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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in preservation (26)

Friday
Jan212011

* Pointers for family picture labels

Don't: Write on the front of a picture

Example: Picture of my Shaw Ancestors

Sure labeling a picture this way makes it easier to identify people, but the integrity of the photo is somewhat compromised. Demonstrate your appreciation of their memories, only write on the back of the original picture. You can make a copy, write in the names, and save it with the original.

 Don't: only write the first name, who is Aunt Ann?

 

This picture alone would be quite a mystery, no mention of whose Aunt this is or a maiden or married surname. Always include the last names, especially the maiden names! Sometimes finding a woman's maiden name can prove to be the most difficult task. You can never assume pictures will stay within a a direct family line, any facts you can include will help tell the story.

Do: Write your name when adding or modifying a label.

Do: Write the date

Do: use Acid Free/Archival Safe Ink

Do: write the location!

I WISH more of my family photographs had some indication of location. Back in the day the family would stick together and live in a relatively local spot, this is probably one of the reasons they didn't jot down the city name or street. With sites like whatwasthere.com and historypin.com you can upload images, mark their location on the a virtual map, and compare the old picture vs the google street view from today. If only we could go back in time and explain this in the late 1800's- wouldn't they be surprised!

Do: ask family members for help!

It's really important to take the time and read over whatever inscriptions you find on family pictures and documents. The smallest detail can be the key to unlocking the secrets of your family. If you have a grandparent or great aunt or uncle nearby you could ask them to take a look at your pictures. This is a time sensitive opportunity- take advantage while you can!

Have fun preserving your pictures!

Saturday
Jan152011

* archives.com announces new grant program to fund family history projects!

Just this week archives.com announced their NEW Grant program for family and cultural history projects. I am very excited about this fantastic opportunity, here is the press release from Archives.com: Archives.com Announces Grant to Fund Family and Cultural History Projects Program to Assist Groups and Individuals with Historical Preservation "PALO ALTO, CA — January 13, 2011 – Archives.com, an Inflection brand, today announces its Grant Program, a major initiative to assist individuals and communities with family, communal, and cultural research and preservation projects. The Archives.com Grant will help people and organizations take on historically significant projects that positively impact their family or community.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec192010

* sightseeing sundays: all aboard the queen mary!

Introducing a new weekly post - Sightseeing Sundays!

The Sightseeing Sunday Series will highlight my visits to historical or genealogical landmarks sitting on my never ending to do list. A list of places to see (historical, genealogical, personal, out of the ordinary) is in the works and each week I will share the latest sightseeing experience.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the Queen Mary permanently docked in Long Beach, CA. My cousin Bernice, a long time resident of Long Beach, had never been and suggested we make a visit. GREAT idea!!

A little history: The Queen Mary was originally designed for Cunard White Star luxury cruises from Europe to the United States in the 1930's; after the maiden voyage in 1936 she became the first class standard for ocean liner travel. During WW2 the country called on the Queen Mary and she was converted into a military transportation vessel for US troops. Currently The Queen Mary is a floating museum with daily themed tours, self guided tours, monthly special events, hotel with 314 original First Class Staterooms, and numerous restaurants and lounges. With the difficult economy and constant financial struggles for many preservation projects, The Queen Mary could definitely use some admirers! 

May 27, 1936- THE QUEEN MARY departs Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City.

June 1, 1936- Arrival at Pier 90 in New York City Crossing time: 5 days, 5 hours and 13 minutes.

August 1936- On her sixth round-trip voyage, THE QUEEN MARY wins the Blue Riband for the fastest North Atlantic crossings from the French Line's Normandie. The Normandie won the honor back in 1937.

March- May 1940- Painted gray and fitted as a troop ship.

May 1942-  First time more than 10,000 persons had traveled on any ship (9,880 troops, 875 crew)

My visit:

 I really loved this attraction!! A unique and interesting way to explore history. With our General Admissions Passport (Adult: $24.95, Senior (55+) & Military: $21.95, Child (5-11): $12.95) we were able to check out the Ghost and Legends Tour and a self guided tour of the ship.

You have to do the Ghost and Legends tour! The guide gives a cheeky comedic performance as the group is led through the most haunted spots on the ship. One stop was the first class pool located well below the main decks and Queen Mary haunted First Class Poolit wasn't long before the fog machine and sound effects were on full speed. At times it was a little cheesy but overall the tour was informative and definitely creepy!

If you are in the area I would definitely recommend visiting The Queen Mary!

Next Sunday I'll share a hometown gem from Saratoga, NY.

 

Monday
Nov292010

* family history, grandmother to granddaughter

My GGGG grandfather JJ Franks came to the United States from England as a child abt 1800. He lived in NYC, NJ, and the Oneida Community in upstate NY (more to come on this interesting topic!). He had 9 children and somehow I am the lucky recipient of a table originally owned by him! I don't know how my GG grandmother Virginia W Middleton (jj franks granddaughter) came into possession of this table but I do have her written history of the table.

1936-Letter from Virginia W Middleton to granddaughter Marjorie Middleton

"This table which is to be the property of my first grandchild, Marjorie Middleton, daughter of Wentworth and Edith Shaw Middleton; was first owned and used by her great great grandparents Josiah James and Sarah Hunt Franks, about the year 1813, afterwards by her great grandfather Benjamin Mortimer Franks and Georgianna Wentworth Franks, and subsequently by her grandfather, Thomas Middleton and grandmother Virginia Wentworth Middleton. Josiah James Franks came to this country USA in infancy in the year 1794."

Signed, Virginia Wentworth Franks Middleton

Sept 30, 1936

 

  In following the tradition, my grandmother wrote a letter passing the table down to me, her first granddaughter. 

1998- Letter from Marjorie Middleton Wright to granddaughter Abby marie Wright

April 25, 1998

"I am adding to the history of this table which was started by my grandmother Virginia Wentworth Franks Middleton. I have had the table since her death and am leaving it to my older grandchild Abby Marie Wright to enjoy in good health and hope she will be able to leave it to her daughter."

Marjorie Middleton Wright

Marjorie owned the table until 1998; 62 years my grandmother kept these treasures! Hopefully within the next 62 years I will have a granddaughter to pass along this family heirloom. I should start drafting the letter now :)

What has your family passed down?