Tag Archives: digital photos

Where have my photos gone?

29 Jun

This should have been the next installment of my series of Sussex Day 2012 posts, but I turned on my PC this evening only to find my external hard drive sitting there doing nothing.

I am pretty sure that it is a power supply problem, which will hopefully be fixed in a matter of days thanks to Amazon, but it is nevertheless rather frustrating not being able to get at my photos.

It is especially frustrating because I hadn’t made a backup copy of these photos yet. I would normally have burnt a copy of them onto a DVD by now but I have been a bit lazy over the last few months.

Even if it is a complete hard drive failure then I won’t have lost anything of great significance, I have alternative backups of important stuff, so no need to panic or lose any sleep tonight.

It probably is a good reminder to make sure my backups are done on a regular basis.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Setting an organisational deadline

3 May

I have decided that this month (May) I am going to get the family history folder on my hard drive organised. This won’t be at the expense of any new research, and if anything it will encourage more research as I try and tie up loose ends.

It doesn’t really require a huge amount of resources, just a bit of time and discipline. It will mainly involve renaming files (standardising) and updating Family Historian.

Most of my family history folders don’t contain a lot of files, they mainly have census images and other documents. They also contain what I would call scraps. These are small text files that I have used to quickly capture information that I have come across as I go about my research.

For example, whilst I might have been looking for a baptism record for an ancestor, I would probably encounter baptisms for their siblings as well. In my rush to continue tracing my ancestor I would just make a quick note of these other records and move on. Now it is time to make sure I have updated all these records in Family Historian and then delete these scraps.

I have under eighty folders now and most of these need very little work. The problem comes with some of the larger folders like the GASSONs, the TROWERs, the GEERINGs and the KINGHORNs. My plan is to get the smaller folders out of the way this week and then start tackling the larger ones the following week.

The other aspect I need to work on is my digital photos. All the photos I have taken are stored separately from my family history, and those that are related to family history are copied to the family history folder. This includes anything that might be used to illustrate my family history (such as churches, houses and streets) or is a piece of evidence itself (like gravestones).

I have four weeks to sort out my hard drive and if I actually stick to my plans I should be able to complete it in that time. Like getting rid of my paper folders, it will be good to sort out these files and have a system in place for dealing with information as I go along.

St Andrew’s Church, Nuthurst, Sussex

19 Apr

Here are a few photos of St Andrew’s Church, Nuthurst, Sussex. I took these on my visit last week, when I passed through the parish on my way to Horsham.

St Andrews Church, Nuthurst

I have previously posted a postcard of Nuthurst Church and as I commented at the time, not a lot has changed, there are of course fewer headstones and fewer trees now in front of it now.

Nuthurst Church

Burials are still taking place in the churchyard, to the west of the church. I found the view of the western end of the church was quite striking, but I am not quite sure why.

Interior Nuthurst Church

The interior of the church was equally striking, I certainly wasn’t expecting to find such a highly decorated interior, although of course my photo doesn’t really do it justice.

Nuthurst Font

I couldn’t leave without getting a photo of the font, my 3x great-grandfather Thomas GASSON was baptised here in May 1831, along with four more of his siblings in subsequent years. According to the church guide and history it is made of Purbeck marble and may date back to Saxon times.

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 16)

18 Apr

Last week I was a bit of a genealogical magpie, gathering all sorts of  information from various places (mainly local libraries) and taking loads of photos. The problem is that I have taken all this “shiny” information back to my nest and not done anything with it.

This week I really need to get this information sorted out, transcribed and where necessary entered into my family tree. This week I am going to try not to gather any more information until I have sorted out all the new stuff that I have recently acquired.

  • Sort out all the information I have gathered. Scan documents, transcribe my notes, update Family Historian and sort out the digital photos.
  • Continue working through my digital files updating Family Historian and sorting out folders and standardising my filenames.
  • Email East Sussex Record Office to find out which of the GEERING records I want to view are held onsite and which I need to order in.
  • Attend the South Coast Family History Fair on Sunday 25th April 2010 at Worthing, West Sussex.

That should be enough for this week. I really need to get my notes sorted out, and will be happy if I can complete that this week.

A backup wake-up call

30 Jan

Last night I received a nasty reminder from my computer on the importance of having a good backup.

It was around 10 o’clock and I had just finished working on my family history for the night and started my nightly backup routine. I synchronised my family history files to my USB flash drive, my grab and run emergency backup (and netbook synchroniser).

I started the synchronisation to my external hard drive and was met with a couple of error messages, to the effect that the external hard drive didn’t exist. Surely there must be some mistake, I thought, it had probably been assigned the wrong drive letter.

I opened Windows Explorer and there it was, with the correct drive letter and it looked like all the folders were there. As I drilled down I found each folder was in fact empty. All my files had gone.

I stopped and thought about it, this was my backup, I still had the original files on my PC and my USB flash drive. There were a few non-genealogy files lost that didn’t really matter, but the external hard drive stores all my digital photos. Fortunately they are all backed up on DVD and stored off-site, so I hadn’t lost anything important, it would just be annoying to have to replace the external hard drive and start again.

But something still didn’t seem right, surely the files couldn’t just disappear and leave the folders where they are, that didn’t sound like hard drive failure? The more I thought about it the more it didn’t seem right. Something told my they were still there but I couldn’t see them.

So I did the most obvious thing and rebooted my PC. Of course when the system came back up all the files were there present and correct. I ran my backups successfully and shut the system down.

Does this mean my external hard drive is on the way out or is my PC getting it’s USB connections confused? I don’t know, but it sure made me stop and think. I would consider my backup regime pretty good, but those few minutes of lost data really made me wonder if it would all work if I had to restore my files.

Not only am I going to give my external hard drive a thorough going over, I am going to review what is actual stored on it. I shall probably burn a couple more copies of my digital photos and hide them away somewhere else. Truth is I can probably delete a load of those photos, just because I have the space to store them isn’t an excuse for not going through and deleting the rubbish.

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