Ancestry Archives

    Lately I have been honored with the task of collecting, organizing, and preserving my family’s ancestral photographs. The journey so far has been amazing. I have been working very hard on my senior capstone paper, so I have not had much time to spare. Yet I have somehow found the time to scan many of the old family photographs I have in my collection. There are so many amazing pictures I just had to share.

The photo above is of my Great Grandmother Dorothy, my Great Great Grandmother Delina, and my 3-times Great Grandmother (whose name I do not yet know) with my Great Aunt Alice as a baby. This photograph was hidden away in a briefcase in my father’s closet. I could not believe it. I never thought I would see a photograph of my Great Great Great Grandmother. The date of the photo is unknown, however, I am assuming it is between 1930-1940 because of my Great Aunt Alice.
    This photograph above is of my Great Grandmother, Minnie Lashway, with her dog in 1923. Old photographs can tell you many things. For example, my Great Grandmother has tons of photographs of her dogs and her life on the farm. I can tell that the animals and her home meant a lot to her.

The best way to store old photographs is by putting them in archival safe albums and boxes. Keep them out of the light and never place them in attics or basements. Perhaps my father was on to something when he hid that briefcase in the closet because it kept them in such good condition in the dark and temperature controlled environment.

Never laminate your photos or old documents because the laminate is full of chemicals that will cause irreparable damage.

Now this special photograph is of my Grandfather, Ronald Murray, who I never had the opportunity to meet. This photo was taken of him when he was 19 or 20 serving in the Korean War. Some of his photographs are the most fascinating. I have countless pictures that I plan on putting in an album with all of his war paper work and newspaper clippings. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Before seeing his collection and reading the letters and papers with all of the photos I never really missed him in my life. Of course, I have always wished I could have met him, but after learning more about him I feel the loss of his presence for the first time. He was a really great man and I hope that I memorialize him well by preserving the pictures and papers he left behind.

In the future I will be sharing more photographs like these as well as tips for organizing and preserving your own family photographs. Photographs are such a wonderful thing to properly keep track of and keep for future generations. So many of us, including myself, keep photos hidden away in boxes or worse: leaving them on a computer or CD (never printed) that will go obsolete in just a few years. Those unprinted images are at risk for being lost forever. So this year I am going to break the cycle and take care of my precious family pictures.

Hope that you all enjoyed this look into the past. I cannot wait to share more photographs like these.


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