At some point in this education I questioned the need to save all the documents right now. As a new researcher I found many each time I visited, so many that I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. I assumed that since Ancestry was free then, it would continue to be free in the future and I could easily save the documents later. In wisdom my friend suggested that what was available then may not always be available. To myself I scoffed at the idea. But within a year or two the Family History Centers no longer had free access to Ancestry. My friend was right. (Ancestry is once again currently available at no cost at the Family History Centers but that could change again at any time.)
It may not happen often but access to online collections comes and goes, whether at a paid site or free. Some collections are removed never to return. Some free-access collections move to paid sites. We can't assume that next year things will be like they are today.
Save the image of any document you find online that furthers your family history research including
- birth records
- death records
- marriage records
- wills and probate files
- property records
- tax records
- newspaper articles
- draft registration cards
- military service records
- pension files
- and many more
All of it! Save every image! If you see it now, save it now. You may not have easy access to it again. And don't forget to record citation information.
Additional suggestions from comments to this post
- Right click on an image and click save to save an image to your computer, not just to your online tree. If the company that hosts your tree goes south or you don't want to pay for a subscription any longer, you won't have the images of those documents. From Linda Stufflebean of Empty Branches on the Family Tree.
- When others give you documents, photographs, or any other family history information (either digitally or on paper), record who gave it to you including name and contact information. If photographs be sure to record who's in the photograph if that's known. We think we'll remember in a few years but we may not. From Wendy of Jollette Etc.
Copyright © 2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved. .