Saving Your Memories, Photos and Research

You might be fortunate that your ancestors were ones to take many photos, label them and keep them safe. They could also have written down in the family Bible important dates and events or kept a journal. Over the years they saved family heirlooms and provided the oral history behind all the items.

If the above is your case, you are very lucky, not everyone has those family items. If you have a few, great, you will want to continue to preserve those photos, records, and journals for future generations. Yet, you can also add to the family collection. 

To start: With social online media, many stories and photos can be placed on Facebook or similar sites to share with others. You can create albums to help organize and group items and also label them. But is that a little too public, Facebook, sharing family photo?. Did you know you can make your photo albums private? You can even customize the settings so that only certain people (family or friends) can view your photos. Keeping some of these as digital images on Facebook is a little backup insurance in case your computer crashes.

For you, also write things down your experiences or those of siblings or your parents. It does not have to be complete and a nicely written journal, even just short notes of dates, places, and events is better than nothing. Start with paper and pen and then either transcribe the notes to digital or ask someone to type it out for you and make digital. That way it can be shared easily.

Some people prefer to talk, tell their family stories to someone who gets it written down and then digital. If that works for you, it is the way to go. A suggestion, check with a local genealogical society or a high school, there could be a person or high school senior more than willing to assist.

Scan or take photos of family heirlooms; jewelry, military medals, baby clothes, family Bible, etc. Many can be scanned on a flatbed scanner which saves the image to your computer. A few items are too large and a good digital photo of the items works. Label all of these in its title.

Present-day photos need to be preserved also. So do not leave them solely on a digital camera or your smartphone. Transfer a copy to your commuter and back up your files to a flash drive or exterior hard drive. If something happened to your smartphone and the photos were not copied to another location, you lost those images.

A good practice is to share anything you make copies of, whether it is notes of life stories, photos, images of artifacts, copies of family Bible records, family videos, along with vital documents. Share with at least one other family member or better yet, 2 or 3 others, different branches and generations. Let a close family member know where you have these originals stored.

Just a few suggestions on how to save and store your and any family memories and treasures.

Photos: Family artifacts / heirlooms; scanning objects; be interviewed; and scan documents.

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