Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Visit to the San Diego FamilySearch Library on 22 January - and Then Near Disaster!

Genea-Musings readers, who know that I slave over this computer 8 to 12 hours and don't leave the genea-cave for anything but food and bathroom breaks, and the occasional chore to help my genea-spouse, will be amazed to read that I actually went to a repository yesterday and did some research - the second time in three months (I went in October also).

Fifteen of my Chula Vista Genealogical Society colleagues ventured out to the San Diego FamilySearch Library in Mission Valley (4195 Camino del Rio South), arriving at 10 a.m. and departing at about 12:30 p.m.  Most went by car pool.  John Finch has been arranging these research trips, and also has a weekly mentoring research group on Wednesday mornings at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library, helping 3 to 6 members with their research and computer problems.

Here's two pictures of some of my CVGS colleagues at the SDFSL yesterday (yes, I goaded them into smiling, some were too focused to look up):

At the FamilySearch Library, I checked the book collection quickly for several items and did not find them, so I moved to the computers.  I wanted to "collect" Canadian census, vital and any other records for my Kemp and Sovereen families that were in Ontario as loyalist migrants after the Revolutionary War.  My last ancestor to die there was in 1907, so there was the opportunity to find significant documents on  I had not done this systematically before.

While on the computer at the FSL, several colleagues came by to ask me research questions and ask for advice on further research.  One of those was Kathleen, who had found a manuscript in the FamilySearch Library Catalog for one of her ancestral families, which had a link to a digital version, but could not download it at home.  We pulled it up in the FSLC, and it opened immediately - an 11 page typescript that can be opened only at a FamilySearch Library.  The only way to save it was as an HTML file so I did that.  I clicked on it after I saved it, and it opened on the FSL computer in the Chrome browser.  Kathleen was ecstatic, and I was happy to be able to help her.

My process in collecting the Canada records from Ancestry Institution on the FSL computer, which accesses all of the record databases, was:

*  Open an OpenOffice presentation for a surname, and make many blank pages.

*  Search for the person, use the birth year (plus/minus 2 years) and province in the location.

*  When I found a record, I did a Print Screen of the "Record Summary" (which contains indexed information and a source citation), and pasted the screen image to the presentation file.

*  Then I clicked the "View Image" link on the "Record Summary," adjusted the screen to see both the top of the image and the target family, and did a Print Screen and pasted the screen image to the presentation file.

*  Then I clicked the "Save" button and then "Save to my computer" to save the record image. The FSL computer saved it to the "My Documents" folder.  I immediately opened the file, and clicked on "Save As" to save it to my flash drive.  Finally, I clicked on File > Delete to delete the record image file on the FSL computer.

*  When I was done using the computer, I saved the two presentation files to my flash drive, checked that all of the record images were on the flash drive, and ejected my flash drive.

Twelve of us met at the Chula Vista Marie Callender's for lunch and at a great time discussing our research, our families, and social media.  

So I got home, and inserted my flash drive into my desktop computer and saw that all of my files were there.  I wanted to copy them over to my desktop computer and started to highlight the ones I wanted to copy to my surname file folders.  In the process, something happened and I created about 30 copies of these files on the flash drive.  I didn't want those files, so I highlighted what I thought were the copies and deleted them.  Oops!!!  Big oops!  some of the record image files I had downloaded to the flash drive had "Copy" in the file name.  So now I had only five files left that I had downloaded, out of about 35.  I went looking for the deleted files in the Recycle Bin and they weren't there.

What to do?  Well, I asked for help.  I went to Facebook and described the problem.  I also went to Google and searched for "recover deleted files from flash drive."  That worked.  I learned that deleted files on a flash drive don't go to the Recycle Bin on the computer.

The Google search disclosed that there are free programs that recover deleted files on a flash drive (actually any drive) - I didn't know this, but was happy to find it out.  I downloaded the Pandora recovery program, installed it, and read the instructions.  Pandora warned me that I should not put the recovered files on the flash drive that I was recovering them from.  Within ten minutes I had found all of the deleted files and had copied them to a special file folder.  Whew!  That was close!  Disaster averted.

There were multiple copies of some record images, all with "Copy" in the file name so I saved only one of them to my surname file folders.  Everything came through OK, with one exception:

Kathleen's HTML file, and an accompanying file folder, were not readable on my desktop computer with Google Chrome browser.  I had considered saving each page as a screen capture, but I didn't do it at the library.  Drat.  What to do to help Kathleen?  I've decided that, rather than going back to the FSL this week or next, I can save the page images to a flash drive from the microfilm page images at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City in two weeks.  It's the least I can do!

I'm really encouraged that so many of our CVGS members took the opportunity to go to the FamilySearch Library yesterday.  Most of them had research successes ( all but 3 of us worked in the books and a few worked in microfilm) and can't wait to go back to the FamilySearch Library.

The next CVGS Research Trip is to the new San Diego Central Library in downtown San Diego on 23 April.  The entire 9th floor there is genealogy and family history, and incorproates the San Diego Genealogical Society collection.  We'll take the San Diego Trolley there rather than drive and pay for parking.

Now I need to name my Kemp and Sovereen record images, create an event, craft a source, and attach each of them to the persons they document.

UPDATED 24 January:  Looked up Kathleen's target report on the FSLC today, and it opened.  I was able to download it as a PDF file, and then send it to her.  Case closed!

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Claudia said...

I would have cried first...

Marti said...

Whew! You got them back. I made the mistake of saving all my family trees onto floppy disks and over time, each disk became corrupted.

I can see me deleting the wrong file or accidently deleting all, so I'm going to bookmark that software. Thanks for the tip.

SlimJim said...

What a great idea to use a presentation to save screen shots. Thanks for sharing that