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Genealogy Tips & Tricks

A new page for genealogy tips and tricks submitted by our Boone County researchers. Have you discovered a "genealogy find" you'd like to pass along? Do you have a special way of researching, documenting or keeping track of your research? Do you have some good advice for using your genealogy research creatively at family reunions, some old photo tips or cemetery research advice? Do you have any suggestions or tips you can pass along regarding research in Boone County specifically?

Whatever your "pearls of wisdom" may be ... we'd love for you to share them with us! Please send them to me and I will add your comments below.

USB Flash Drive

I often use two different computers, a desktop and a laptop, each having my genealogy software program installed. An easy, handy way to do this, and be assured that each genealogy program on both computers always has the same *exact* information, is to use a USB Flash Drive, one of those tiny little "memory sticks" that plug into the USB port on the computer. After I've been on the road with the laptop entering information in FamilyTreeMaker I then "save" (backup) the Family File to the USB flash drive and use the current date when naming it. When I'm back home, I next plug the flash drive into the desktop PC and I "restore from backup" using the file on the flash drive. Now, both programs on each PC are updated and have the exact same data. If I now will be working on the desktop PC, I do the reverse before using the laptop again, using a new date/new name for the backup copy before doing a "restore" on the laptop.

Submitted by: T. Stover - September 2006

Synchronize Your Files

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

John Steinbeck
US novelist (1902 - 1968)
"The tip about using a USB flash drive is excellent, but if you have a good network connection between two PC's, it is much faster to do it over the network. I use a free file synchronizing program, (there are several good ones out there).

I have a profile set in the program to synchronize the folders on my laptop and desktop PC's where my genealogy program data files are located. I run the profile and it shows me which data file is newer, then I confirm the sync and it's done. The whole process is two mouse clicks and takes a few seconds to complete.

I've done this not only with my genealogy files, but financial and other important files for three years and have never had a corrupted database synchronizing this way. However, in the event a sync (or flash drive overwrite) DID corrupt both data files, always back them up to an external hard drive, CD, DVD, or other media at least weekly. It doesn't take long and could prevent the loss of many years of work!"

Submitted by: Mike Brenton - December 15, 2006

Note from County Coordinator: You can check or for some of those file synchronization programs mentioned above - Thanks Mike for the great tip!