January 2011

New Year Resolutions for the Spiker Family

Resolve to scan, document, organize and share all those family photos you've been saving.

By Bobbi Spiker-Conley

By now, many of you have resolved to follow a healthier lifestyle, manage debt, start recycling, reduce stress and so on.  But how many of you have made any Genealogy Resolutions?  One commitment we hope everyone will make this year is to scan, document, organize and share all those family photos you’ve been saving.

With the goal of completing this task by May (for the Spiker Family Reunion, of course,) pull out all those boxes, bags and albums of photos from your closets then start scanning.  Don’t worry about sorting the photos now.  You can easily organize them later on your computer.  The point is to get as many old photos scanned as possible. 

 Now it’s time to share your pics with the rest of us by uploading them to one of the many free photo sharing websites like Picasa, Flickr or even Facebook.  Be sure to send me the link to your album so that I can post in future editions of the Gazette. In this way, everyone will have the opportunity to view, help identify, and even print their own copies of your pictures.  (You can also copy pictures to inexpensive CDs for distribution at the reunion.)

That’s the “quick and easy” way.  But the “almost as quick and easy” way is to organize, label and insert captions as you upload your photos.  At the minimum, consider sorting the pics into two folders/albums – those you CAN identify and those you CANNOT identify. 

For those you CAN identify, add captions and/or tags (keywords or phrases) such as names, locations and dates.  For those you CANNOT identify, enter as much as you can about the photos such as a photographer’s stamp, whether it was grouped with other photos, even your own “guess” as to the names or locations of the subjects.  These tips may help others to finally solve the mystery.     

Here’s one example of an unidentified picture that Paula Nolan submitted. 

It appears to have been taken on the porch at the Spiker Farm.  The two little girls appear to be the same age.  Ourguess is this is a photo of twin sisters Boots and Ann.  I showed the pic to Connie Larew Holovics and Alice Larew Matheny to get their opinions.  Although neither of them knew for certain whether one of these girls was their mother, they agreed the haircut was familiar.  Connie said she’d print a copy for her mother and would ask whether she recognized it.

Once you’ve scanned, organized and shared your photos, consider expanding your resolution to include all the old letters, certificates and records of family history in your personal collection.  You may unknowingly hold the  key to unlocking some of our family treasures.  Sharing them with the rest of us may open a few closed doors and help us knock down a few brick walls. 

Now do we have any volunteers to scan, organize and share all those photos that are stored at the Spiker Farm?