thegenealogygirl


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Catching Up & A Special Gift

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Me, at Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz, California

March & April have been bananas for me!  March started off while I was at RootsTech.  I had a week of catch up and then I was off to Washington to help my Mom & Auntie V.  Then the first week of April was Spring Break and our California adventure.  And then, I buried myself with a bigger than expected project.

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My amazing oldest

You see, my amazing oldest son, who is serving as a missionary, is about to turn 20.  He is a happy, fun-loving kid who inspired this funny photoshop creation.  He really is the center person.  A friend put his head over the two Sister Missionaries heads.  It was Valentine’s Day in this photo and a nice old man had purchased flowers for the Sister Missionaries and somehow my funny boy was asked to hand them the flowers, and from there, we got this delightful creation.

But, back to his upcoming birthday.  I asked him what he wanted or needed.  He said he wanted nothing now, and requested that I just save a little money for him to buy new clothes when he gets home.  An understandable request.  But it’s like he didn’t know who he was talking to.  😉

Of course, I couldn’t do nothing to mark the end of his teenage years!  I’m a fan of meaningful gifts.  So after plenty of mulling, I decided he would be getting 20 gifts of 20 items to celebrate his passage into his twenties.  Now if you are thinking that is basically the exact opposite of what he requested you would kind of be right.  But most of the gifts cost absolutely nothing.  Or almost nothing.

As a family, we put together several things like – 20 jokes, 20 ridiculous pieces of advice, 20 birthday wishes and so on.  The two items that took me the most time were 20 favorite memories of him and 20 ancestor cards.  For the 20 favorite memories, I made a list of several off the top of my head, but I even went through some journals and typed up a few entries that were especially sweet.

And then we get to the gift that was my favorite.  Twenty ancestor cards.  Ahhhhh.  Genealogy gifts are my favorite.  The ancestor cards were created using Adobe Illustrator.  I then printed them as 4×6 photos at Costco.   Here are two of the cards I created:

mary brown young ancestor card-01

seth maffit ancestor card-01

I simplified things to try to appeal to my son.  I reduced place names to city & state or city & country.  I shared some highlights from the person’s life.  Things I thought might interest my son a bit.  I intentionally chose ancestors who were immigrants, some type of pioneer, or someone who overcame big challenges.  I wanted him to see how diverse our family history is.  I wanted him to be able to draw some strength from his ancestors’ stories.  I hope this gift will be interesting and meaningful to him.  But the good news is that I LOVED making it.  So even if it isn’t his favorite, it was worth the time I spent.  Now I need to go back over them and perfect them a bit and share them with my siblings.

Now that the 20 gifts of 20 things are all done and in the mail, and I’m back home for a while, I have some serious catching up to do!  I’m behind on everything.  😉

 

 

Happy Friday, I hope you make a fantastic genealogy discovery this weekend!  xoxo

 

 

ps – I’m sorry I haven’t been around to read any of your wonderful posts in a few months.  Hopefully, I’ll be back to my normal routine again soon!  I’ve missed hearing about your genealogy successes.  ❤

 

 


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Photograph Showcase: Mother Daughter Moment

 

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My Mom & her Mom, Deane Alice Duval, December 1959

Last week I was able to spend some time with my parents and other family members.  My mom had a minor out-patient surgery and I went to help.  While she was napping post-surgery, I set up the scanner we bought her for Christmas.  She currently has her younger brother’s baby book/photo album and that was at the top of her list to scan so that it can be returned.  His baby book is in excellent shape!  So are the photos.  As the steward of thousands of family photos, I was surprised to see so many I had never seen before.  Including this precious shot.

What a happy discovery!  Isn’t it a beautiful photograph?  It definitely needs to be printed, framed, and displayed somewhere in my home.

 

Happy Thursday, I hope you make a wonderful photo discovery this week!  If not, I hope you choose to digitize and share with your loved ones a photo that is special to you.

