Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A word of wisdom . . . BACKUP!

All family historians must ensure that they backup their family tree regularly . . .

. . . a few weeks ago, I had been busy all day working on my family tree using Family Tree Maker (FTM) 2010 on my MacBook. I was inspired and on a roll finding records, it was a really enjoyable day.

My new FTM for Mac
Later on some friends came around so I left my laptop playing some music but had not shut down FTM, so it had not saved up that days work. When I came back to my laptop later that evening I discovered the battery had died whilst it was playing music and my laptop had powered off itself. In turning my laptop back on and opening FTM it was telling me the file had corrupted . . . EEK!!!

Anyways to cut a long story short with a few tears en route, I thought that I had lost ALL my data (talking about 5 years worth of research possibly more!!). I rung FTM at Ancestry to see if they could offer any help or assistance . . . they couldn't as not only had the file corrupted but the FTM program on my laptop had also corrupted. Every time I opened a back-up file it was also corrupting that, but also my FTM had not been backing-up in a separate file every time it shut down even though the tick box was ticked that it should be doing that, so my now corrupted file was the only back-up I had for the last 2 years   :(

Thankfully my saving grace is that I backup my laptop regularly to an external hard drive :) so had a fairly recent copy of my research through a FTM back-up. I have had to buy a new version of FTM program as well, which arrived in today's post (including 6 months free membership to Ancestry).

I am hoping and praying that I will be able to use the non-corrupted files from my external hard-drive to download as much of my family tree onto the new FTM this weekend and get my head around the newest version of FTM for Mac . . . so here's to hoping it all goes smoothly in the transition from old to new and backed up data.

The moral to the story is back-up very regularly and never leave your laptop on playing music without it being plugged into a power source!!!!


  1. Oh no! This is so not fun! Hope you are able to use your back-up FTM files from your external hard drive.

  2. That stinks! But maybe there's something even more awesome in store for you because this happened. I can't tell you the number of times I've metaphorically blown something up doing genealogy, only to discover that in doing so I made a discovery I was never going to make in any other way. I'm sure you'll recover all your lost ground and then some!

  3. Ruth,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!