I’ve visited with family members doing interviews, going to family reunions, keeping track of how I’m kin to cousins, gathering stories since 1970. It all began with an interest in our family that my dad and mother shared with me when I was young. Dad had his genealogy and family pedigree sheets and mother had her family heirlooms. In fact, I’m pictured above with a few of those heirlooms, family photos.
That’s what this blog is all about — those photos. For some reason when I was younger I always assumed they’d be available and everyone would know who was in each picture. As I got older I saw how quickly precious old photos got misplaced or difficult to identify. I remember with sadness the day my mother took her little oxygen bottle and went with me to visit a distant cousin in Montevallo, Alabama.
We had visited this cousin before. She was expecting us. She had all her family photos laid out on the dining room table. The first thing she asked mother when we entered was, “Would you please take a look at these photos and see if you know anyone?” It was sad because mother didn’t have a clue who any of those people were. The lady’s mother had never written on the back of the photos who each person was. And this cousin had never taken time to document their identity in some way.
I began saving family photos in the early 1990s after writing two genealogy books on my kin. In the early 2000s I created my first family website to begin sharing what I know. Today (2014), technology is so available for sharing such things that it’s possible to put all our photos online and share full-sized photos with anyone in the family.
I’ve uploaded all the photos I have in digital form to MyKinFolks.org, my personal genealogy website. The folder they’re located in is: http://mykinfolks.org/photos/. I want all our kin to have access to them. When y’all share other photos with me I want to be able to share them with the rest of our kin. Sites like Facebook are good for sharing limited size photos but sometimes people want the full-sized originals. They’re here!
But what’s the best way to tell everyone when new photos are added? How do I get the word out so our cousins can easily access photos and get a free copy? And what do we do about photos we want or photos we can’t identify? What’s the best way to solve those problems? I talked to my brother Larry about this. We decided a blog is the best way.
Now every time we have a question about an old photo, every time we have a new photo to share or identify, you’ll find the answer here if we’re both related to the person in the photo. Obviously you’re not gonna be kin to everyone my brothers and I are kin to. You may be kin to my father only or my mother only. We may only be related through our grandparents or older generations.
To avoid telling you about someone you’re not really interested in, when I post a blog I’ll try to only let people who might be interested know about it. On the other hand, you might want to follow all blog posts whether or not you’re related just because there will be some interesting reading here. If that’s the case, sign up as a subscriber.
PLEASE, above all, share this with YOUR cousins. Get the word out. Let them know this is here. Also, give them the link to the photos at http://mykinfolks.org/photos/. If you have questions, instead of emailing me or posting something on Facebook, post a question HERE so we can all see the question and answer as well as the photo.
Most of all THANKS for participating in this experiment. I hope we all get a lot of enjoyment out of it.