Tips

Naming Traditions – how people named their children can help find them. Here are some tips about this method of research.

Early US Census Analyzer – get help with those early US censuses. Beginners, especially, will find this primer useful.

Google Search – try typing the name of your ancestor into a Google Search. Use quote marks to narrow your results: “George Allen Beard”. Using quotes will narrow your search to only results that contain EXACTLY what you typed. For that reason, it’s also good to search for alternative spellings: “George Allan Beard” and “George Allen Baird” and “George Allan Baird” and “George Beard” for example. You can further narrow your Google search with a date: “George Allen Beard”+”born 1856″. You may be pleasantly surprised with what you find this way.

FREE Automatic File Backups and Shares

Simply install Dropbox, copy your database to the Dropbox folder and then in your genealogy software's Options - File Locations, direct it to use the database in the Dropbox folder. For SugarSync, simply open SugarSync and tell it where your database, photos, etc. folders are on your computer.

Simply install Dropbox, copy your database to the Dropbox folder and then in your genealogy software’s Options – File Locations, direct it to use the database in the Dropbox folder. For SugarSync, simply open SugarSync and tell it where your database, photos, etc. folders are on your computer.

Dropbox 4.5 stars
The syncing program, Dropbox can be used to create an instant online backup of my database. I simply installed Dropbox, copied my RootsMagic database to my Dropbox folder and then in RootsMagic’s Options – File Locations, directed RootsMagic to use the database in the Dropbox folder. That means I always have a local copy and an online copy of my data because Dropbox immediately syncs my database whenever it is used/changed. I can also share my database with one or more other researchers in near-real time. With Dropbox, you must store your files in your computer’s Dropbox folder (created by the Dropbox software when you install it).

SugarSync 5 stars
Syncing program, SugarSync is similar in function to dropbox. SugarSync gives you far more online storage and is easier to use for Genealogical data backup and sharing. Basically, you tell SygarSync where your database, graphics, and other folders are located on your computer – you don’t have to make any changes to your genealogy software options. SugarSync also offers the option to share your database in near-real time. With SugarSync, you tell it where your files are and it automatically backs them up and shares them.

Google Drive4 stars
Google Drive is fairly easy to set up and use and has most of the basic functionality that Dropbox and SugarSync have. It’s still pretty new and although Google has produced some great online products, they also have a history of initiating good ideas and then later dropping them altogether – so caveat emptor on this one. With Google Drive, you must store your files in your computer’s Google Drive folder (created by the Google Drive software) – just like with Dropbox.