PRT250 – The Seasick Sailor

This week we’re talking about genealogy in scrapbooking…

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  • Teresa S

    I believe I recall Katie mentioning in the past that you can get heritage family photos from e-bay. Was that correct? If so, how does one go about it?

  • canyonjoy

    This was a fantastic discussion that warmed my own heart. Not because I am into genealogy myself (although it does interest me but I figure my passion for scrapbooking the lives of my family is enough of an obsession for the time being!), but because of how Katie and Lisa truly understood one very important aspect of teaching history: People don’t often like the subject until they realize they have a history of their own, and since children are young, they have very little of their own history to excite them. The trick in getting them interested is to find that one hook that catches their attention and to make it personal to their lives. As a former museum educator, this was always how I trained docents to give tours of history exhibits to school groups, and this focus turned bored, glassy-eyed children into engaged participants. Keep up the good work, Lisa and Katie. I love what you are doing!!

  • Maribeth

    Oh WOW!!!!!!! What a great episode. This is why I scrapbook. Noell, Izzy, I can not thank you enough for bringing us this very inspiring discussion.

  • Teresa – you can create search alerts for your family surnames and / or the places your ancestors lived – I’ve found so many photos and items (like – milk bottle with our surname from my family’s dairy farm). I’ve also found photos of my direct ancestors not only on Ebay but also on Etsy – search “antique photos” plus the surname or place name. Happy hunting :) Katie

  • So there are always a million things I don’t have time to say when I’m on – so here are a few of the things that I didn’t mention (I’m listening now):

    1. (A) The mail comment reminded me of the website called Find A Grave – you can search by location or name – and it is free. (B) Also – for old photos of places – not only try google image searches – but also try searching the photos of the historical or genealogy of the place your ancestors lived. For example, my Nana was from Harvey Station, New Brunswick, Canada and they have a site that includes an extensive history of the area; the family trees and stories of the families there and old photos of the town including particular houses and photos of people – including my Nana (grandmother) but also some of my great-greats; and there were lots of school group photos – that we didn’t have – so this one site really was a treasure trove of photos and stories.

    2. I think that many people will find that they are related to their spouse – I discovered that my husband and I are 10th cousins – and that my parents were 8th cousins – and that my Nana’s branch included first cousins that married. Creepy and fascinating. And why my kids say they will never get married!

  • djbookkeeper

    When I first heard the subject of this podcast, I considered deleting it without listening. But I decided to give it a chance and thoroughly enjoyed it! I’m intrigued by the story aspect of genealogy. My mom is the genealogist in our family and has traced our family back to the Magna Carta. And, she did it all before computers were available. She has given us memberships in the Mayflower Descendants, DAR and DRT (Daughters of Republic of TX). She’s done a great job but I’m one of those that run whenever she pulls out her books, or tells me about another 3rd cousin once removed that has contacted her about the family history.
    I would love to take some of what she’s done and develop the story aspect some more. Since I’m unsure about what direction to go to find the stories, I guess the best place to start is with Lisa’s podcasts to get some tips.
    This could tie in well with the Story Album Deep Dive! There has to be enough stories about at least one of our ancestors who was commander of the Alamo. The trick will be finding those stories. Thanks, Izzy and Noelle for another inspirational podcast!

  • Loved this podcast! My Okely and Shanhun ancestry is traced back quite a way, and I’ve found several relatives on Ancetry.com doing a lot of research.

    Since they are doing the hard yards, I feel like I am free to tell just the stories I want to tell.

    I told my extended family members about my interest in the family research and have already have a few documents I can borrow for the time being.

    Amongst those documents I found a little gem about my g-grandmother typed in the 60-70s about her recollections living in regional WA. One snippet is about her amazement on seeing a shower/bath.

    My little Emily always thinks that if we stay in a hotel with a shower/bath it’s the height of luxury and often tells me ‘so and so has a shower bath at their house’. 100 years on, our family still are fascinated by shower/baths!!

    I’ve been putting my half finished geneology research onto Wikitree and Ancestry (as cousin bait), it’s amazing how people come out of the woodwork to correct you on your mistakes!!

    Thanks for this episode! I’m off to listen to Genealogy Gems now!

  • Christy Browning

    Thanks Noel & Izzy for the podcast! I love listening to PRT.

    Both my Mother & Grandmother have passed away in the last 5 years and I have inherited lots of old pictures & letters. Not to mention all the documents still at my Dad’s house.

