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Include Photos and Historical Images in Your Family History

Sometimes a researcher can get so wrapped up in looking for names and dates of ancestors they forget to include some photos, ephemeral, keepsakes and even historical images that came give a better sense of the time that ancestor lived in.

I just received an extending family historical story booklet, bound with some 100 pages of very fascinating stories of numerous relatives.  All the information dates, places were interesting but what really made the project were the extras. As the family story was written out, inserted were a couple brief historical events, which also had the price of common goods, who was the U. S. President or popular sports.

Included were the brief vignettes of historical events such as:

It was 1927 and Charles Lindbergh had made his nonstop flight to Paris. The Jazz Singer brought an end to silent movies and Babe Ruth became the highest paid sports figure. That same year Ruth hit 60 home runs in one season.

These inserts offered the reader an improved perspective of the times.  What can be added besides the written events would be images or illustrations of some of the people and events. Especially with photography and illustrations so popular from the 1850s and the present-day, there can be many images to select from.

Just Google as certain keyword such as ‘Babe Ruth’ and a variety of photos will appear.  It is best to select any from the U. S. Library of Congress, since those would be in public domain. Another example would be sheet music or lyrics to songs of an era. From the period of the American Civil War to the 1930s and 1950s, there is a wide range of popular songs of each time.

An example of a Union supporter set of lyrics was “Bully for All

CHORUS.–Bully, O Bully, O Bully good song,

Bully for all, Bully for all,

Join in the chorus and help it along,

Bully for all, for all.

Other topics which might relate to your own family’s stories would be the railroad system across America, the stagecoach lines, Pony Express Service, factories, women as nurses with the American Red Cross, new transportation like bicycles and autos, immigration and of course the numerous wars an ancestor may have been participated in.

Including everyday household products can enrich the full family story.  From the 1890s into 1920s, Larkin Soap Products were in nearly every household. A simple Google search of household products of the 1890s produces results.

Living styles such as use of water closets in the 1890s, a toilet with a tank of water that came from an above-ground cistern, were prevalent, but a separate ‘bathroom’ was still uncommon during this era.
<br?There are countless items that can be added to enrich the overall information on your ancestors.

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