Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What I Scanned...

I'm working on a project for another person that includes a scanning task to it. On Tuesdays, I drive to another location and scan someone else's stuff as part of a larger family history project that also includes research and more.

Today was scanning day.

First, I scanned a bunch of letters that were sent to the same man. Most of them were from his wife during a 1924 trip to California. The woman had brought the couple's youngest child along, a son about 9 years old.

The letters were addressed to the husband from the wife every 4 days or so. It appears she was in California for about 5 weeks. She complained often that her husband never writes her back and she doesn't know how the family is faring without her. Some things never change.

The wife also included letters to her older daughters at home.

When placed in date order, these letters are an interesting read. They are a travelogue of the wife and her son as they see the sights in California. She complains about all of the cars and traffic. Some things never change.

Southern California is where I'm from, so I enjoyed reading about what she did (took her son to swim at Long Beach) and the various experiences she had as a person from the small-town Midwest.

After I was done scanning letters, I scanned a folder of loose photos of the same family.

There were photos of sisters, photos of brothers, photos of multiple generations. It was bittersweet scanning these photos and studying the smiles and sincere expressions of these family members. I felt like I knew their future. In my hand I held a photo of two beautiful girls, ages 4 and 2, knowing that the youngest died a couple years after the photo was taken. The same with the 12 year-old boy in another photo, the young father in another photo. When those pictures were taken, they did not know their future, but now we do.

In family history, you have to record the good and the bad, the happy and sad. Some things never change.


  1. What you say is so true... family history is rarely neat, orderly and perfect - but by scanning and preserving the photographs, letters and memorabilia, you are keeping their stories (good and/or bad) alive and preserved for another generation to discover.


  2. Some things never change, and it's just as well we don't know what's around the corner. I can see you are really getting into this family's history :-)