 

 

ps – If you are new around here and are shocked by the fact that I have thousands of old family photos – my great grandparents were photographers.  😉

 


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Photograph Showcase: The First Image From A Precious Collection

costello08 - cropped, lightened - 2x, and sharpened - smaller 6000

This beautiful family portrait was given to me by my Grandma several years ago.  It is an 11×17″ photo of my Grandma, my mother, and my mother’s siblings.  My darling Mom is wearing the blue striped dress.

This portrait was one of many in a large Kodak envelope.  All of the photos were taken by my Great-Grandmother Estelle Duval at her studio – Duval Portraits in Spokane, Washington.  Most of the photos in this envelope were hand colored with oil paints by Grandma Duval.  She was remarkably talented.

For the past several years – maybe 7 or so – these photos have been patiently waiting for some attention.  Well, two weeks ago when I scanned the Telesphore Brouillette book, I also scanned all 28 of the 11×17″ portraits.

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It felt pretty fantastic to finally get these treasures scanned.  I just needed some time and access to a large, high-quality flat-bed scanner.  Thank you, BYU for helping me out!

The only bummer, and it is a very slight bummer, is that many of these precious photos were printed on textured paper.  The scans exaggerate the texture and the photos come out much darker than they really are.  Here is the original scan:

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And here it is lightened up a bit:

costello08 - cropped, lightened - smaller

And here it is with a little bit of sharpening:

costello08 - cropped, lightened, and sharpened - smaller

And then finally, with some more sharpening and another layer of lightening:

costello08 - cropped, lightened - 2x, and sharpened - smaller 6000

Which version appeals most to you?

 

I am sooooo happy to have finally scanned these treasures!

 

 

Happy Thursday, I will be enjoying lots of family time next week for Thanksgiving.  I’ll be taking the week off.  If you are also celebrating Thanksgiving, may I suggest that you spend some time preserving memories?  The FamilySearch Memories app is free and a fantastic way to record audio.  It can record segments up to 15-minutes in length.  Get your family talking about their favorite memories of loved ones now gone and record those gems.  Have the Google PhotoScan app ready to go so you can scan any photos that catch your eye.  Remember, the app isn’t nearly as good as a scanner, but sometimes, it’s the only thing you’ve got.  I hope you have a blessed and thankful week!  I am thankful for each of you who make my genealogy experience so much richer.  xoxo

 

 


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Trip Report in Brief

Amberly, Tara, Grandma, MomMe, Tara, Grandma, Mom
Tara, Grandma, Grandpa, AmberlyTara, Grandma, Grandpa, Me

My trip was great.

I have information coming out of my ears.  A fabulous problem.

I flew to Spokane on Friday.  My mom and sister Tara drove up to join me.  The highlights of our days included these moments.

Friday:

  • Hanging out at Aunt Vicki’s house.
  • Lots of talking.
  • Grandma drove over and looked through MANY photos with me, identifying people, places, and events.
  • A little shopping.

Saturday:

  • We spent some time at Grandma’s house interviewing her.
  • Family dinner at my cousin’s house with lots of loved ones gathered together.

Sunday:

  • Morning interview with my mom’s dad’s brother and his wife.
  • More time interviewing Grandma and Grandpa.
  • Lots of talking with Aunt Vicki after my mom and sister hit the road.
  • Time spent wandering Vicki’s house looking at all of her family heirlooms – photographing them of course.

Monday:

  • A relaxed morning getting ready to head home.
  • Lots more talking with Aunt Vicki.

I learned so much information in such a short time; my mind is overfull.  I have hours of work ahead of me processing the interviews.  I am hopeful that some of the small facts I gathered will lead me to some new discoveries.  Actually, a few already have.

Why don’t I do this more often?


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Photograph Showcase: Delicious Thighs

Debbie, September 1955My Mom, September 1955

I love this photo of my mom.  She looks so happy.  She is delightfully chubby and healthy looking.  Of my three babies only one was deliciously fat like this – he was by far the best sleeper.  I wonder if my mom was a good sleeper too?  I love the small floral details on the arms of her seat.  Baby gear has come a long way in functionality and safety but it’s not nearly as charming as it was in 1955.