thegenealogygirl


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Ellis Album, Photo 53 – Colleen Ellsworth

ELLSWORTH, Colleen

Colleen Ellsworth

Colleen is my 1st cousin twice removed.  Her mother is Gene Ann Huband.  Gene is the sister of the album’s creator, Blanche – my great-grandmother.  This same photo can be seen on FamilySearch.  There is a note attached to that copy stating that this is Colleen’s mission picture.

Surprisingly, I believe this is the first photo from this album that was already on FamilySearch.  There may have been one other, but if I remember correctly, my copy was so remarkably better that I went ahead and uploaded it.

Colleen was certainly beautiful.  As I look at the photo, the word that keeps coming to mind is glamorous.  Not usually the word we associate with missionaries.  😉

 

 

Update:

A week or so after writing this post, I came across the missionary farewell program for Colleen in my Grandmother’s collection.  Inside of the program was a lovely photo of the grandchildren of Heber & Hattie Huband:

HUBAND, Heber & Hattie grandchildren, December 1959

The back of this photo reads:  “Heber Huband Grandchildren Dec. 1959”.  The woman standing at the far left is Beth Louise Ellis, my grandaunt, the woman standing third from left is my Grandmother, Mary Margaret Ellis, the man to her right is her brother Dale Huband Ellis, and the woman sitting closest to the piano is their youngest sister, Claudia.  Based on the date of the photo and the date of the farewell, I would imagine that this photo was taken upon Colleen’s return.

I had to smile when I saw that my Grandmother and her youngest sister Claudia provided the prelude and postlude music for Colleen’s farewell.  Claudia is a fantastic organist.  She is known for being able to play the organ while carrying on a conversation with someone without looking at the music or the organ.  The first time I saw her do that I was so shocked!  But now, 20+ years later, I regularly do the exact same thing and even sing the alto part while I play the hymns on the organ.  I often think of Aunt Claudia as I play.  ❤

 

This photo comes from the twenty-seventh page of the album.  Here are pages twenty-six and twenty-seven to give context for this photo:

IMG_1663

This post is part of a series sharing this wonderful old family photo album.  You can learn more about the album here.

 


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Treasures: A Tribute to the Children of Heber & Hattie Huband

HUBAND children hair - smaller

Years ago, I recall a visit to my grandparent’s home when my Grandma showed me this display she had created.  I remember it was really important to her.  I think I was in college at the time.  Even back then, I loved genealogy.  But I don’t think that love had yet extended far enough to appreciate framed hair.  Because, well, it’s framed hair.  And unless you understand the significance of the framed hair, it’s just framed hair.  But what I wouldn’t give today to go back to that moment and ask my Grandma a few questions.

Like, what is the significance of the yellow satin?  (My Grandma was all about significance so I’m guessing there was some.)  It looks like Hattie must have written the note about Nina, am I right?  The notes about Lola and Montice seem to have been written twice – did Hattie write in pencil and you tried to trace over her writing with pen?  Or possibly Hattie wrote in pen but the ink had faded so you traced over it to darken it, am I on the right track?  When was the bit of your Mother’s hair cut?  Was she a child?  How long had you been planning to create this display before you finally put it together?  What inspired you?  How did these lovely bits of hair make their way to you?

And on, and on I could go.

Why didn’t I understand back then, that I would have so many questions about this wall hanging one day?

I don’t think I even knew back then that it represented my Grandmother’s Grandmother’s loss.  Grandma Hattie buried four of her precious babies at such young ages.  Lola was only three, Nina was just a few months past one, Montice was just two, and Edwin was just a young boy of six.

In that moment, standing in my Grandma’s bedroom next to her as she showed me her treasure, why didn’t I understand?  Why didn’t I soak in some of her memories?  Memories of Hattie.  Possibly memories of Hattie talking about her precious babies that she lost too soon.

Why didn’t I know that moment mattered?

I wish I had an answer.  I wish I had answers.

Instead, I am left to infer, and comment about, and preserve, and hope that by writing about this treasure here, one day, my own granddaughter or grandson will understand why Grandma has a picture frame with bits of hair tied in bits of ribbon with scraps of paper recording the short, but oh-so-precious lives of Hattie & Heber’s children.

