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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Entries in family tree university (12)


    Go To (Genealogy) School this Weekend

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    Who says you can’t be two places at one time? This weekend I’ll be one of 15 presenters for the Fall 2015 Virtual Genealogy Conference presented by Family Tree University online with video classes in genetic genealogy, research strategies, genealogy technology, and ethnic research. I will also be presenting in-person at the Whittier Area Genealogical Society monthly meeting in California.

    If you can’t make it to Southern California, join me for the Fall Virtual Conference and save $20 on registration with an exclusive coupon for readers of The Family Curator. Use coupon code VCDENISE20 when you register to receive the savings.

    Online learning is fun, convenient, and motivating. Get more out of the weekend by participating in the live chats or message board discussions. Expert genealogists will be available to answer questions, and you can download all of the video classes for later viewing. You don’t have to show up at a specific time to participate; just check in during the conference September 18-20, 2015 for full access. A great “Swag Bag” of freebies from is also included with registration.

    Remember to use coupon code VCDENISE20 to save $20 on registration. 


    Back Up Your Research: Paper and Digital Webinar

    Digital backups are easier than ever with new software, tools, and services. Join me Tuesday, July 28 for a live webinar Backup Your Research: Print and Digital featuring easy backup solutions for every genealogist. Whether you want to maintain complete control with local backup storage or automate storage in the Cloud and forget about it, there’s a backup program for you.

    Backup Your Research Webinar

    I admit that I’m more than a little paranoid about losing my research data, especially the hundreds of TIFF images I’ve carefully scanned from my personal family archive. I use a combination of local storage on external hard drives and automated cloud storage to provide peace-of-mind backups of all my data.

    Unfortunately, our family has learned the hard way that it’s way too easy to lose files in a digital disaster. The Number One culprit seems to be that handy “Delete” button on the keyboard. Have you ever done it? Copied some files from one location to another, deleted photos, and then discovered that the copy didn’t quite finish? Ugh. Lost photos. That’s what happened to my sister. She lost years of family photos, and when she turned to Facebook to recover some images, she was devastated to discover that Facebook saves radically optimized versions. Those files were fine for web sharing but weren’t the quality needed for photo books and printing. 

    Double-check your backup program to be sure you follow the Backup 3-2-1 maxim:

    3 copies

    2 different media

    1 copy offsite

    My favorite routine includes two different external hard-drives plus Cloud storage. And I always keep the original paper photographs or documents — one more copy is another chance for long-term preservation. I first heard Curt Wichter from the Allen County Public Library mention this great advice:

    LOCKSS — Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe

    If you're looking for solutions and strategies to safeguard your genealogy research--- paper and digital, I hope you'll join me at the Family Tree University live webinar Backup Your Research: Print and Digital. Click HERE to register today.


    Organize Your Genealogy NOW!

    Organize Your Genealogy In a Week

    Save 20% on Any Course at Family Tree University with Offer Code FTUCOURSE. Expires 03/10/2015.

    January is National Get Organized Month, and if you are looking for a boost to your genealogy organizing resolutions, check out Family Tree University's upcoming  Organize Your Genealogy in a Week online workshop where I will be on-hand to answer questions and share tips to help you be an organized genealogist in 2015. 

    A new year brings out the best of intentions in all of us -- I know that I'm looking at a pile of papers and a flash drive filled with digital images from my recent trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. And everything needs to be labeled, filed, and organized so I can use this great information in my family history research. My goal is to process this new batch of material before this Friday, when we'll be talking more about organizing your genealogy at the FTU workshop.

    You can access the Organize Your Genealogy in a Week workshop anytime, anywhere, from your computer, tablet, or smartphone January 23rd through January 31st, 2015. The course features:

    • Six 30 to 60 minute instructional videos, and two written lessons on organizing your digital and paper genealogy. 
    • Advice from expert Denise May Levenick, author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes, (that's me!) on how to organize your research, and share your quandaries with fellow participants.
    • Unlimited viewing: Your all-access pass gets you into all videos throughout the week—you can even download the videos to watch again later or view ones you missed.
    • Make your own schedule: Because the classes are pre-recorded, you don’t have to show up at a specific time to catch the ones you want—or choose between sessions you’re interested in.
    • Message board discussions: Ask questions and share ideas to apply the research strategies you learn.
    • Convenience: Log in anywhere you can connect to the internet, at whatever times work for you.

