A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Rawls of Dorset = archived.

As noted in my previous post Rootsweb and the related Freepages have been 'down' since mid December, they now say they are working on reinstating those pages but that it could take weeks or months before they are fully restored (or perhaps never in some cases) .....

Hosted Web Sites: Soon we will begin bringing Hosted Web Sites back online. We will start with a few hundred and then add more over time, giving us a chance to scan the content.
Family Trees/WorldConnect: Family Trees or WorldConnect allows you to upload a GEDCOM file and publish it for others to see. It is currently being reviewed by our software engineers and security team and we plan on having a read-only, searchable version up in the next few weeks. The ability to upload new GEDCOM files will be available in the coming months.

Meanwhile users who fear they have lost their work or need to rescue it to a more reliable place (as in on a chip or hard drive stored somewhere safe) should check out the Wayback Machine at https://archive.org/web/ where you may be able to find an archived copy of your work. Simply enter the URL of the now unavailable site in the search box to see the copies available.

In my own case the Rawls of Dorset pages previously available 0n the Ancestry site can be found at
Rawls of Dorset - archived.

The original Rawls of Dorset website previously available on Rootsweb has now been reinstated by Ancestry.com but at a NEW web address and can be found at https://sites.rootsweb.com/~rawlsofdorset/

Monday, January 1, 2018

Rootsweb – Freepages = Ancestry.com

Thousands of folks who have uploaded their family tree data to Ancestry.com's Rootsweb pages or have shared further information on their Freepages may be unaware that these pages are currently “unavailable”. Since Ancestry.com has not directly notified most users of this problem and their site merely shows the following message with no further information this is just a heads up for users of those sites, follow the links below for a full explanation.

Rootsweb is currently unavailable. We have been in the process of improving the site throughout 2017, and as a result of an issue we recently became aware of, we have taken the site offline while we work to resolve it.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but protecting our users’ personal information is our top priority. During this down time, we are working to preserve all data saved to Rootsweb, and hope to have an update within a few weeks.
If you would like to learn more, please visit our blog post.

Where it says in part

We have temporarily taken RootsWeb offline, and are working to ensure that all data is saved and preserved to the best of our ability. As RootsWeb is a free and open community that has been largely built by its users, we may not be able to salvage everything as we work to resolve this issue and enhance the RootsWeb infrastructure.

Whilst all us who use Freepages / Rootsweb hope that this gets resolved and the pages get reinstated Ancestry.com does not seem to have a good track record on backing up or protecting the data on their freepages, something I am sure they do do on their highly advertised and user pay sites. Its hardly surprising that they pay less attention to these long standing non commercial sites that they inherited when purchasing Ancestry.com but given that the data posted by individuals on the feepages leads users to try the commercial Ancestry site it is almost certainly an asset to them. In the past several portions of the freepages have been discontinues, we can but hope that the personal databases and pages are reinstated soon and better protected in the future. Given the high volume of advertising they do on national TV they certainly have the assets to do so.

Bottom line here folks is to ALWAYS keep your files in more than one place, back up those files regularly and remember that no matter how secure you think your data is “Shit Happens” !

For a further discussion on this along with some realty good suggestions on these issues go to the recent post at https://lisalouisecooke.com/2017/12/30/rootsweb-is-down/