    I have been adding information to Ancestry but have become extremely interested when I started helping my Dad plan for a celebration this fall celebrating 100 years that some of his land has been in our family. I have been in contact with distance cousins that I never knew by sitting up a Facebook group. We have shared old photos & I have had people help me figure out who is in photos that I did not know. I have heard lots of fascinating stories that I had never heard. Surprisingly I have had letters from distant cousins I don’t know thanking me for organizing the party and the Facebook page. Most everyone is finding the history fascinating and embracing the fact that we will soon be celebrating 100 years since my Great Grandfather purchased the land.

    All the information at first seemed a bit overwhelming. What I decided to do is start a Theme album for each of my grandparents lines. I also purchased archival boxes at the container store to store documents and a separate one for pictures for each of the lines. Katie & Lisa have so many good ideas of stories to add to my albums!

    One last thing be fore I have to get dressed for work. When looking for photos of your family don’t be afraid to ask people on ancestry. I hit the jackpot by asking a woman on ancestry how she came about a picture of my great grandmother when she was 16. I couldn’t figure out how she was connected to me so I asked. it turns out she wasn’t related to me but her ancestor had married my great grandmothers grandfather (3rd great grandfather) after his wife died. Her side of the family had passed his family photos down over the years. When I contacted her she mailed all the originals to me as she felt like they belonged with a blood relative!

    Izzy I plan on listening to The Mystery Show Podcast on my drive this morning.

  • Tina Campbell

    Fantastic Show! Love doing genealogy and my biggest draw back to do it is where to start. I was glad that was discussed and telling the stories was discuss too. Thanks for the heads up about Ancestry.com will have to start working on getting my stuff off of there. Not sure is this was mentioned and will have to listen to it again but any thoughts about how to handle the death part of genealogy the death notices and obits. It would be so cool to have a class to help you get started with ideas and stories to tell.

  • Judi Von Fange Partlo

    What an awesome podcast – thank you all very much!!! I am fortunate in that my dad, and then my brother, have done a ton of family genealogy and have published books for our family with much of the information in it. But what no one has done is make any scrapbook stories from this and now I am inspired to try! I want my children and grandchildren to have something personal besides just the facts to know and remember about their family.

  • Cara

    I loved this episode and the enthusiasm of the guests……but what about all of the people who came out of Europe (particularly Eastern Europe) where all records have been destroyed in times of war? My husband’s family came out of what was then German speaking Prussia, but is now Poland in 1850. They were wealthy people who had their own business (tobacco and liqueurs), and when they migrated to Australia they brought all of their workers with them. Their house is still standing in the village, but all records from that area have been completely destroyed and it isn’t possible to find out anything about the family before they left Silesia. Many Polish genealogists have tried to help us over the years, but there is nothing left.
    The wine-making business the family established in Australia was the biggest and best known in it’s day, and whenever important visitors came to our State, a visit to their winery was always on the itinerary. There are boxes and boxes of photos commemorating these visits, but absolutely no documentation to say who they were. We can identify our family members in the pictures, but no one else. It is so frustrating. It could be a wonderful social history resource for South Australia, but without accompanying written information these photos are useless.

  • Hannah Brown

    I have a great aunt on my Dad’s side who is very into Genealogy, and I’ve thought about getting into it, but have always been too daunted to actually start. I LOVE history, so Genealogy is very interesting to me. Thank you SO much to Katie and Lisa for finally giving me the motivation to actually start! Katie’s energy is contagious, and Lisa, I can’t thank you enough for getting me excited about this and helping me get started through your podcasts, which I am currently listening to. I’ve only been working on this for a few days, but I have already learned so much. My grandfather gave me some awesome stories about my great-grandparents, who I never knew. They both came over to the states from Germany, and there are some really fascinating stories about how they met and how their immigrations played out. I am super excited to learn more. I’m very thankful to have been bitten by the bug while so young (I’m 16). I imagine I will be researching for the rest of my life. Thank you so much to Paperclipping, Katie, and Lisa for getting me going! :)

  • That’s awesome! Go Hannah!

  • Cara –
    Sometimes I scrapbook about what I don’t know about my genealogy – for example – I have a few pages with unidentified photos with scrapbook page titles like “Note To Self: Write Down the Details!” and “Who Was She”. I also have several pages about mysteries – or about questions I’d like to be answered that I don’t have the answers to – for example I have one page titled “Ella – Why didn’t you like Kansas” (or something to that effect because she and my great-great grandfather started a western migration but decided to return to Massachusetts where that side of the family has been since the Pilgrims. I would hold out hope that maybe someday the mysteries will be solved – or maybe they won’t – but I don’t think that if they are family photos that they are useless – I still think you can glean information from them – and stories – even if the stories are just what you wonder about or notice in the photos. My mother in law has lots of unidentified photos from her mother’s family in Wales and I’ve been having the hardest time figuring out any of that side of the family – so the scrapbook pages are sometimes just project life style divided pages with a small title “Grammy Ethel’s mother’s side” and the little information I do have. Just start with what you know – even if it is not much. Good luck! :) Katie.

