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Family history in Photos!
Old 01-15-2005   #1
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Family history in Photos!

Not exactly rangefinders.

How many of you have had to deal with your procrastination in dealing with indetifying family linage.

My mother passed away in Febuarary and my father has dementia(early Alzheimers). So I traveled from Califorina to Florida to check on my father. I am currently looking through old family photos, and I don't know who most of them are. I'm checking with my sisters and they know some. Next I'll check with my father, he can't remember 5 mins ago, hopefully he can remember 50 years ago.

It's amazing looking at these turn of the century photos and seeing the different way of life. The tonal range on some of these old contact prints is wonderful.

I really kick myself that I didn't deal with this sooner. I always thought my mother would be around and I had time....
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Old 01-15-2005   #2
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Hi Steve,
Sorry about your mom (and dad). Unfortunately I find far too many of us procrastinate like this till it's too late. That's why so many family photos end up in box lots on the auction site, at estate sales or simply tossed away. Sad really, to see a family's whole life in a box or two by the curb. Wish you luck with both identifying your pictures and with your dad. Having had Alzheimer's in the family before, I know it's a tough road to hoe. Keep your chin up and look to us for support.
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Old 01-15-2005   #3
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I remember going on a camping trip with my parents to Quebec and Ontario. I first met black flies there. Mean little buggers. We drove along (I think in Ontario) looking for a picnic spot. We saw a beautiful lake surrounded by white barked birches, I mean an awesome sight. We stopped at the picnic table and set out our lunches and began to eat. Suddenly blackflies (moose mosquitoes) decended on us, burrowing in our hair and biting away. We ran for the car and rapidly drove away. As we left, I noticed a sign, the lakes name was "Blackfly Lake".

Thanks for the condolence. I know alot of us are going to go through this and it's tragic seeing the family history disappear. Even if your family history is not all good memories, it's still your history. My parents didn't really talk alot about the history, I sort of think there were some skeletons hanging out there they didn't want to think about.

Last edited by stevew : 01-15-2005 at 19:41.
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Old 01-15-2005   #4
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I've gone so far as to make a family history web site named after my grandfather. He was an avid photographer, among other things.

It's at http://members.localnet.com/%7Ejeflan/evf/index.htm

I have yet to go through all his photographs. The site is mainly documents. I am fortunate in that my grandfathers third wife is still with us and in pretty good shape.

I am still in the process of filing my own old negatives. Given what I am finding about the deterioration of color prints and negs, perhaps our ancestors were better off with black and white.

Jon Flanders
<a href='http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=524'>My Gallery</a>
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Old 01-15-2005   #5
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Getting old familly pictures identified while it's possible is really important. I have about two dozens of old pictures from the late 1800's to about the 1930's. Except for two of them that I know for sure are pictures of my grand mother and her sister (one when still babies and the other in their teens), I have no idea who the people are. One of them is definitely a relative as he could pass for my brother anytime. He looks so much like me it's spooky!

Unfortunately, I'll probably never be able to put names on those faces because pretty much everybody who could have known has passed away. So I'm stuck with those anonymous little treasures which I will preserve no matter what.

Get your old pictures identified as soon as possible. Once the information is gone, it's gone for good.

About the little black flies... Living in Quebec and being an outdoors kind of guy, I can tell you they are nasty little creatures. They will turn you completely nuts and then, they'll bite you! June is not a good month to spend in the woods here.
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Old 01-15-2005   #6
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I totally identify with the old family photo delema. I'm almost done scanning the hundreds of ancient family pics my mom was going to throw away.
She doesn't remember most of the people in them, and she's the last survivor of her family.
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Old 01-16-2005   #7
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Well, at least I let my father and grandmother know I would like to take care of the photos after my grandmother has passed away (she's 85 by now so it could be today or another 15 years). Right now I'm way too busy with getting my own family on track but perhaps this year I should start the process of getting those photos labelled and identified.

Food for thought....
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Old 01-16-2005   #8
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Interesting thread. Something that a member of my family very much concerned with genealogy did to help the process of identification. He put together an album organized by generation (going on seven of them in this instance). Family members' memories seemed to be stimulated by seeing the pictures in this way, he told me. Also, he said that there was more of an ability to eliminate possibilities by comparing the pictures within generation. Regards.

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Old 12-01-2019   #9
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It's an old thread but a timely topic for me right now. I would like to build an online family history site where my family members would be able to add notes to each photograph.
Been playing with open source s/w “Gramps”. It looks promising because it can be self-hosted so I would have 100% control of it but it seems to focus more on showing the family tree graphs and less on photos and notes sharing (I may be wrong).
On the other hand, I could organize my SmugMug family albums in some accessible way and invite family members to leave comments under each picture. This is appealing but there is no "family tree" like structure there.
Really hopping this has been solved years ago and someone can point me in the right direction.
Andy K
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Old 12-01-2019   #10
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My wife's brother put dozens of family photos on ancestry.com. It worked well for my wife's family. The service isn't free, but they have a lot of handy tools.

My mom died in May, and she was the keeper of generations of family photos and artifacts because she was an avid genealogist. I inherited boxes of photos, many of them annotated on the back in pencil with names and dates by my mom and her mom and many other relative over the course of decades of steady work. I remember my mom sitting with family members identifying who was in these photos, so my family will benefit from this work when I put all these photos on-line.

I also inherited boxes of my dad's slides. My dad was an avid photographer, and he gave me hundreds of slides and home movies he made before my parents divorced. These started when he bought his first camera in Japan when he was in the Marine Corps in the late 1950's, and ended with his death 18 years ago.

The main problem will be the shear volume of these photos and slides and movies. I don't know the limits of ancestry.com, but it isn't cheap at $200 per year. That's a daunting price.

1917 No. 1A Autographic Kodak Junior
1940 Kodak 35 Rangefinder
1955 Leica M3
1969 Canon New Canonet QL17-L
1976 Konica Autoreflex T3n
1977 Canon 110ED 20
1979 Minox 35 GL
1979 Olympus XA
1980 Pentax Auto 110
1987 Polaroid Spectra
1996 Canon EOS Elan IIe

Last edited by skucera : 12-01-2019 at 19:16. Reason: Correcting really odd line spacing
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Old 12-02-2019   #11
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I was helping my mother with some genealogical research into her family and found some old photos from the late 19th century and early 20th century in a collection of early photographs from my home state in our state library. Fortunately it did not take a lot of work to find those that were relevant to my family. I found it very rewarding and it made me more than a little bit nostalgic.

I too love the way those old emulsions (mainly glass plate) render and wish my monochrome photos looked half as good as some of these. Sadly though my grandfather was as keen a photographer as I am (apparently) his photos were thrown away as no one cared about them. As he travelled extensively as a young man this is not just a loss to my family but also to historians.

A few of those I came across

My Great Grandfather

My Great Grandfather (on the left) riding a camel (yeh I know!)

One of his sons (which would make him a great uncle or something)

Another great uncle who looks frighteningly like me.

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Old 12-08-2019   #12
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Thank you Scott and Peter, for sharing. This only makes me more motivated to make this project happen for my family. There is no good reason, I think, that worthwhile family photos should ever perish. We have the means to keep those memories well past the next five ice ages. Now, all I have to do is get a few kinfolk genuinely invoved..

Btw, these two online options look intriguing
Andy K
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