I hope.

Grandma, I’m sorry that I didn’t listen better.  I’m sorry I didn’t understand the framed hair.  But I’m so thankful that you shared anyway.

And that you shared again, and again, and again.

I’m so thankful to be the current steward of so many family treasures that you lovingly preserved.  Man, I wish blogging had been a thing when you were still alive.  You would have been an amazing genealogy blogger.  I would have answers to so many questions!

So I’m just going to keep on keepin’ on.  I’m going to digitize and write and share so that as much of our family’s history is preserved as I can get to.  Thank you, for being such an inspiration to me about the ways we can honor and remember our ancestors.  I hope I am making you proud.  I love you!  Save a spot for me up there right next to you.  ❤

 

 

 

Happy Monday, I hope it’s a week filled-to-the-brim with genealogy goodness and happy memories of loved ones!  xoxo

 

 


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Photograph Showcase: Blanche & Montice, Sisters

HUBAND, Blanche & Montice, about 1899

Blanche Octavia Huband & Montice Cheney Huband, about 1900

Blanche Octavia Huband is my great-grandmother.  Montice Cheney Huband is her younger sister.  Blanche was born 21 May 1895 and Montice was born 7 December 1897.  They are the daughters of Hattie Margaret Cheney & Heber Albert Huband.

While this photo is undated, it was likely taken in about 1900.  Blanche is so clear in this photo, while Montice is slightly blurred.  I imagine it was hard for such a young girl to hold still enough to be in perfect focus.

Hattie & Heber were the parents of eight children:

  • Lola Huband, born 21 August 1890
  • Nina Huband, born 27 April 1893
  • Blanche Octavia Huband, born 21 May 1895
  • Montice Cheney Huband, born 7 December 1897
  • Edwin Perry Huband, born 29 October 1900
  • Lane Augustus Huband, born 16 December 1903
  • Gene Ann Huband, born 30 November 1908
  • Grant Cheney Huband, born 18 May 1911

At the time this lovely photo of Blanche & Montice was taken, they were the only living children.  Sadly four of Hattie & Heber’s children would die as young children:

  • Lola, died 27 July 1894
  • Nina, died 2 August 1894
  • Montice, died 6 November 1900
  • Edwin, died 11 March 1907

I have not seen a photo of Lola or Nina.  I don’t know if one exists.

As much as I love the photo of Blanche & Montice, I feel terribly, terribly sad when I look at it.  How must it have been for Hattie & Heber to bury four of their precious children at such young ages?  However, I’m glad this photo exists.  It is the only known photo of Montice.

HUBAND, Blanche & Montice, about 1899, back

This is the back of the photo.  I do not recognize the handwriting in blue ink at the top.  Could it be Hattie’s?  It doesn’t appear to be Blanche’s handwriting.  The notes in black ink were written by my Grandma, Mary Margaret Ellis, Blanche’s daughter.

 

 

 

Happy Thursday, do you happen to have a precious “only” photo of one of your relatives?  Have you scanned and shared it?  If not, I hope you will today!  xoxo

 

 


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Ellis Album, Photo 52 – Florence Storey

STOREY, Florence

Florence Storey

Isn’t this portrait lovely?  I feel like I say that a lot.  But man, this album is just filled to the brim with lovely portraits in excellent condition.

This beautiful woman is Florence.  She is my 1st cousin twice removed.  Until I scanned her photo, I had never heard of her.  But it turns out I have two connections to her.

The creator of this album is my great-grandmother Blanche Octavia Huband.  My great-grandfather, and husband of Blanche, is Claude Albert Ellis.  Florence is the daughter of Claude’s older sister Alice Eliza Ellis.  Florence married Joseph Cheney Willis.  Joseph is my 1st cousin three times removed.  He is the first cousin of Blanche.  His mother is Louise Delina Cheney, sister of Hattie Margaret Cheney.  Hattie is Blanche’s mother.  Phew!  Did you follow that okay?

 

 

This photo comes from the twenty-seventh page of the album.  Here are pages twenty-six and twenty-seven to give context for this photo:

IMG_1663

This post is part of a series sharing this wonderful old family photo album.  You can learn more about the album here.