    If you've been struggling with an avalanche papers, digital files, photos, memorabilia, and research notes, you'll find practical strategies to help you conquer the mess and find more time for your research.

    Sign up today for this one-week organizing course and Save 20% with this special coupon code:

    Save 20% on Any Course at Family Tree University with Offer Code FTUCOURSE. Expires 03/10/2015.

    And, in the meantime, you can get ready for the workshop by checking out the latest issue of the Genealogy Insider where Editor Diane Haddad offers Tips from the Pros: Baby Steps to Organize Your Genealogy from my article in Family Tree Magazine May/June 2014 issue.


    Fire, Flood, Earthquake: Is Your Genealogy Safe?


    Learn how to protect your family history research before and after disaster strikes whether you're at risk from natural disaster, home disaster or a computer crash in the September FamilyTree Magazine Podcast when I talk with with Lisa Louise Cooke about my article in the current issue of FamilyTree magazine, "Your Genealogy Disaster Plan." 

    Last week I shared disaster-preparedness tips "Prepare Your Family History to Survive Fire Season" prompted by the California wildfires that were burning in my sister's former hometown of Sliverado Canyon, California. Here are a few more tips you can hear more about in the September FamilyTree Magazine Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke.

    Before Disaster: Know Your Risks


    Gather important numbers
    Practice prevention
    Prioritize keepsakes
    Digitize to safeguard
    Get an insurance checkup
    Back up computer files
    Save passwords
    Practice smart storage
    Make a genealogy grab and go list
    Create a genealogy disaster kit

    After a Disaster: Be Ready to Salvage Your Treasures

    Assess the damage
    Collect scattered items
    Contact your insurance agent
    Salvage wet photos for later attention


    Family Tree University Fall Virtual Conference Discount

    If you can't attend the Federation of Genealogical Society Conference in Texas next week, maybe you'd like a little genealogy education from home instead!

    FamilyTree University's Fall Virtual Genealogy Conference September 19 - 21, 2014 offers three days of on-demand webinar classes and live chats featuring: genealogy technology, research strategies, and ethnic research. Register now and save $40 Save 20% on Any Course at Family Tree University with Offer Code FTUCOURSE.

    I'll be presenting two sessions on working with digital images:

    Organizing Your Digital Images -- Do you have digital photos and scanned images scattered across your digital devices? Learn how to set up a system where finding and archiving digital pictures is fast, fun and pain-free

    5 Easy DIY Genealogy Book Projects: Showcase Your Research in Style -- Creating a genealogy book is a goal of many family historians: We want to capture our family story in a form that can be passed down from one generation to the next. Try these five projects to create a book, even if you’re not a writer.

    The full program includes classes in:

    Genealogy Technology

    Top Free Websites for Obituaries, Shannon Combs-Bennett

    Software Secrets for Every Genealogist, Lisa A. Alzo

    Top Free Websites for Vital Records, David A. Fryxell

    Organizing Digital Images, Denise May Levenick

    Top 5 Undiscovered Family Tree Databases, Shannon Combs-Bennett

    5 Easy DIY Genealogy Book Projects, Denise May Levenick

    Research Strategies

    13 Obscure, Overlooked and Undiscovered Sources to Overcome Brick Walls, D. Joshua Taylor

    Top 10 Genealogy Traps to Avoid, Lisa A. Alzo

    Forensic Genealogy Crash Course, Catherine Desmarais

    10 Ways to Diagnose (and Treat) Errors in Your Research, Sunny Jane Morton

    Exploring Digital Newspapers on GenealogyBank, and Chronicling America, Nancy Hendrickson

    Ethnic Research

    Use the Web to Research German Records from Home, Michael Lacopo

    12 Best Websites for Eastern European Genealogy, Lisa A. Alzo

    Secrets to Tracing Scandinavian Ancestors, Diana Crisman Smith

    Google Translate Tutorial, Gena Philibert-Ortega

    SAVE $40 on Registration

    Save 20% on Any Course at Family Tree University with Offer Code FTUCOURSE.


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