A picture is worth a thousand words as the saying goes, but many family pictures leave us puzzled. Who’s in it? What’s the meaning of the shot?
And how do we find out more information about the generations who came before us?
Family research uncovers both facts and stories. If you search the Internet, you can often come up with documents, but you don’t find the stories.
Here are other ways researching the genealogy is useful.
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Older parents with few pictures
Many of us have moms and dads in their 80s and even 90s. Some fathers have chronicled their lives and history quite well, but many who were born around the time of the Great Depression wouldn’t have been thinking about safeguarding their memories if they had to survive from one week to the next.
Cameras were just beginning to reach the mass populations. One of the first was the Kodak Box camera that was rectangular.
The box camera had very few controls, an instant shutter or a timed shutter which stayed open as long as the lever was held down. They had no focus feature and used a roll film. An extra lens was available when a close focus was needed.
Past immigrant families with few pictures
I know of a woman in her 80s who’s descended from relatives in Germany. Language barriers keep her from being able to look up her family history so research specialists would be quite helpful.
Someone else I know has a late mother and father from Colombia. Pictures were taken years ago with a great deal of care, so the casual photo just didn’t exist, very similar to the United States of years past.
Using genealogical researchers helps get through the language barriers, lack of documentation, and lack of family photos.
Bringing distant relatives together
Researching stories can bring distant relatives closer, even if you live on separate continents. You’re each pieces in each other’s lives and you can complete part of a larger family puzzle. Digging up facts and stories can give you a reason to connect.
There are many other benefits to researching family history like:
Keeping older relatives active and engaged—involving parents or grandparents in sharing what they know about their childhood and what they remember about their parents can keep them sharp and thinking.
Having a sense of purpose—you can inspire your kids and grandkids with the stories of their ancestors
Seeing how you can leave a positive legacy—our lives have meaning and this is a great way to show it.
Connect with distant family—you could likely across living relatives you didn’t know existed.
As family stories develop, you can tie them in with the family pictures that you organize.
How do you do that?
As a photo coach, I show clients how to convert old media files like home movies on film, VHS tapes and thumb drives to digital.
Once the files are converted, then they can be uploaded into an online album that will last a lifetime plus 100 years.
The online albums are in a space that you, the user, own. There’s no advertising or using your information for marketing purposes. And because you own the space the terms of service won’t be changed on you and there’s no danger that you’ll be kicked off or the site shut down.
That’s a risk with the popular social media sites and photo storage sites.
Photos and the stories can also be turned into hard copy photo books and given as gifts for holidays, birthday, anniversaries, and “thinking of you” moments.
I’m here to help
Our family photos are unique and they’re among our most treasured possessions. I’ll be glad to answer questions related to family history research, converting old files to digital, and creating your own online album.
Contact me and let me know how I can help.
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