Friday, April 15, 2011

Old Family Photographs

Nothing makes you appreciate the past more than finding old family photographs, generations worlds apart. What were they thinking in this picture? Where were they? How old were they? The picture above is one of my favorites of my dh's grandmother and grandfather. She was so sassy! I love it! Look at her hand on her waist posing for the camera, the other draped over her man.  

I can't tell you the countless hours I have spent rummaging through old family albums. Amazed and awe-inspired, I gaze upon their faces, their untold stories calling out to me. They were so young, so full of life. The picture below is another one of my favorites. I remember when my dh's grandmother gave it to me. 

I was sitting on the floor in her living room and there it was. "This is a beautiful photograph of you," I exclaimed, pulling it out of its binder.

Sitting back in her chair, she sighed, her eyes drifting back to a far away place. "Walter and I were just dating. That was taken at the waterfall at my Uncle Jerry's... so long ago." 

Even though her husband had passed away several years earlier, I will never forget the look upon her face. The love they held for each other was evident, never fading.
Every time I gaze upon this lovely photo, I think back fondly of my dh's grandparents.

Of course there are other pictures that just down right make me laugh. When I view the one below, this is a picture of my grandmother on her horse. Growing up, we heard the same story countless times. She was in the barn and that darned horse kicked her in the arse, embedding two hoof prints in her hind quarters. Running out of the barn in tears, my great-grandfather chased the horse with a pitchfork.

Do you enjoy old family photographs? What do you do to preserve the past? 


  1. I love to do the same thing too!

    I have some great pics from my grandfathers side of the family. That's why I LOVE geneaology so much.

    I was doing some research the other weekend and I found my ggg grandfather' death certificate. I stated that he died by falling into a running pulley and fracturing his skull at the based. OMG, I got the shivers. I could almost feel his pain.

    Though it was a horrible way to die, I felt almost a comfort at knowing what really happened to this man I had never even known.

    Probably sounds weird huh?

    Another reason I LOVE to watch Who do you think you are!

    Great post, thanks for sharing!!!


  2. Yes, definitely yes. I have lots of old family photos and my dear mother made each of us kids five (3 inch) binders of geneology info full of photos. In one of my bedrooms that we have titled the Victorian Room, I have photos of family members back four generations. Some of them bring tears to my eyes as I remember them fondly. Looking at those dear faces I can see family resemblences and such proud people. I come from a very interesting family that goes back to the royals of Europe. My Grandpa was always embarrassed that his grand father was a king of Denmark. We kids, of course, thought it was awesome...

  3. Andrea, I totally agree. Old photographs are amazing. Great find with the death certificate--although, that is a terrible way to die.

    We were able to trace my dh's side back to Germany in the 1500's!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. King of Denmark? Paisley, I'm sure you kids thought it was awesome. I think that's awesome! What a story to pass down from generation to generation. Thanks for the comment.

  5. One year, my oldest daughter presented me with a scrapbook she'd made up of old family photos. I'll cherish it forever. By the way, I love your website. *happy sigh* loved those pics too!

  6. The first picture - she looks like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. lol They look so happy in both photos. :)

    My mom and I have both done genealogy for different lines and it was a lot of fun. We have found out that some of our ancestors were involved in the Salem witch trials, through another line there is Native American and (the most fun for me), we are related to the Stewarts (now, back then it was Stuart) of Scotland. The line can be traced back to the Bonnie Prince Charlie!

    I especially love old photos of my parents and grandparents when they were young. It's so hard sometimes to connect the people you know to the people in the photos, being young and doing all the stuff we've done. It's hard to imagine!

  7. I love old photographs - my family, your family, anyone's family! I'm the family genealogist and have traced many of my lines back several generations. We have a king of Scotland, someone who came over on the Mayflower, a pro football player, and can even lay claim to Lady Godiva (I have to admit, it's pretty cool to be able to claim she's my 32nd-great-grandmother!). And yes, we have the skeletons in the closet, too! An elderly cousin gave me two boxes of photos and letters years ago. Being a genealogist, I still can't believe that neither he nor his daughter wanted the pictures. One of the pictures was taken in 1896 and was a 4 generation picture. I love it! One of the letters in the box was from the late 1880s. It was from my g-g-grandfather's brother to their father. He talked about losing his wife and how lost he was without her. You could feel the man's pain, even over 100 years later!

    Many of my nieces and nephews have called me over the years, asking for family information for a school project. Now I have a great-nephew who is interested in family history, particularly our German ancestors. I love sharing the family information and photos.

    I organize the family reunions and always encourage family members to bring their old photos to share. Of course, I also take new photos to add to the family collection!

    I also help friends and co-workers with their family trees.

  8. I, too, love old family photographs. My grandmother always kept hers in an big box that I loved to look through and ask who was in them. Many times they were of people unknown to me, people who peppered hers and my grandfather's lives through the years. My mother kept a similar box and my brothers and I looked through it together last time I was home. Thanks for bringing to mind lovely memories and the stories they evoke in my mind, Victoria!

  9. LOVE old pictures. Most of the time they are the ones where they are posed. Not the same, but still glad to have them. Love your photos. You hubby's grandparents loved each other and it was obvious. What a wonderful legacy to pass down, that true love really is out there. :)

  10. I am glad to see I'm not the only one that cherishes old family photos. Maeve, what a wonderful gift from your daugther.

    Laura, Salem witch trials and Bonnie Prince Charlie? Did you ever think that might be a good idea for a book? Time travel...

    Lois, Lady Godiva... Wow! What a claim to fame!

    Donna and Michelle, it is out of such great respect of the past that we are priviledged enough to preserve it for future generations. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I have one of my great, great grandparents in one of those old, oval frames with the sort of domed glass. subtle coloring. I look at it and see my great grandmother and her sister and how they resembled these people I never knew.

  12. Heather, that's why I love to display them. I'm sure your great grandmother would be proud that you still have it.