When reviewing family histories, documents are often among the most fruitful finds. Report cards, letters and diplomas are among the most common family documents but another important piece of handwritten family history is the postcard.
If you’re like most, you have boxes, albums, frames, slide trays, journals, file cabinets, memories… filled with treasured moments… that are fading away. You’d like to relive these memories and share them with loved ones and future generations.
The winners of the Unsung Heroes Award for the 3rd Quarter 2019 have been announced at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Washington, DC.
The Unsung Heroes Award is a collaborative program between The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Vivid-Pix, makers of RESTORE software. the program was launched in 2019 to acknowledge and celebrate members of the genealogy community who are leading the way in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing photographs and documents. Nominations are accepted in five categories: Individuals; Societies; Libraries & Archives; Youth; and Posthumous. Awards will not necessarily be made in all categories each quarter.
Unsung Heroes Award Presentation to MyHeritage at Jamboree
Dateline: Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, Burbank, CA, June 1, 2019
Here is a photo from Saturday, June 1, 2019, at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California, at which Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage accepted the Unsung Heroes Award. Left to right; Rick Voight of Vivid-Pix, Daniel Horowitz, and Drew Smith of The Genealogy Guys.
When you first start learning about genealogy and family history, a term you will see a lot is “metadata.” Metadata is a technical word for the type of information you and I deal with all the time: It’s the information describing the content of a photo or document. Think of the writing on the back of an old photo print, where the date, the location and the people in the photo are scrawled. This is important information that puts the photo in context and, in the days of film photography, this data was written by hand.
The Fourth of July holiday is celebrated by most Americans with a trip to the beach, a barbecue, a firework display or a parade. It’s a recognition of the values and traditions that have made the United States a beacon for the world.
Those Independence holiday celebrations are a great opportunity to create new memories and remember traditions. Independence Day is not just a great time to get the family together but also to share stories and family history.
For many Americans, Memorial Day is the start of summer vacations, barbecues and outings. It’s the capstone of a three-day holiday weekend. Memorial Day, however, is much more than that for millions of Americans who remember those who died in service to the country.
We believe that the first award in the Libraries and Archives Category deserves to be awarded to the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Library. Since its founding in 1896, the DAR Library has grown into a specialized collection of American genealogical and historical manuscripts and publications, as well as powerful on-site databases.The DAR Library collection contains over 225,000 books, 10,000 research files, thousands of manuscript items, and special collections of African American, Native American, and women’s history, genealogy and culture. Nearly 40,000 family histories and genealogies comprise a major portion of the book collection, many of which are unique or available in only a few libraries in the country.
The DAR Library is free and open to the public. While helping descendants of Revolutionary American War patriots document their lineage, their collections have preserved and protected original documents and members' applications in many cases by digitizing images and indexing documents. The Genealogical Research Committee have indexed 20% of the books and have entered more than 20 million names. Thank you Anasazi Chapter for nomination.
This category is defined as a genealogical society, an historical society, a lineage society, or a heritage society.
The Genealogical Society of Linn County, Iowa has been working aggressively on digitizing county voter registration records and making them accessible online. When the county needed space they turned to the genealogical society, with whom they had a strong relationship, and donated the large boxes of records. We often tell people not to overlook voter records because they may contain a great deal of genealogically and historically significant data that can lead you to other sources. Birth date, place of birth, naturalization information, name and address changes, and more. Now that the index is available on their own library database for use by patrons, the voter card can be easily pulled up on the computer. However, since their database is not currently accessible on the Internet, they have worked with the administrator of the Linn County IA Genweb page in order to make it available to everyone with an Internet connection (http://iagenweb.org/linn/voter/index.htm). It has also been added to a local library web page at http://marion.advantage-preservation.com/search?t=32785&i=t&bcn=1&m=between.
This category is defined as a person over the age of 21 years of age who has been involved in digitizing, indexing, or otherwise electronically making previously unavailable genealogical materials accessible to other people.
Jim Powell, Jr.
There are tens of thousands of people digitizing, indexing, and preserving images of the past, whether they be document images, photographs, postcards, newspapers, and so many diverse records. New materials are literally discovered everyday. It takes the efforts of countless unsung heroes to organize and prepare these historical and genealogical treasures for preservation, and then to generate the highest quality digital images possible. The images then need to be indexed for ease of location, and transcriptions to fulfill placing them in context.
Our first individual winner in the Unsung Heroes Award is Jim Powell, Jr., of Waldo, Alachua County Florida. An employee of the Alachua County Clerk of Court, it was his love of history, programming experience, and photography that began his journey into digitizing the ancient records, and developing a huge multi-state group of dedicated volunteer who help clean up digital images, index them, and every-word transcribe their contents. Over 500,000 images have been digitized and are every-word searchable, and over 35,000 pages have been transcribed. Visit the Ancient Records: http://www.alachuaclerk.org/archive/default.cfm.
This category is defined as a person under the age of 21 years of age who has been involved in digitizing, indexing, or otherwise electronically making previously unavailable genealogical materials available to other people.
The Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix are aware of the desire of genealogical and historical societies to attract new members, and particularly younger people. Many approaches are being used to get younger people involved in learning about their ancestry, and the earlier the spark is lit the better. Many success stories result from family interactions. The sharing of stories, eliciting interest of family photographs, exposure to documents about ancestors and family members into geographical location, time period, and historical and social context help bring those people's into perspective and "bring them back to life.”
Our first set of Young People winners for the Unsung Heroes Award are four participants in a weekly county cemetery documentation effort. They come from Alachua County, Florida, and not surprisingly are another part of Individual Unsung Hero winner Jim Powell's genealogical passion.
Our friend Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, shared a lovely (and terrible) story about her parent’s wedding album. “While all old photo albums fade with age, Mom’s was the worst! – The film processing or printing was done poorly and mom never really enjoyed her wedding album."
This year for Christmas, Maureen scanned the photos and RESTORE-d them. “Mom was thrilled.”
We are happy to share this story and to turn it into a Create Treasured Gifts – FOR FREE recipe:
1. Look through photo albums for photo(s) that will delight loved one(s).
a. Did your parents send out Holiday Cards? – Mine did…
b. Here’s one of my sister and me from around 50 years ago.
c. I’m able to create an inexpensive – but highly treasured – gift for mom and sister!
Merry Holiday’s Email Greeting
2018 was a year of ponder, wander, and change. Megumi joined a company that can solve world hunger. Naoko helped bridge language and cultural differences. Rick worked to restore family histories.
Megumi moved from Washington, DC to Washington State. Rick and Naoko moved from Atlanta to Charleston.
As I pondered this year’s card, I decided to give a gift Grandma Voight’s snowball cookies – for decades a treat. And now in a form that can be handed down to more....
What’s inside you isn’t just your DNA, but also the life experiences passed to you by your ancestors – which were often played out all over the world. Revisiting the places your ancestors knew is life-changing, and preparation is key.
The holidays are a great time for families to get together to share memories and to make new ones. Reliving holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or other holiday gatherings, can be fun and can create new traditions.
Why not turn Black Friday into a Family Memories Friday?