Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Where Am I Saving My Digitized Family Photos?

In yesterday's Mondays With Myrt webinar discussion, the question was asked:  "Where are you saving your family tree, family photographs, stories, videos, artifacts, etc.?"  

1)  I have stored my digitized family "stuff" online in many places.  For my family tree information (names, relationships, dates, places, notes, sources, etc.), photographs and stories, I think the best, most long-lasting, place is the FamilySearch Family Tree. 

I have my family photographs on:

*  My Windows PC computer, in family file folders, with an external drive backup. 

iDrive, which adds my new genealogy and photograph files every midnight hour, for a yearly fee.  I can download them any time I need them.

*  Blogger, in thousands of Genea-Musings blog posts (541 in the "Wordless Wednesday" label).  Will they disappear at some time?  Perhaps.

Pinterest, in several Boards for specific family lines.  Will they disappear at some time?  Perhaps.

Flickr, in several albums for specific family lines.  Will they disappear at some time?  Probably.

Facebook, in several albums for specific topics.  Will they disappear at some time?  Probably.

For each of these, the webinar attendees suggested adding a family member to my account so that the account can be accessed after I pass away.

2)  Adding family tree data, family photos and stories to the FamilySearch Family Tree is more difficult than uploading a batch of photos to a photo sharing site or a blog.  In past years, I have uploaded a head shot photo to the profile of many of my recent ancestors in the "Memories" section.

After our discussion yesterday, I decided that I should add the best of my family photographs and family stories to the FamilySearch Family Tree profiles of my ancestors.  I started with my father, Frederick Walton Seaver (LH5L-4P9).  Here is his profile:

I added a "Life Sketch" several years ago for many of my ancestors.

Photographs, Documents, Family Stories, and Audio are sub-sections in the "Memories" section of the profile.  Here is the "Photos" sub-section for my father before I added another photo:

I wanted to upload another photo, so I clicked on the "Upload Photo" button on the screen above, went to my photo files, and selected the desired photo.  After I did that, the photo was added to the "Photos" page with a banner saying "Unprocessed:"

In order to process the photograph, I went through a series of steps to add a Title to the photo, tag the persons in the photo, add Details (event date, event place, and description), and add a Memory below the photo.  Here is the finished photograph entry:

I can edit any of the entries whenever I want.

This took about five minutes for each photograph, so it is not a trivial time investment for someone who has hundreds of family photographs.  But I think it is worth it.

3)  Why do I think this is the best place for me to upload my family tree data, family photographs, stories, etc.?

*  It is FREE to add content to profiles, and it is FREE to access for any person with a registration at FamilySearch.

*  FamilySearch should be around for decades if not centuries because of who they are - I sincerely doubt that any company will buy them, and I doubt that the interest of the LDS church in genealogy and family history will diminish over centuries.

*  FamilySearch has taken measures to save and preserve everything they own.  I doubt that they will stop doing this.

*  The FamilySearch Family Tree is the largest collaborative family tree - over 1 billion profiles of historical persons to date.  There are still duplicate profiles on the site, and there are millions of historical persons who have not been added to date, but thousands (millions?) of researchers are adding content to it every day.  I am.

4)  I encourage my readers to consider where they have stored their family photographs, to digitize  their family photographs, and to save them somewhere online.  Don't just leave them in the hard cover photo albums or loose piles, and don't just leave the digitized copies on your computer without backup in the cloud on a photo sharing site or in an online family tree like FamilySearch Family Tree.


The URL for this post is:  https://www.geneamusings.com/2018/12/where-am-i-saving-my-photos.html

Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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Dianne A said...

I thought that information uploaded to Family Search Family Trees could be changed or modified by anyone who was registered. Are you uploading to a different part of Family Search? If not, isn't this a concern since your contributions are so well sourced and we know from experience that not everyone values good sourcing if they think they "know" something.

Hart said...

Thanks for this well-illustrated and detailed look at posting this information to FamilySearch. I've been thinking about doing more with FamilySearch for the reasons you list in your #3. Your post encourages me to consider it more closely. Thanks

Randy Seaver said...


I understand your concern, but my experience after six years of contributing to the FamilySearch Family Tree is that the Family Tree is steadily improving. It's a wiki,and every week improves over time. Part of the reason Family Tree is improving is because registered users are adding sources and memories that support the assertions (names, relationships, dates, places, events, etc.) to profiles.

It's not perfect, and probably never will be. There are still duplicate profiles that need to be merged. There are still conflated persons with two different families. There are profiles that are not well documented. There are historical persons who are not in Family Tree yet. But it is improving every day.

I don't have any problems with my ancestor profiles, except the immigrant New England generations back in the 1600s. Some users want to add parents to some of my Mayflower passengers and other immigrants when no one knows the correct parents. These users are usually novices who copied the "parents" from other online trees. They eventually see the Discussions and the Sources and Notes and figure out that they need to provide sources. There are no "official" monitors yet, but someone experienced usually adopts a historic profile and works with patience to keep the profile cleaned up.

I hope this helps.

Vicki said...

Flicker is going to begin limiting only 1000 photos for free accounts. I have begun to move all my photos out of there.