Saturday, August 8, 2015

What is Your Most Prized Possession?

My husband works in Aiken, South Carolina and has maintained a temporary office and apartment there for three years. Recently the apartment building he was staying in was completely destroyed by fire. He had no idea that when he crossed the threshold at midnight he would be the last person to ever pass through that door. Since he was sleeping at the time the fire broke out he was very lucky to escape with the shirt on his back, his smartphone, and his laptop.

As a Nuclear Safety Engineer he has accumulated a wonderful reference library. Much of his collection is in digital format which makes it easier for him access digitally. It also makes the collection easy to move when he changes working locations. The most precious part of his library has been digitized and contains unpublished and published material, much that is no longer available to the public. Even though his collection was in digital format, he stored them on CDs. They were not copied on to his laptop or backed up to an off-site storage facility. He had intentions of doing that… someday. When asked he will tell you that this collection is the most valuable item he lost in that devastating fire.

I sing the old song of “Backup Backup Backup” in telling this story. One of the sponsors for the TriCity Genealogical Society Archived Document Contest is provides online backup effortlessly. Over the years I have used a variety of this type of software and I have struggled with the amount of resources that are demanded from my computer while the backup occurs. I have been using Backblaze for over a year and I personally endorse how easy it is to use. It is invisible yet effective. Jan Norman won the June 2015 Archived Document Contest which was a one year subscription to I encourage anyone who uses a computer to check out what Backblaze has to offer. Go to to learn more about their services.

The August 2015 prize to the contest is a one year subscription to “Internet Genealogy”. “Internet Genealogy” beautifully combines the Internet and genealogy by providing articles that focus on genealogy-related resources, software, tools, products, technologies and more. You can find out more about what this magazine has to offer by checking out their website at Data backup is an issue that is often discussed.

The Archived Document Contest was created to stir an interest in off-line repositories and non-digitized records while simultaneously celebrating computerized genealogy. There are some wonderful monthly prizes lined up. To enter merely submit a digital image of a document that was obtained in some method other than downloading from the Internet. Include a brief description of how you obtained the document and how it relates to your family history research. These submissions can be done on the TriCity Genealogical Society Facebook page at or by emailing them to Susan Davis Faulkner at You do not need to be a member of the TriCity Genealogical Society to submit an entry or to win.

Winning may be easier than you think and the long term benefits of winning may be more rewarding than you can contemplate. Jan Norman has the opportunity to have a complete backup of her digital collection just because she entered the contest. The August contest is now underway and the winner will have rich resources at their fingertips as well. 

Sub-Agent of Indian Affairs Descendant Wins Archived Document Contest for July 2015

Each month the Archived Document Contest provides us new information and the July 2015 contest had its own set of curiosities and twists. Genealogists everywhere seemed busy with road trips, conferences, and family reunions. They loaded their Facebook pages and updated their blogs with information about their summer activities.

Summer officially ends on September 22 and the TriCity Genealogical Society has their Traveling Through Time conference scheduled for September 12. This provides traveling genealogists an opportunity to add one last conference to their summer itinerary. It also provides local genealogists an opportunity to attend a conference without traveling.

The speaker for this upcoming conference will be William Dollarhide. Mr. Dollarhide is a very well-known author and speaker. The TriCities should feel honored to have a genealogist of his caliber come to the community.

Another individual that you will probably see at the conference is Larry Bafus. Larry won the July 2015 contest. He submitted a copy of his 3rd great grandfather’s acceptance as a Sub-Agent of Indian Affairs of Washington Territory which was written in 1854. Larry’s 3rd great grandfather was Andrew J. Bolon. Bolon’s district covered “between the Bitterroot and Cascade Mountains.” Sadly, Bolon died a year and a half later at the hands of the Yakamas near present day Goldendale. An interesting point to Bolon’s acceptance letter is that it was written to Isaac Stevens who at the time the letter was written was Governor of Washington Territory and Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

Larry Bafus

Acceptance Letter of AJ Bolon