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When researching our family roots, we tend to look in the typical places. Census reports, ancestry.com, libraries and oral histories from your family members are the best sources for building a foundation. But how do you add flavor to your research and how do you illustrate the lives our ancestors lived? Looking at the non-typical places can be a needle in a haystack, but it can bring a pleasant surprise.
One of our member’s mother was recently touring the Texas Energy Museum and discovered a photo of her grandfather. Imagine walking by photos and seeing a photo of your grandfather hanging on a wall. The photo was of men working on an oil rig and there was Grandpa Tom right in the middle. What a great surprise and a wonderful image of seeing your grandfather in his youth.
Some ideas where you might find your Great Grandpa
- Libraries with manuscript collections – For example, the Library of Virginia has a large collection of personal and random items. Not scanned, but an amazing collection to visit.
- Small and state historical societies – A lot of these collections are getting bigger as people are sharing personal items and photos.
- National Archives – Records, maps and photography.
- The Texas Energy Museum has photos available on CD.
Keep your eyes open, you never know what you’ll find.
*Please remember most images are copyrighted and some are public domain, so always ask before using.
To boost moral between WWI and WWII, English photographer Arthur S Mole and American colleague John D Thomas were commissioned to make images of patriotism. They created Living Pictures, pictures compose of thousands of people to form patriotic illustrations.
Amazing. Might be interesting to see how they would be done today.