It is the First Day of the Month: Back Up Your Genealogy Files

BackUpYourGenealogyFilesIt is the first day of the month. It’s time to back up your genealogy files. Then test your backups!

Actually, you can make backups at any time. However, it is easier and safer if you have a specific schedule. The first day of the month is easy to remember, so I would suggest you back up your genealogy files at least on the first day of every month, if not more often.

Of course, you might want to back up more than your genealogy files. Family photographs, your checkbook register, all sorts of word processing documents, email messages, and much more need to be backed up regularly. Why not do that on the first day of each month?


What is currently the most effective way to completely backup an online family tree, including all attachments and not just a gedcom, from a site like For some time, I relied on FTM but am becoming very concerned by so many reports of damage caused during syncing. Some claim that if you do all work online the sync is “one-way” and thus immune from damage but my study of published complaints includes many reports to the contrary. So how do you truly and securely backup an online database in a manner equivalent to the simple ritual of backing up hard disks?


    —> So how do you truly and securely backup an online database in a manner equivalent to the simple ritual of backing up hard disks?

    I suspect there are at least 2 or 3 different ways of backing up genealogy data you have contributed to web sites. However, the method I would use requires the web site to also have the capability of downloading your data at any time in the form of a GEDCOM file. Simply download that GEDCOM file frequently (I recommend at least once a month) and then save it in two or three different places, such as on your computer’s hard drive, a copy on a flash drive, a copy saved on a file storage service someplace in the cloud, and so on.

    If the online genealogy site you are using doesn’t offer the capability to download GEDCOM files, then you have to ask yourself, “Why am I using this site?”


Dick, thank you for taking the time to reply to my Comment/Question. Yes, downloads gedcom files, but my understanding has always been that gedcoms do not include attached records. So regardless of whether I use or MyHeritage, isn’t it true that the gedcom downloaded from either does not include records I attach? Or does MyHeritage somehow download attached records?


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