Saturday, June 10, 2023

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- How Are You Saving Family Photographs and Home Movies?

 Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:

It's Saturday Night again -
time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along - cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1)  Almost all genealogists have family photographs and/or home movies of their ancestors, relatives, and friends handed down over the generations.  

2)  What steps have you taken to obtain, save and pass on those photographs or home movies to your family members?

3)  Write your own blog post, or leave a comment on this post, or write something on Facebook.

Here's mine:

My mother was an only child, and her parents were only children, so the photograph "collections" from her side of my ancestry were in several photo albums and in loose photographs from about 1860 to 2002.  I received most of these photos in the late 1980s and then after my mother's death in early 2002.  

My  father came from Massachusetts to San Diego in 1940, and received letters and photos from his mother and siblings from the 1940s to 1983 when he died.  I met all of my father's siblings and their offspring from the 1950s to the present, and received photos from them.  I received loose photos and family photo albums from his sisters Marion and Geraldine.  My Aunt Gerry was the family person who stayed in contact with all of the family until her death in 2007.

My maternal grandfather was an "early adopter" and took hundreds of photographs and some home movies - first in black and white, then in color - with his cameras from the 1920s to 1976.  My parents took many photos with their cameras, and I have taken many photographs, plus home movies on videotape (which I still cannot find).

The steps I have taken to organize those photographs and home movies include:

*  From about 1980 until about 2000 I created photo albums for my own family photos and have them in a bookcase in the genealogy cave.  I have some enlarged family group photographs on the walls of my house.  Since 2000, the family photos for each year have been digitally saved in Photo file folders on my desktop computer (and backed up on iDrive and an external hard drive.

*  For each major ancestral family, I scanned many of the loose photographs and family album photos and saved them in Photo file folders on my desktop computer (e.g., "Randy Seaver Family") for specific families and events (like vacations).  I tried to use file names that reflected the subject, date and location for each photograph, but have not been too consistent over the 35 years of actively organizing the collection.  I added some of these family photos to my family file folders (I have a folder for each ancestral family) when I could.

*  I used my FOREVER account to digitize the 8 mm family home movies that were handed down from my grandfather and my father.  In addition, I have been saving photographs to FOREVER from my computer files.

*  I enhanced and colorized many family photos using the MyHeritage photo tools - both black and white and in color.  Now I am using the MyHeritage Reimagine mobile app to scan, enhance and colorize photos on photo album pages, naming the photo files, tagging the persons, and saving them in the MyHeritage Photos and in file folders on my desktop computer.

*  I added many family photos to my RootsMagic media files over the years, and they are uploaded to my Ancestry Member Tree, my MyHeritage family tree, and the FamilySearch Family Tree (as "Memories" on profiles).

Unfortunately, I am not finished.  I keep finding photographs in the bookcases, file cabinets, and boxes in the genealogy cave.  I am still discovering unique family photos as I clean up and better organize the cave.  For instance, I recently found a shopping bag in the cave closet that had all of my mother's bedroom dresser, nightstand, and family room counter photos, some of which I don't recall ever seeing before.  I have scanned five large photo albums using Reimagine, and am in the process of saving, tagging and naming them almost every day.  I still have another 15 albums to scan, plus hundreds of loose photographs still in boxes to scan, tag, name, and save.


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Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Here's mine. I need to get back to organizing and cataloging my photos.

Janice M. Sellers said...

Catching up on old posts! I need to scan more photos.