A couple weeks from now will be the anniversary of the day I began on an unexpected adventure in my genealogy research. I think most of us have a box or more of old photo's around the house that we store on a shelf or in a storage chest somewhere in our home. Several years ago my Mom had sorted through a large box of old photo's and put them into smaller boxes so that if she wanted to find a picture of someone it would make the search a little easier. I had asked to borrow the box of photo's of my ancestors so that I could add them to my family tree maker files. I absolutely love making the new hard bound books that you can do digitally so I thought it would be nice if those same pictures could be shared with family instead of just sitting in a box. After all Great Grandpa deserved to be out of the box and into a book so that his great great great grandchildren could see what he looked like. I don't have a lot of memories of my Great Grandpa as we never lived close to them, but, I do recall that mustache of his and how it would tickle my nose when I'd give him a kiss.
When Mom gave me the pictures to scan she also gave me a genealogy booklet that was done in 1980 by a distant cousin and an addition to the booklet that was done by my Great Aunt. I'm sure this booklet was a tremendous project at that time. Now with the Internet the world is at your finger tips in 1980 information was much more difficult to obtain. As I looked through these two works of genealogy I not only found names and dates but a little family history and a few pictures of relatives scattered through the book. Photo copiers in 1980 could not produce the quality photo's that we can achieve today with our all-in-one printers - oh what I'd give to be able to scan the originals of those photo's. I made a few phone calls to people I thought might have a book with originals but no luck. I tried scanning some of the photo's but all I got was a black blob. So I pretty much gave up the idea of adding any of those photo's to the book.
I started this project while I was actually concentrating on another book with photo's of my brothers and I growing up so when I needed a change from that project I would work on my outline for the ancestry photo book.
Right from the start of the project I knew what I wanted the title to be. "Searching", would be the title, because that is what I seem to be doing most of the time - searching for that elusive ancestor that just does not want to be found. Once I had completed my project of family photo's I began concentrating solely on my ancestor book. Many of the photo's had some deterioration from age and required extensive restoration. Fortunately I have a program that I can do this restoration myself. In the process of the restoration I wanted to bring new life to the photo's themselves by colorizing them also. It's a long process to restore photo's, taking out all the little nicks and scratches, repairing damaged dresses and trying different shades to get the flesh tones and then shading the photo so it doesn't appear flat. But it really has been worth the time and now most of the photo's look like they might have been taken yesterday instead of a 100 years ago in some cases.
Wanting to include additional data in my book I turned to my ancestry.com web site and began searching for unknown relatives. In June, 2008 I found my distant cousin Brenda who had a family tree that included many of my family names. I contacted Brenda and we began exchanging information. And then "The Ties That Bind" really took hold.........