May 9, 2010
There is a book I have been intending to buy, but did not because it was too expensive or because I forget to look for it online. Yesterday I remembered and searched for it on eBay and found it. The starting bid for this expensive book was $.99. I bid on it and my bid was the highest. I snapped it up for $1.02 plus the shipping.
I have not used that site in years. I had to hunt for the user name and password. Keeping up with these is like a nightmare.
Finding the book was so much easier than finding my password to eBay and PayPal. I should have changed those old, weak passwords long ago. Through the years, I have learned to use codes that are more sophisticated. Developing these so that I can get back into the site without looking them up in my book of passwords took a while, but eventually I solved it.
I use one of three main phrases and follow that with a standard set of numbers. That by itself is much too easy. I finally came up with prefacing the phrase with the first three letters of the site. My password for Ancestry would begin “anc” followed by one of my three phrases and the standard set of numbers. I know little about hackers, but I do think my system would deter them for a short time. I figure that if someone is determined to break into a site nothing I do will stop the hacker.
A friend keeps her codes in a three-ring binder and carries the binder with her in case she wants to enter one of her sites. She is organized and does not forget things. I on the other hand, would forget the binder and leave it behind. Another friend keeps hers in an Excel file on her computer. The folder itself is password protected. Still others use password management software.
I am never certain that my method is totally secure, but it works for me. Do you have trouble remembering your username and password? I would love to hear how you solved this sometimes-frustrating problem. If you use software, I’d like to know which one you use.
FREE MILITARY RECORDS: I have not heard from Ancestry.com at the time of this writing, but I want to remind you that usually they offer military record searches at no cost around Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Put this on your calendar and check it out.
LEGACY FAMILY TREE CLASSES: On June 15-24, Brookhaven College in Farmers Branch offers Legacy Family Tree classes twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday from 1-4:30 p.m. The teacher is Glenn Kinkade. Students will learn how to backup and restore family files, perform complex searches on family files, use advanced tagging, prepare and print customized reports, use the source clipboard to record source information, organize the source library and correct mistakes in records in a family file. Contact Glenn Kinkade for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAMILY SEARCH PILOT PROGRAM: The Pilot program adds new collections weekly. Just this past week they added over 150 collections making the indexed records exceed 120 million records from original source documents. At the Pilot Site, you can search birth, death and marriage records for the United States and many countries. For instance, a few countries with newly added records are Britain, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic and Canada. You can begin your search at http://labs.familysearch.org/. From there scroll down the page and click on Record Search. There you can conduct a simple search, advanced search, or search and browse the entire collection. Another way to reach the Pilot Site is to go to www.FamilySearch.org, then let the curser hover over “Records” and scroll down the drop-down menu to “Record Search Pilot” and click on it. Happy hunting!
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunions announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.