Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blog Power in Genealogy

About two years ago, my daughter posted a request on her blog, TheAncestorFiles asking for the whereabouts of the photographs taken by the Great- Grandmother, Margaret Jarvis Overson. Grandmother Overson was one of the very early women to be a professional photographer in the State of Arizona. Her father, my Great-great Grandfather Charles Jarvis (born De Friez) was also a photographer. I had a few of Grandmother's photographs but I assumed that there had to be a whole lot more somewhere. I had discussed this problem with my daughter and hence the blog request.

A few months ago, I got a call from a distant relative who had seen my blog posts on Facebook. She told me about some of the photos that had been given to a Family History Center in Eastern Arizona. But the photos at the FHC did not appear to be all of the presumably hundreds of photos taken over the years. Meanwhile, we got into a discussion with the local FHC that had the photos over whether or not they could be copied. Someone had apparently told them that copying these old late 1800s and early 1900s photos would violate some sort of privacy law. I still haven't figured out that set of photos.

Just yesterday, my daughter called me to tell me she had finally had a response to the blog post. To make a long story not quite so long, it turns out that the bulk of the photos went to Grandmother Overson's granddaughter, who was the mother of the person who called. This great-grandson has about twenty boxes of photos, equipment, letters and other documents. A tremendous treasure. What is interesting is that he was relieved to find someone who wanted the whole collection and could digitize it for the family. Since I have digitized tens of thousands of documents and photos, I was glad to get the lead.

The point of this blog post is simple: genealogy blogging works. The cousin with the photos was searching online and found the notice posted by my daughter. We still need to make arrangements to pick up the photos but I will let you know how all this turns out and how many more documents I will have to scan in addition to the thousands and tens of thousands I still have left in my own collection to scan. My last file backup had over 120,000 files. Who ever heard of spare time?

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