DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS vs PORTRAIT STUDIOS
|Part of my collection of Ambrotypes & Daguerreotypes|
We use our cell phones or our iPads to take quick unposed photos of moments - the birth of a child, a wedding, a vacation, a graduation. But do we print those pictures or do they stay in digital format? If we don't print and preserve them in some way, what picture memories will our descendants find?
|Letter from Levi Peer 1848|
Think of our excitement when we find a letter written by an ancestor to a loved one. In my own research I stumbled on several letters written by my 2nd great grandfather to his mother in the early 1800s. I was also lucky enough to have a letter written by an ancestor in the mid 1600s turn up in letters rescued from ships, then translated and put online. But here's the question - how many hand written letters have you sent to family or friends in the past year? I've sent none. In fact I can go back many years and say I've sent no letters that could be preserved, tucked away in an attic or a closet and discovered by a descendant in the future.
Yes our descendants will have many advantages in genealogy that we don't have. Right now we're seeing records being digitized and made available to the public at a record pace. But imagine how much will be at our descendants' fingertips 100 years from now, even 25 years from now. But the loss will almost certainly be in getting a sense of who the ancestor was, who WE were as individuals who cry, mourn, love and feel joy. Letters, diaries, and photos put a layer on an individual that can't be known any other way.
|Photo Book created about my Fuller ancestors|
Because overall I feel sad that most of us will leave very few candid or posed photographs, and very few hand-written letters, I began a personal project to create and publish photo books for my children and grand-children. It is my hope that some will survive and be passed on down through the generations.
Every year I also write and publish privately to share with my children, my memories of childhood, of my parents and grandparents. I also published a small guide with ideas on writing your memoirs and sharing your memories with family.
Sharing Family Stories and Memories: Prompts for Writing Your Memoirs for Future Generations
Available as an ebook on Amazon.com, paperback on Amazon.com, ebook on Amazon.ca or paperback on Amazon.ca
Are you doing anything to make sure your descendants will have some special items in the future? It's never too late to start.