 

 


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Photograph Showcase: Edwin Perry Huband, our brother

HUBAND, Edwin

Edwin Perry Huband

Edwin Perry Huband is my great-granduncle.  He is the son of my 2nd great-grandparents Heber Albert Huband & Hattie Margaret Cheney.  He was born 29 October 1900 in Shelly, Bingham, Idaho.  A very short, six years, ten months, and four days later, he died of appendicitis on 11 March 1907 in Logan, Cache, Utah.

The back of the photo reads: “Edwin Huband our Brother” written by an unknown writer, although it is likely that Blanche Octavia Huband may have written it; and “born Oct 29, 1900 died March 11, 1907” written by Blanche’s daughter, and my Grandmother, Mary Margaret Ellis.

Until last week, I did not know there were any photos of Edwin.  I found this precious little picture in a folder created by my Grandma that she labeled, “Huband”.  The photo is a copy of the original.  The original must have been quite damaged.  I cleaned the scan up a bit but you can see that it must have torn or experienced a severe stain of some kind.

I was very happy to see that I had already taken a photo of Edwin’s headstone and shared it on FindAGrave.

HUBAND, Edwin Perry, headstone

Headstone of Edwin Perry Huband in the Logan City Cemetery.

 

 

Happy Thursday, I hope you come across a photo of someone in your family for whom you did not know a photo existed very, very soon!  xoxo

 

 


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Ellis Album, Photo 51 – Blanche Lenore Cheney

CHENEY, Blanche Lenore

Blanche Lenore Cheney

Blanche Lenore Cheney is my 2nd great-grandaunt.  She was born 5 January 1886 in Laketown, Utah.  She was the youngest of eight children born to Joseph Thompson Cheney and Louise Maria Austin, my 3rd great-grandparents.  In 1921, she married Farrel Andrew Whitlock.  They had four children that I know of.  Blanche passed away 15 February 1971 in Fullerton, California.  Blanche was the maternal aunt of my great-grandmother, Blanche Octavia Huband, the creator of this wonderful album.  Isn’t this a lovely portrait?

 

 

This photo comes from the twenty-seventh page of the album.  Here are pages twenty-six and twenty-seven to give context for this photo:

IMG_1663

This post is part of a series sharing this wonderful old family photo album.  You can learn more about the album here.

 


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Saving Precious Memories, One Photo at a Time – How I Do It


If you know me at all, then you know that I have been blessed with an abundance of ancestral photos.  Seriously, an abundance.  Like coming-out-of-my-ears-I-will-never-finish-scanning-in-my-lifetime kind of abundance.

This is both wonderful and challenging.  The wonderful definitely outweighs the challenging – definitely!  But we need to be careful not to underestimate the time, effort, expense, and organization required of those who work to digitize & share family photo collections.  It is so much work.  But those of us who do it, do it out of love, and we want to share!

Recently, one of my sisters sent me this text message:

If I want to print some pictures of ancestors would I just download them from the Facebook groups you’ve created?  Will that give me the best quality?

What fantastic questions!

First of all – hooray! that my sister is noticing the photos I’m sharing on Facebook, that’s why I do it.  Second of all – hooray! that she wants to display some of those precious photos in her home where her children will see them all of the time.  Third of all – hooray! that I was already all set and didn’t have to slow her project down by finding a way to share the images with her.  We were able to text back and forth a few times with simple instructions and answers to questions that easily led her to the highest quality version of the photos she was interested in.

This experience caused me to decide to share my process for dealing with photos right here.  I take several steps with each photo.  Each step has a very specific purpose for sharing, preservation/back-up, or both.  I hope my method will inspire you as you consider how you digitize, preserve, back-up, and share your treasures.  Remember, there is no perfect or “right” way.  We all have to find what works best for us.

 

My process for handling a photo includes the following steps:

  • Scan
  • Edit
  • Upload to multiple places:
    • WordPress, if I’m including it in a blog post
    • FamilySearch
    • My Ancestry Tree
    • Flickr
    • Costco Photo Center
    • Facebook
  • Back-up
  • Delete from laptop
  • Preservation of the original physical photo

 

Scan

There are so many options for scanning.  After many years of preserving photos in different ways, I have finally settled into a groove when it comes to scanning.  I use three different scanning methods depending on the circumstances.