  • Yes! Exactly! The genealogists in the family need us scrapbookers to make the family history interesting and inviting. Go Judi!

  • Oh what a fantastic find on the photos from the Ancestry member!

  • DJ- so I’ll betcha we are cousins – who are your Mayflower ancestors?
    Plus – watch Texas Rising!

  • Cathy

    Wonderful podcast! My mother is the keeper of our family tree, so it frees me up to capture the stories. Katie mentioned that she has done a century album. If Katie is reading this I would really like to know more about this as it sounds like a brilliant idea

  • I think stories about our family history are so important and meaningful. A few years ago, I was talking to my great-aunt and scanning old documents that she had. She very casually mentioned two little boys that I didn’t even know existed. My aunt shared stories of her mother. I took her pictures and stories and created a photobook because that was a lot easier to share with many family members. The theme that stood out to me about my great-grandmother was that she transcended tragedy in her life with optimism and hope. Her story has given me strength to face my own challenges with courage and to positive and kind when things turn out badly.

    I have shared the stories of two great-uncles who were civilian POWs during WWII with my kids. One uncle didn’t make it, but the other did. When I tell those stories, my kids and I learn about forgiveness and hope. When I share the story of hundreds of people sending my aunt postcards from around the country when they heard her POW husband on a radio show, we talk about compassion from strangers and how to be a good neighbor and person.

    To me, that is the whole purpose of family history, even when we aren’t proud of our family’s past, I am sure there are lessons and patterns we can learn from. And when we do have inspiring stories they lift us up and give us courage!

    In my opinion, scrapbooking is the perfect place and way to share those stories. You get to add a visual design element that enhances and directs the stor-kind of the way music functions in film.

  • Sarah Fuchs

    I somehow discovered your Podcast a few weeks ago and have listened to every one (new and old) in the last few days! I love them, I love you as a host and I love Izzy’s sense of humor! Keep on the good and inspiring work!

  • Every episode in the last few days? Wow!

    Thanks for listening and for the kind words. :)

  • Marianne Perry

    Cara,
    No, no, the photos aren’t useless! Descendants of the workers who appear in the photos might be able to identify some of them. Those important visitors to the winery may be recognized. Getting the photos scanned and on a website will get them out there so other people can add what they know. A Facebook page is ideal for this sort of interaction, family history societies post photos of unknown people to identify all the time. Maybe a society or other wineries near your family’s winery could help if they have an archive of their own. They all knew each other. If you live near the area (Adelaide?), you might be able to visit people or places in person. I know a lot of the old Aussie wineries are gone or absorbed into massive conglomerates now but don’t give up hope. It is such a wonderful legacy you have.
    I’d love to hear more about this from you but I’m not sure if we can make personal contacts via these comment posts.

  • Robin Gale Conlin

    OMG Izzy! Thanks for the Mystery Show podcast pick. I am hooked!

  • I enjoyed this episode very very much. I do a lot of family history and genealogy. Some of my relatives, those in my peer group, love it. The older generation, well they just call me nosy! LOL. I’d love to see a part 2 to this episode that focuses on cultures that may be more challenging like black culture and hispanic culture. I can’t seem to get beyond the great grandparents and would love to hear some tips and tricks for go further. I’m from the Dominican Republic by the way, just in case there are any leads. :)

  • Kendra

    Thanks for this great episode. It inspired me to pull out many, many boxes of photos and memorabilia that came from my Grandmother’s house and have been too daunting to tackle. Now the photos are all sorted and on their way to be digitized so everyone can share them! One question – you mentioned genealogy software. What programs would Katie or Lisa recommend if we don’t want to keep it all with an online service? I’d rather have a local copy. I’d need something simple – digital scrapbooking will always be my first love but I’d like to document the connections I do find and record the genealogy work my grandfather completed.

  • Kendra

    Once I have the digital photos scanned, I import them into Lightroom. Then I sort them by date (as best as I can) and add any information from the back into the comments or tag the people. It’s quick to put my hands on the photos I want to make connections after that. I finished my other grandmother’s and my parents’ photos last year.