The act of scanning isn't very exciting, but I've enjoyed getting to know these people from the past as I do my part to preserve their history.
Yesterday, I scanned some photos and mostly letters.
My favorite photo was of a gentleman inside his store, circa 1905. I've been told it is a lumber store, but the photo showed neatly stacked cans of paint and related items. Perhaps the lumber was in the back. One thing that did stand out in the photo was a sign advertising different types of paint. You could buy lead paint back then. Judging by the size of the sign, they wanted you buy a lot of it.
I also scanned a lot of letters yesterday. Most weren't very exciting. A lot of talk of aches and pains. Among the correspondence was a set of letters from a sister to a brother. This lady was very into her family history. She wrote letters, recorded her stories and shared common ancestry with her family members.
Sometimes this lady wrote to her father, who was the big family historian in the bunch. He didn't have neat charts, though. He liked to doodle and write genealogy notes on the backs of envelopes. He saved them all and passed them down, which is why I'm scanning them today. I've scanned a lot of old envelopes.
In some of these gentleman's notes, he'd write "John had 2 kids _____ and _____" which meant that he didn't know their names. He'd write letters all over the country looking for family history information, then he'd fill in the blanks when he could.
I scanned some of those documents with blanks. Then I decided to see if I could fill them. With a very quick search of Ancestry.com, I had the names of the two children and new research paths to explore.
I don't know the man who kept all these notes, but I feel compelled to continue the research he started, even if it is not my own. Something tells me he'd appreciate that.
The information for which this man searched and sent letters of request took weeks, months, or years to receive. He did this faithfully and painstakingly for decades. Then in one instant, I filled two blanks on his notes with one swipe of the Internet.
We are very fortunate to live when we do. I'll keep that in mind until my next scanning day.