Researching Family History: Meeting His Grandfather Almost 100 Years After His Death

Researching family history often starts with a natural curiosity about someone we’ve heard about and seen in photos. If you know what their occupation was you can dig deeper into their story.

Now, I’m a photo coach who loves seeing how families use old photos to research their family’s history and learn something new.

The Power of Specific Family Research Tools

A friend of mine, his name is Don, who uses FOREVER® to store his family photos had known about his paternal grandfather, a coal miner who was killed in a mining accident south and east of Pittsburgh in the mid-1930s, about 90 years ago. He didn’t know much except that his ancestor, named Alex, was an immigrant from Eastern Europe and Don’s dad, also named Alex, was a year old when his father was killed, and never spoke much about his birth dad.

Photo stored in FOREVER album which allows plenty of space to write history of photo

Several years ago, Don found a photo in his dad’s pile of papers of Alex the miner wearing a three-piece suit and pointing to a plot of land. This was 2 acres where he built a barn, married, and raised children. The family home became a gathering place decades later for family get-togethers during Easter celebrations and Thanksgiving.

He wanted to learn more about the grandfather he never met so he started by typing in “mining accidents, Pennsylvania 1934” into Google.

The search immediately returned a document of mining accidents through the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission from 1918 to 1924. The coal mines were listed as either bituminous or anthracite.

He found that his grandfather, Alex Simkovich, was injured in an accident in 1919 when he was single and no one had ever mentioned it. You see the marital status and ethnicity. Don had found a new nugget of information.


Listing of coal miners in accidents 1918 to 1924
Mining accident victims from PA Historical Society

There are other collections with the names of miners around the U.S. from the well-known Colorado School of Mines and archives through Penn State University.

You can do similar searches using your ancestor’s name and their occupation and see if you come across new information.

3 Tips for Researching Family History

1 Use personal stories and type in specific incidents in search returns through search engines and with historical organizations at the state and county level.

2 Check immigration records, military records and census data through the National Archives.

3 If you want a consultation on getting started with family research or getting past roadblocks then I suggest using professional researchers with FOREVER®, the most comprehensive memory-keeping system available.

Read on to learn more about FOREVER® and scroll down to contact me and take a virtual tour to see the many benefits in action.


What is FOREVER®?

It’s an all-in-one platform for safeguarding your most meaningful memories. Here’s how:

  • Digitize old photos, like this one of my grandfather from 1924 and digitize other files like handwritten letters, 8mm home movies, slide shows, and VHS tapes.
  • Store files from the past and the present—and the future—in one place. You can upload photos from your phone or other electronic device into your FOREVER® Library.
  • Organize the photos into Albums and Nested Albums.
  • Use Tags to identify the files in the Albums you create.

FOREVER® offers plenty of space to write either brief or detailed descriptions of a photo, video, or other file.

Now here’s something special about FOREVER®–you can own your digital space so you’re not renting or using it free.

On the tour, I’ll tell you why this is so important.



FOREVER® offers true, permanent storage. Guaranteed. The business model is designed to keep your files safe for many generations into the future. Guaranteed.

You can do so much with files stored in your FOREVER® account like use them to create photo books and other gifts for birthdays, special occasions, and holiday gift-giving.

Check the Events page on my website and you can join me and my friends in using FOREVER® to chronicle and write family stories.

Memories captured in photos, home movies, videos, and in other ways are treasures unique to you and your family. No one else in history will have your story.


Take the Tour

Give me 30 minutes and I’ll show you how to store many lifetimes of memories using FOREVER®. You’ll get to see the platform in action and why I use it personally and with my photo coaching clients.

Nothing else like it is on the market.

Contact me via my website’s contact form or with my email:


Your privacy matters and you won’t be on my newsletter list unless you ask.




Try FOREVER® free

Click here to experience FOREVER® with 2 free GB of storage space and upload to your Library and create Albums.

You’ll have peace of mind and can use your space with confidence, knowing that your data is never used for advertising or marketing purposes.

Photo coaching has been my career spanning almost 30 years. I believe all families should guard their memories and save them to connect their past and present with future generations.


And, if you’re interested in photo coaching, then read this post to see why I find it so exciting:

Profit from Photo Coaching as a Much-Needed Home Business Opportunity



Here are helpful links for researching your family’s history:

National Archives

Preservation Directory

List of U.S. State Historical Societies and Museums

Here’s an example of a specific search:

Pennsylvania Historical Society and Commission, coal mining accidents





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