Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Make room for my soapbox

Excuse me.

Yes, I mean you.

Move over just a little and give me room to get this soapbox set up.  I haven't been up on it for awhile and I have some "talking" to do and you need to hear me.

I have spent the last two days going through old family photos (the His not Hers).

You might remember that my reward for cleaning out my Father-in-law's place was the closet under the stairs with all the photos and scrapbooks that I had never seen? 

Since hubby is gallivanting on the other side of the world this week, I thought this was a perfect time to set up a couple of extra tables and start sorting and organizing all the "treasures" from the closet, plus a big box of family stuff an Aunt sent.

Oh my - lots of GREAT photos and family genealogy. 


and that is a big huge BUT

a lot of the GREAT photos are useless to me because the people in them are unidentified.


and while it is easy to identify the bug eyed man as great great great grandfather what's his name (I could pick those eyes out anywhere) serious looking old ladies with the same chin and nose start to run together....

and then there are the helpful ones with someone from several generations back cleverly identified as "mother"
Well, she isn't my mother and I don't know who wrote it so I am still out of luck

So my soapbox message is IDENTIFY the people in your photos.  I know that you know that is Aunt Lucy in last year's Christmas photo but you need to SAY SO on your layout, or on the photo or in your computer (wherever you are keeping your photos) because 75 years from now your grand children are going to wonder who the sexy blond standing next to grandpa is and you want them to know she is family not floozy!

If labeling ruins your layout or you just hate your handwriting do it on the back of the page!  But names and approximate dates are important.  PLEASE?

Today I'm taking Grandpa to lunch and I'll bring my big pile of photos with me in hopes he will recognize a few of them.

Wish me luck!

And if you have any awesome ideas for scrapping vintage and heritage photos, I'd love to hear them.


Kristine said...

Guilty as charged Ellen. Thank you for the reminder. Good luck with your search for names.

Unknown said...

rofl at the floozy next to grandpa! lucky old man hahahahaha. thanks for the giggle ellen. am having the same issue with my mum's old photos so i feel your frustration. take care and keep us all smiling one blog post at atime

Debbie Kissel said...

We are having some of the same issues. My husband does geneology and his receiving photos from people we never knew and they are able to identify some people. I totally agree with you and have not been doing that on the back of my photos but I see some layouts in the future that will definately have some ID's put on them!

Estelle from Hernando, MS said...

I'm going through the same thing........ and there is no one left alive to identify all these people that I know are much family? not even a name?
Good Luck with Grandpa......

Cape Craft Crazy said...

My sympathies, I had to do the same with my mother's photo's and really struggled. I scanned photos and sent them to relatives around the world to identify ! What a mission and I still have a few unknowns.
Found pastels and not bright colours to be the best to scrapbook the vintage photos. Good luck - the great thing is all the stories you hear along the way.

kraftykat157 said...

Thanks Ellen!
I'm in the same boat... Only it's my mothers pictures.She was born and raised in Mississippi, I was born in raised in ND. She is the only one to have left her state and most of the people who could identify the pics are gone too....
Like you I'm on a hunt. Good luck

Tammy Bendel said...

Hi Ellen! I like several of your projects so I chose you for the Stylish Blogger Award. You can see what to do at my blog at

Thanks for sharing your Ideas!
Tammy Bendel

Susie Neves-Sousa said...

I can totally relate....even today I still get pictures from family with no date or names on the back. I'll admit, Iknow who the people are in the photos but someday (in the very distant future hopefully) when someone is going through my photos they will want to know who these people are. I label the names on the photos I receive, but I like dates on them too and I don't know WHEN the picture was taken or the age of the subjects.

Mary said...

My mother's advice was good than, she told me years ago, like in the 1970's, to always write on the back of the picture, "because years from now you won't remember who they are". Mary

Lori B demo in WI said...

AMEN SISTA! I would like to add the sappy story that I tell at all of my scrapbook classes: my Mother passed away when I was 3 yrs old, my sister was not quite 5, and my brothers were 20 months and 5 months old. Our most cherished possession is a letter that she wrote to her brother-in-law (our Dad's youngest brother) when he was in Basic Training. In the letter she mentions each of us, my youngest brother Don as "this baby" (as she was pregnant with him at the time). "Hearing" her ideas of her life and us allows us to "know" her a little as we have few or no memories of her. Also, since the letter is in her handwriting it is also distinctly hers! Flash forward nearly 38 years to those same "small children" now preparing to lose their Daddy. Again, each of us has a scrap of paper that our Dad wrote notes on while he was in the hospital. My point, the handwriting that "YOU" hate may be a treasure to those you leave behind! On a page or two write something instead of typing it!

Creations by Patti said...

Girl, I hear ya. I have been cleaning my in laws home for the last 5 weeks and had found photos all over the house - some from the 1930's and have to get these people identified before they can't even remember a thing...they are 87 and 93!!!! Preserving the geneology and passing the info down is fulfilling. Have is quite a overwhelming task.
my hugs,

AndreaA said...

I love your punch art. Getting ready to check out some more of your art, so cute.

I sure have been there done that type of thing with the pictures.
My Dad and Mom passed away when they were 41 and 45. Dad at 41 and Mom at 45. When my Mom past from breast cancer she ask me to promise her that I would take care of my younger brother and Sister(they were young teenagers). Of course I did, but no time to go through pictures.
I got all Mom's pictures out one day and the same with you, alot was marked Mother, Or Uncle Jim.
Mom's youngest Sister would come and stay with me so She could visit with her other Sister and we would stay up all night having a slumber party, so one night I all got Mom's pictures out and had them help me name all that they could.
So thankful that I did that when I did because they both are now passed away. I love doing genealogy also.
On pictures I receive or give I even put who the parents and grandparents are.