At-home scanning of items in my possession is all done on my Epson Perfection V600 Photo Flatbed Scanner.  This is my preferred method because it yields the highest quality images.

A few simple scanning tips for this scanning method:

  • Make sure the scanner glass is clean.
  • Gently clean the photo with a clean, very soft cloth or brush – don’t blow on the photo, you never know when you might have a wee bit of saliva end up on your image.  Yikes!
  • Scan at 600 dpi, or higher, as a TIFF file.  300 dpi will create a replica, size wise, so base the dpi on what you plan to do with the image.  If you want the ability to print a 5×7 or 8×10 and the original photo is a 2×3 – scan at a higher dpi.  600 is my baseline.  For very small, rare, or special images I will go up to 1200 dpi.  Every once in a blue moon there will be a very rare, very small, AND very special photo and I will scan it at 2400 dpi.  But like I said, that is very rare.
  • TIFF files are lossless and can be saved as a jpeg for other purposes, but the TIFF file will become your digital negative.  Jpegs are lossy files and not the best format for photo preservation.  While TIFF files are much larger, digital storage has become much cheaper, so buy a few flash drives and scan those photos as TIFF files!  I would prefer to do it right and only do it once.  One additional tip is that if you scan at a higher dpi as a TIFF and then do a ‘save as’ into a jpeg, the jpeg will look better than if you scan as a jpeg in the first place.  Here is an example.  I shared this photo last week.  The photo on the left was originally a TIFF that I saved as a jpeg.  The photo on the right is a file I scanned as a jpeg to start with at 300 dpi.  Can you see the quality difference?  Try opening them in their own windows and zoom in, then you can really see it.  Of course, the biggest difference is when the photo is actually printed.  Our backlit screens make up for a lot of quality loss that can’t be fixed in printing.

I have two other on-the-fly scanning methods I also use.

1 – I have a ShotBox and DSLR camera that I take with me when I visit a relative.  That way I can capture images and treasures in the moment without having to “borrow” them or wait for a relative to scan and share when they have time.

2 – I use the Google PhotoScan app for items too large to fit in my ShotBox.  I suggest everyone have this on their phone.  Be sure to practice a bit before you visit a relative.  While it’s easy to use, it definitely has some quirks.

Now about those all-in-one scan/print combo machines.  If that is all you have access to, go for it.  Scanned is better than not scanned.  But the image quality is much poorer.  Often there will be a library or Family History Center that has a flat-bed scanner you can use at little or no cost.  I suggest you look into that option.

Here is an example of a photo scanned using an all-in-one, then the same photo scanned using my flatbed scanner.

Estelle Duval at the desk of Duval Portraits

Scanned using an all-in-one scanner.

img066 - edited, slight lighten

Scanned using a flatbed scanner with some editing to lighten it up.

img066 - edited

Scanned using my flatbed scanner with no color/lightness correction.

 

Edit

I, admittedly, am a photo-editing snob.  I like to remove as much distraction as possible from my images.  Dust, scratches, stains – I like to get rid of those.  I want to focus on the faces.  For really special photos I will spend more time.  For most photos, I focus on the biggest distracting elements and remove those, and I always clean up all faces.  In the images above, the one on the right is not edited, the one on the left is.

My preferred photo-editing software is PhotoShop.  I know it’s an expensive program and not accessible to most, but I had a family member work for Adobe and got a sweet, sweet deal.  There are many other free, or low-cost editing software programs available.  Find something you like and edit – or not – as much as you prefer.

Here is a sampling of some photos before and after editing:

 

 

Upload

This sounds like a very long step, but it’s really not.  For starters, I open six windows with each website I will need.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 11.53.27 AM

If I am using the photo in a blog post, I start with that and upload the photo into WordPress.

Then I upload the photo to my Ancestry Tree, FamilySearch, Flickr, Costco Photo Center, and Facebook.  It’s pretty fast to start the uploads in each one.  For most photos, I just copy and paste the description into each website.  Occasionally I tweak it based on the audience.  See examples below.

 

Why upload the photos to so many places?  Each serves a different purpose.

