My monthly Scrapaneer Heritage articles keep me accountable. There. I’ve said it. I have done more towards my family’s Lifestory book in the past year since I’ve been writing these Heritage articles, than I have in the past 4 – 5 years which is when I started to think about pulling all my photos, documentation and stories into one place for each generation.
Imagine finding an old newspaper article like this about someone in your own family:
Yes, that is what one of the many articles written about poor John Lingard and quickly spread over Indiana back in 1890. (Sorry if this made anyone turn a bit “green around the gills” but you can imagine what one of my research clients thought when I brought her several of these articles about her own Indiana Pioneer ancestor!)
Want to see what is out there hiding in an old newspaper about your own family?
A Sprinkle of Holiday Magic to You and Your Family!
What a year it has been! I wasn’t quite sure where I would fit into all the scrapbooking goodness that is tied up into Scrapaneers.com but the response has confirmed that I have found my niche which brings a smile to my face!
We’ve covered a lot of topics this year but I have one more to finish it up because it’s so frustrating to find myself working on a particular family group that doesn’t have very many family photos. What am I to do when I want to combine not only documents and stories, but also some photos, into my Lifestory books — but I just can’t find them? Let’s look at some of the creative ways we can bring outside photos into our Lifestory pages that add background as well as a bit of fun.
Secrets to increasing a photo’s size and still have it look good
Show me an old family photo and I’m usually scanning it and zooming in to take a look around at all the little details in the photo. In my Heritage September Monthly Class, I worked with several pretty tiny photos that I had scanned with my iPhone camera and was able to enlarge with success.
If you took my class, you might remember me talking about my great-grandfather, Reuben Clouse? He was the young boy that is found living in the 1880 Federal Census without his family in DeKalb County, Indiana as a boarder at the young age of twelve. At this point, his family was all still living at their home in Ohio. I lamented that I have been searching in hopes of locating a photo of him along with his family.
Anyone that has been around me long enough, knows that I kind of have a passion for searching. Not so much in searching for lost keys or socks, but more in the area of searching to put together a bigger picture when it comes to family history stories. I know… that was a lame beginning, but it is the honest truth.
Did someone say fun?
When I heard that Google, my first place to search, had added a feature that could search by images, I knew that my explorations had just gotten a little more fun. Say for instance, that you wanted to see if you could locate a photo of a Civil War unit online to try and get a date for the photo. Of course, you could simply type in the name of the unit and see the results, but somehow the magic really happens when you simply drag and drop your photo right into Google Images and let it do its thing. Really…
Bringing an online class together is a huge task, but when it involves not only my passion for family history exploration but also my love for digital scrapbooking and photo restoration, then, hey… I’m all in. The fear of taking on such a large undertaking felt small compared to the fact that I knew that I had all the tools to actually pull it together. This was one of those times when I feel like I have been practicing for forever to bring something just like this to life and I just can’t thank Tiffany Tillman enough for gently nudging me along to bring “Heritage with Michele” to the Champions area of Scrapaneers.
But enough about the class already… In the class, I purposely left out so many ways to creatively look into your family history because, really… I would have been talking for days in the class and not just for a few hours! But there is one website that that left out and I definitely want to tell you a little about it… FamilySearch.org.
This site has a special place in my heart because it was at one of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Family History Centers here in Indiana, that is about 20 miles away from me, where I first sat down at a computer and pulled up information on my own family. I remember it vividly because it was all I could do to sit still and not squeal out loud with excitement. And yes, I was hooked right then.
What’s a person to do? You have captured an entire album of your family’s heritage photos and then realize that they look like they aren’t straight? Will just rotating them help? Probably not. You are going to have to do a little perspective adjusting or “Skew” as it is called.
The best way to keep the tilting at bay is to try and get the heritage photo as square as you can in the camera when you take the photo. But that is sometimes easier said than done especially when you are attempting to capture multiple photos with each visit.
Faster is not always better. If you are using your phone to scan your family heritage photos, you will want to read this article.
You see, I’ve stumbled across something that I should have known but didn’t think about until I was trying to answer the increasing number of scanning questions sent my way. In fact I was very close in recommending one of these apps to a number of friends, but decided I had better do a bit of checking before I hit the Enter key. I was getting caught up in the tempting prospect of taking one photo of one photo album page and almost instantly receiving multiple single images — all nicely cropped — all ready for me to simply save them and then upload them for use in my heritage project.
Do you search through your digital files or are you a browser? When it comes to scrapbooking, I’m definitely a browser. I love to see all my things laid out in front of me, paper or digital, so I can pick and choose exactly what I want to add to my layout. You’re right there with me, aren’t you…?
back of photo: Nathan, Paul, Grandpa George, and baby Max.
What to do when you have a family heirloom photo that has nothing else written on the back but the names of the people? First of all, it is a good thing to actually find names on the back of old family photos. It’s just that when I only have one photo like this, I really would love to know some sort of back story and in this case, all four generations are now silent. In order to give this special photo some of that interesting background, I have to do some hunting.