"Have you thought about writing your family history, but found yourself stuck from the start? Writing a family narrative can be a daunting task, but Karen Jones Gowen found a way to bring her mother's story to life." (Homespun Magazine)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Interview with a Wanna be Genealogist

My husband is really really interested in genealogy and all aspects of family history. As he puts it: "A wanna-be family history pictures and archivist." Here's what he has to say-- (and thank you, darling husband, for the interview and photos and information on scanning)--

Technology today makes preserving records easier than ever. And easier to share original documents with anyone at no additional cost. The opportunity to look into the face of an ancestor in a photograph and realize that they are connected to you is remarkable.

With the advent of scanning technology this is made easier and more accessible. I take old photos and scan the entire photo, even if there's damage to it. I can also just scan the faces, which are the most important part of the individuals in our history. I like to see the settings that they're in, I like to think about what they may be doing the day that they posed for this picture.

I have a treasured photograph of one young couple recently married, right before he went off to fight in the Civil War and never came home.
That is Smith Banta and his wife, Mary Jane London, my great-great grandparents. They had two children. Later, she remarried and had eight more children.

Documents such as marriage licenses, birth certificates, wills, letters and anything that might give information about family members can also be scanned and emailed to those interested. Scanning is a simple and inexpensive process for photos and documents. No more running to the copy store, or even worse--loaning an original valued document and worrying that you might never get it back.


  1. Brilliant pics and what a fab way to preserve them! Thanks for sharing. Smith Banta is such a unique name. Lovely. Take care

  2. My son has scanned in documents and photos too. He's put our family tree onto Geni and he's had contact with some cousins that we didn't know existed. It's fascinating and wouldn't have been possible without the internet.

  3. I need to figure out my scanner. I only use it once a year or so and keep forgetting how to do it.

  4. I always wonder why people in old photos never smiled. Maybe life was so hard that there was nothing to smile about or maybe it took so long to take the photo that the smile was lost.


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