5 Important Benefits of Researching Family History and Family Photos

3 girls Missouri early 20th century
3 girls in Missouri, Wikimedia Commons

Digging into our family’s past has special meaning for all generations. Here are benefits of researching our family history and using the stories we uncover to add special dimensions to family photos of bygone eras.


1. Adds Depth to Older Family Pictures

You come across a black and white picture from several decades ago. A couple or a family is facing the camera with smiles or half-smiles. Who are they and what were they doing? What was happening?

You might know who they are, but do you really appreciate what’s happening? It may be that they saved money to buy land during the Great Depression or they’re posing before a son goes off to the Korean War or other conflict.

The story they have doesn’t stop with them. It continues on to who you are, your values, and the legacy that you’ll leave for your relatives who will come after you.


2. Improves Our Well-Being

Researching family history can give us a greater sense of happiness, settle questions, and improve our well-being whether we’re young or well into our senior years.

The New York Public Library quotes a survey saying 67% of respondents said that knowing their family history has made them feel wiser as a person and more connected to older generations.

For seniors in their 80s and 90s, many of them may not have had many family pictures when growing up. Photos of their adult years are likely packed in different places. Working with their pictures can keep them mentally engaged and help them process memories.

woman and man sitting at laptop
Kathy and her father Bert, organizing photos and re-kindling relationships; photo by Kathy Storie



A friend of mine, Kathy Storie, has helped her 86-year-old father organize and store pictures from his childhood. It connected him to a forgotten past and intrigued him so much that he watched less TV and worked more with his photos.









3. Gives Us a Sense of Time and Place

Our society’s on the move with Americans moving about 11 times on average in their lifetime. And more families are embracing a minimalist mindset. That means fewer are saving items like fine china or inheriting antique furniture.

Photos, however, along with well-researched stories can be stored safely online—guaranteed for a lifetime, plus 100 years. These memories can be viewed and shared without taking physical space.

Pictures become part of the relationships that we form with other people and gives us a sense of connection and attachment to our relatives past and present.

Woman looking at camera, wearing blue white striped shirt
Margarita Buitrago, photo coach

A woman who’s a financial professional and a friend, Margarita Buitrago, says our pictures are assets and need to be treated with care. Digging into her family history is helping her connect with cousins in Colombia.


4. Inspires Us to Face Our Challenges

Every generation has struggles. We can appreciate that we’re not the only ones who’ve ever had to face conflicts. It’s good to look back on family history and learn how others faced their challenges in wartime, peacetime, or hard economic times.


5. Shows Us the Value of Our Story

Researching stories can prepare you to share your own so your children, grandchildren, and their children can access what you’ve created and pass on your life lessons.

I show my clients the best practices for organizing their many digital and print photos while giving them an online storage solution that they own.

Old family photo with men in suits and ties, women in nice dresses
Margarita’s mother’s family

Family Research as a Gift

Think of giving Family Research as a gift you can give during the Christmas holidays, for graduations, or for a wedding anniversaries.

I’ll be glad to share more.

Join one of my upcoming online events to learn how you can get the greatest possible benefit from your family photos and family history.


I’m Happy to Help


Melody Whitehead
Melody Whitehead, Safeguard Your Memories

Contact me to chat about your needs for organizing photos or converting old media files to digital. I’ve been a photo coach for 26 years and will gladly show you techniques to get peace of mind through photo organizing and having a guaranteed safe online storage solution.

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At Safeguard Your Memories, we go beyond mere photo storage. We empower you through personalized photo coaching, guiding you through the process of photo digitization, organization, and creative printing solutions.

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