 

My Ancestry Tree is private, so this step is for me and the family members I have invited to view my tree.  I like to have my photos there – simple as that.  It also serves as cousin bait.  Cousins will still see that the photos exist, even though they can’t see the images, and often send me a message.  I always share and I have made some great discoveries because of these connections.  I upload the smaller jpegs that I saved from my TIFF files.  Ancestry has a 15MB limit.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 1.13.07 PM

 

FamilySearch is next.  I add the photos to FamilySearch for four reasons.  First, preservation.  FamilySearch is really good at preservation and I know they will do their best to preserve those images in perpetuity.  Second, I feel a sense of responsibility to share the family treasures that have made their way to me as widely as possible.  It’s my way of showing gratitude for the abundance and trying to make the photos accessible to all of my relatives.  Third, cousin bait.  It’s great stuff that cousin bait.  When a cousin sees that you have added a photo, they can message you right inside of FamilySearch.  Great things can happen from those contacts.  Fourth, this one may seem weird, but my little one likes to play the Little Family Tree app.  Putting photos on FamilySearch means there is more cool stuff in his game experience.  I also upload the smaller jpegs that I saved from my TIFF files here.  FamilySearch also has a 15MB limit.

 

Next comes Flickr.  It is a great, free, photo storage website.  It has awesome privacy controls that can be set differently on each photo.  You can make each image completely private, viewable by people you have designated as family or friends (two separate categories, cool!), or public.  You can also make them searchable or not, within each of those categories.  Flickr has great organizing tools in the form of albums and tags.  Photos can be in more than one album.  The description area for each photo allows for very lengthy text.  You can comment on photos to add additional information or receive comments from family.  Photos can be tagged.  I like to tag people with their full name, no spaces, with capitals to make it legible, ie RonaldSkeenPeterson.  Clicking on a tag will bring up every item with that same tag within Flickr.  Albums can be collaborative so family members can work together.  I love that Flickr allows large file sizes, up to 200MB.  I upload the large TIFFS here.  If the people in the photos are deceased, I make them publicly accessible (this is where I directed my sister to get large files), if not, I restrict them to family members.  You can download the files at their original upload size.  Awesome!

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 11.16.34 AMScreen Shot 2018-07-21 at 11.17.26 AM

 

Then comes, Costco.  I upload all of my photos to Costco Photo Center into albums.  This way I can print photos anytime I need them without having to find them and upload them.  My albums are chronological for my children, but by name for ancestors, ie Ronald & Margaret Peterson fam.  I upload the TIFF files here as well.  The file size limit is 95MB.

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 11.30.44 AM

 

Lastly, I upload all photos to Facebook.  I have different albums and they are set to be viewed only by my family members.  This is a great way to give my non-genealogy family members little bits of our history.  It’s also an easy way for them to “find” our old family photos in a simple, non-genealogy way.  Plus, it’s that whole social aspect of social media.  It gets family members thinking and talking about their ancestors.

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 1.08.05 PMScreen Shot 2018-07-19 at 1.10.45 PM

 

Back-up

Once I have my photo everywhere that I want it, I move it onto an external drive.

 

Delete

After making my backup copy, I delete the files from my computer.  Gotta keep that hard drive nice and clean.

 

Preservation of the Original

This step is really important.  I’m still working on a long-term, one and done plan for this.  My problem is volume.  There are simply so many, many photos that it’s hard to physically store them all in the best way.  But I’m working on it.
And that folks, is my method for digitizing, sharing, and preserving photos one image at a time.  My focus now is to try to O.H.I.O. – only handle it once.  Take a photo from start to finish and move on to the next.  I know some people like the idea of “scanning everything” and just “getting it done”.  My problem with this is that often the images sit somewhere and nothing else happens with them.  There is also the added challenge of technology changing.  My goal isn’t to “get it all done”.  My goal is to do it right.  I know that my method isn’t the fastest, but it works for me and my family.

So family members, if you want to find a nice sized original of a photo I have shared here on my blog or elsewhere, go to my Flickr account.  The largest files are found there.  Remember, if anyone in the photo is alive, it will be marked private and you won’t find it.  You will need to request to follow me and then I can mark you as family.

 

Happy Monday, I hope it’s a great week filled with genealogy goodness!  xoxo