of something, you are at constant risk. It makes no difference where you store that information: in the cloud, in your computer’s hard drive, in a flashdrive, or even printed on paper. Having one copy means that you are always at risk of losing that one copy due to hardware failure, software problems, fire, flood, or anything else that destroys data. Storing information in the cloud is no more secure and no less secure than storing it anywhere else.

    As always, L.O.C.K.S.S. (Lots Of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe.)

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    Dick Eastman, I completely agree with you that the more copies and backups a person has the better. However I still remember how you seemed to be enthusiastic and you were somewhat putting down of others, when it came to Ancestry’s announcement that they would no longer sell Family Tree Maker, and that eventually Ancestry’s tree-sync feature will no longer work. How can a person make copies of their data if there is no longer a way to even make copies ? Instead will we have to do the data entry two or three times ? As time goes by there are fewer and fewer baskets available to put our eggs into – and this worries many people greatly. None of us are going to live forever, and this continuous disappearance of options means some or many copies of our work may eventually vanish into thin air.

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    —> How can a person make copies of their data if there is no longer a way to even make copies ?

    That is easy to do. Family Tree Maker did not “evaporate” on the day that Ancestry stopped selling it. The program continued to work and still continues to work today. It probably will stop working someday but all users have months, if not years, in which to create GEDCOM files of all the data they have in Family Tree Maker.

    The same is true for data stored on Ancestry.com. From now until January 1, 2017, any Family Tree Maker user can synchronize his or her family tree with Ancestry.com. Once completed, all the data resides both online AND in Family Tree Maker and it will only take 2 or 3 minutes to make a GEDCOM file containing all their genealogy information.

    If you do not use Family Tree Maker and ONLY have your data in Ancestry.com, there is still no problem. You can download all your data in Ancestry.com right now in GEDCOM format. Full instructions are given at http://help.ancestry.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/472/~/uploading-and-downloading-gedcom-files-on-ancestry

    So you always have options. Even today, you have multiple ways of getting your information out of Ancestry.com and saving it, then later importing it into any other genealogy program of your choice.

    Of course, I would always recommend saving copies of those GEDCOM files in multiple locations.

    —> None of us are going to live forever, and this continuous disappearance of options means some or many copies of our work may eventually vanish into thin air.

    Rarely, especially not for genealogists who are prepared for “sudden disappearances.” Actually, I would hope that EVERY genealogist would make monthly or more often backups of all genealogy data, both in their genealogy program’s native format as well as in GEDCOM files. I do.

    But I do not wait until there is a crisis before I make backup copies. I make copies every month, BEFORE there is a problem. I still have my backups from 2008 and every month since then. If my favorite genealogy program suddenly disappears tomorrow, I have multiple backups stored in multiple formats in multiple locations. The same is true for my checkbook program, my income taxes (although only in one format: PDF), all my family photographs, my insurance documents, and much, much more.

    L.O.C.K.S.S. – “Lots Of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe.”

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    Dick,
    It is in my Outlook Task List to make backups at the end of every month. And thanks for the monthly reminders you send out.

    But this whole situation raises another question. If you are storing your gen data in the cloud AND using their proprietary application to edit the data, that application will be unavailable, as well. This stresses your point about making a GEDCOM backup of your data and keeping it locally and on a different cloud site (like dropbox.) AND testing the GEDCOM by importing it into some desktop software, examining the import error log and printing off a couple Family Group Sheets for some families with a lot of members, events and sources to make sure everything is OK.

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Is Rootsweb still down?

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    According to the info at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ :

    We’re currently experiencing a temporary website outage due to RootsWeb hardware failure. Rest assured, our development and web operations teams are busy working to securely restore the site as quickly as possible.

    Our initial expectation is to have the site back up and running on or around March 15, 2016.

    We apologize for the disruption and thank-you for your patience. We will provide other updates here as we have them.

    Like

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