Saturday, March 28, 2009

Family Tree and Pictures

In recent weeks, I have been doing some genealogy research. Or, I should say, I have been doing some posting to my family tree and have been fortunate to receive a lot of help from friends and family members as to information, names and dates. I have now taken my paternal grandmother's history back to 1680. What I find so amazing is that it tells me that my ancestors at that time came from Transylvania and Russia. Wow! I have work to do to go back even further than that.

The problem, or excitement, of working on a family tree, is that it can be very time consuming to the point where your eyes are hurting looking at the computer screen. It just makes me wonder how people did it years ago, before computers. I know as a very young adult, I sat down with my father and a large poster board and together we did a little tree making. It ended up being rather confusing, but I still draw information from it today.

The problem is, one branch leads to another branch and WOW it does get very interesting. Now, The Trout, I know, would like me to start recording his information and I do have a lot of it thanks to a cousin who did all this research and gave it to him years ago. It just takes time and believe me, I spend enough time on the laptop.

In conjunction with this, I have a heavy burden lying on me--photographs. I wish we had bought a digital camera many years before we did. Now we have boxes of some-what organized photos and slides. We don't even have a slide projector anymore. And then we got into videos of our trips abroad. We have one of the most delightful scenes at Juliet's balcony in Verona, Italy, where I am asking The Trout (wherefore art Thou?) Surely, someone besides me will find this humorous someday? ...hmmm, doubtful!

I have this wonderful photo album that belonged to my grandmother. Her name is in the front and the date Christmas, 1906. Even the price, $2.25 is written in the front. Surely, that was a very lot of money in those days.

Inside the photo album are many pictures with no names and dates. I recognize this one below, because it is my father's mother on the right, Susanna, and the other lady is unknown. I find that I do not write names and dates as often as I should on the back of photographs either. I like to think I am somewhat organized, but doing this is greatly lacking in my repertoire of things to do.


  1. If you need any extra help/info on genealogy, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has two Family History Centers in Lakeland, and I think they have one at the building in Winter Haven. They offer free help/services, for the public. They have incredible sources. Just look them up in the phone book.
    They are usually open a couple of days a week, and have morning and evening hours!

  2. I love old photos and learning about my family. My materal aunt has been doing genealogy on their side of the family. She has spent many hours and gives us copies of what she finds. My father would have been 93 this year and I lost alot of info when he passed away. I loved to hear him tell stories of them growing up in Maine, I should have been writing it down. I have lots of old photos that need to be put in an album. You learn some very interesting things aboout your family. Good luck with your project!

  3. If you need any help locating the Family History Centers...just email me:


    I'll get you the phone numbers, days, times, addresses etc.

    I see good ole SassyDog is stopping by...she is one of my dearest friends in the world!!!

  4. Anonymous10:31 AM

    AS you know, I have been doing genealogy research for several years. Yes, it is time-consuming but so interesting--much more fun than crossword puzzles (which I love to do). The only frustrating thing for me is that when I solve one problem I have then doubled the amount of work to go into the next generation.

    I was pleased to learn that Dale and I are descended from common ancestry. I think that most of us with Norwegian ancestry, if our ancestors came from western Norway, are probably distantly related.

    Yes, you have just reminded me. I must write information on the back of a lot of old family pictures. I have the same problem that you have. So many of my old pictures did not have the people identified. At the time people assumed everyone will know everyone. They had no idea that ancestors a hundred years later would have any interest in knowing, for that matter. They didn't know what genealogy junkies some people would become. RW

  5. Anonymous10:34 AM

    Of course they couldn't have ancestors a hundred years later. I meant to say descendants!! RW

  6. Dave K.1:24 PM

    Susan, it is so incredibly rewarding researching your family roots! I have been researching my family for almost thirteen years! It is like a crossword puzzle, a mystery story and a detective story all wrapped into one. When I lived in Chicago I spent countless hours at the National Archives and Records Administration going through microfilm reels of passenger ship lists. I will never forget the day I finally found my great grandparents and the name of their ship on the April 24, 1880, New York Passenger Ship List! Your children and grandchildren will appreciate all of your hard work down the road.

  7. Dave K, I found a passenger list from 1877 with my great grandfather on it at age 18. I am now trying to find a picture of the ship, but it was sunk several years later, so not much luck yet.

  8. Thank you for the nice comments on my blog. My brother is really into geneology too. He got me into I think it is and it's really fun. You have gone back so many years. That is amazing. I know what you mean about not labeling pictures I am finding I never did that either. Now I make sure I do but most of them are digital now.

  9. Angie Finnegan5:08 AM

    thanks for all the hard work mom. I do worry that just as you no longer have a slide projector someday if my great great grandkids want to look at our old photos they will not be able to located these old computers to view them. i've been thinking I really need to order hard copies of the photos I really love.

    Love you,


  10. Transylvania - as in Dracula? Freaky. Yes, I could see where the kids would want to know all of this someday. Thanks for taking the time to work on it. Love ya, E

  11. Yes, Erika and Angie, you have ancestors that came from Transylvania, as in Dracula. Actually it is also Romania which is now ...oh no, my geography is no longer up to date.