Old family photographs end up in boxes and in an old drawer or worse yet an attic. The older the pictures are the less likely you can find a family member who knows who is in the photos. It’s important to record who are in the photos or there is no reason to keep them. I recommend making digital copies of all old family photos along with identification information and then distribute to all interested family members.Above is a series of photos starting with my great-great grandfather and finishing with me. Fortunately one of my older cousins did a lot of work and put together a book on the ancestry on my dad’s side of the family.
In 1938 a survey was done of the Bode family and approximately 1500 Bode’s were identified. They had a reunion in 1938 in Courtland, Minnesota. Around 500 attended. I have a photo of the attendes but it stretches over 40 inches and would be hard to show on a blog. I only recognized one person in that large photo and that was my grandfather.
Contemporary photographs are taken by the bushel compared to those earlier times but because they are digital few will survive. Print your most important images. They are more likely to survive. Hard drives fail, cd’s and dvd’s degrade chemically unless you use expensive gold archival ones which are expensive. Memory sticks may be one of the best ways to store images today, but they are small and may get lost easy.
I have only several of the original photographs shown in this short series but they are in excellent condition. Some of the originals I have are 16×20 or 13×16 and somewhat of a pain to store.
Don’t take those old family photos for granted!