Scanning Old Family Photos

One of my big projects for this year is to scan old family photos. In the last couple of months I only managed to scan about 450 photos. I have another 5,000 to 6,000 more to do. I have lots experience scanning pictures through the years but never have taken on this big of project.

I have read what other people suggest on scanning old photos. They usually say that 300dpi (dots per inch) is good enough for most purposes. I think that 300dpi might sound good now but in the years to come that won’t be good enough so I am scanning at 600dpi.

The popular picture format JPEG will compress the file and you will lose some of the fine detail. I am saving the photos as TIFF files. TIFF is one of those formats that is not compressed. That also means that the completed files end up large. A 9×7 inch photo ended up being about 35 mb (megabytes). That size might have seemed to be large even a few years ago but now you can get extra computer storage for pretty cheap. A 2tb (terabyte) internal hard drive costs about $75 and that will hold at least 60,000 9×7 photos. Average size photos are smaller, probably closer to the 5×3.5 inch size. Those scans come out to be about 7mb each.

Ruth (Wilklow) HalseyMy family’s old photos are not stored in optimum conditions. Some are in those old albums with black pages. The paper in those have a high acid content and should be moved to acid-free pages. Problem is that a good share are also glued unto the black pages. There is a nice small photo of my mother (right) that for some reason she or someone tried to remove. It ended up getting ripped. I decided to leave all those photos in the album and scan them in the album.

I have a few albums of photos that are described as “magnetic.” They really use plastic sheets over a paper backing with strips of glue. Everything about those albums are bad. The PVC plastic is not good for photos. The paper and the glue aren’t acid-free. Those photos I am moving to loose albums with photo pages made of polypropylene plastic. Those photo friendly pages are available everywhere on the internet and office supply stores in various sizes.

For some reason I found that some of the old photos have been cut. I can tell that they were cut by scissors because the sides don’t end up straight.

Then there are those few photos that have multiple problems. Some were glued in black pages, cut out and put in a “magnetic” album.

Arch Halsey at workAfter I scan a photo, I open it in PhotoShop Elements 11 but you can do most of the editing tasks in just about any photo editor including some available for free on the web. The first thing to do is straighten it. Then I crop the photo to get rid of the border. I probably should just save the photo after that but I don’t. Instead, I fix some minor problems. One small photo that was too dark I lighten up to find out it was a picture of my grandfather (right). He is at work and it is probably from the 1920s or 30s. I never would been able to figure out he was in the photo without lightening it. On other photos I fix minor scratches. If you haven’t had a lot of experience editing, save the photo before editing.

After saving the photo to a computer file, I right click on the file. That opens a box where I describe who is in the photo and sometimes an approximate date and/or location. I always put in both the maiden name and married name for women. That way I can search for either family and they show in the search results. There are those photos that have people that I can’t identify. I save those as “unknown.” Some of those unknowns already have become known as I scanned more photos. The hardest people to identify are babies.

I save the completed photos on my main hard drive and also a back-up drive. I also have “cloud back-up” that automatically uploads my new scans. I already have shared some of the photos by putting them on Google Drive and giving relatives the link to the photos. Google Drive lets you share with the world, a group or just a single person. Other web based hosting sites are Dropbox, iCloud, (Microsoft) OneDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, etc. Visit this web page for a comparison of all cloud based sites. Eventually I will send a DVD with photos to relatives. That won’t be until 2015 the way I am going. I have a lot more of photos to scan.

Old News – Start of WWI

More news from the past. This time about the assassination that started World War I. It was within weeks after the assassination that most of Europe became involved in the War. Note that the assassin’s name is usually spelled Gavrilo Princip in English.


Thursday, July 2, 1914


Heir to Austrian Throne and Morganatic Wife Killed.

Anarchist Uses Pistol With Deadly Effect After Bomb Failed to Kill Royal Pair, Who Were Attending a Reception in Their Honor in Sarajevo, Capital of Bosnia.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Francis Joseph, nephew of Emporer Francis Joseph and heir to the Austrian throne, and the Duchess of Hohenberg, his morganatic wife, were assassinated Sunday at Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Two attempts were made on the lives of the royal party.

A bomb was thrown at their motor car which was warded off by the archduke and his car passed before it exploded under the next car which contained two of his aides who were slightly injured.

Later on a man, said to be a young Serbian student, fired two shots at the royal car and the archduke and the duchess were killed. This adds another sad chapter to the life of the aged Emporer Francis Joseph during whose reign many grim tragedies have occurred.

The Archduke Francis Ferdinand and the Duchess of Hohenberg, started out in the morning in their automobile to attend a reception in their honor at the town hall. Suddenly a man named Cabrinvitch, from Trebinje, who was standing among the crowd on the sidewalk, threw a bomb at the royal car with good aim. The archduke saw it coming and warded it off with his arm and the bomb fell to the street and did not explode until after the archduke’s car had passed.

When the explosion occurred it resulted in the wounding of Morizzi, aide de camp to the archduke, and Count Boss Waldeck, who occupied the car immediately behind that of the archduke, Six persons among the spectators were more or less seriously injured.

As the royal car reached the coroner of Rudolf street a man named Gavro Prinzip, who was on the sidewalk, fired two pistol shots in quick succession at the archduke and the duchess. The man who was only a short distance from the car, was a good marksman, The first shot struck the Duchess of Hohenberg down on the right side while the second ballet hit the archduke in the neck near the throat and pierced the jugular vein.

The duchess became unconscious immediately and fell across the knees of her husband. The archduke lost consciousness in a few seconds after he was hot. The chauffeur put on full speed and rushed straight to the palace where an army nurse vainly tried first aid to the injured.

Neither the archduke nor the duchess gave any sign of life and the only thing the head of the hospital could do was to certify that both were dead.


History Detectives Returns

history-dectectivesThe PBS series “History Detectives” returns for a short season tomorrow (on most PBS stations). The series has some changes for this season. First the title has been changed to “History Detectives; Special Investigations.” In the past, there would be three mysteries solved in each episode. This season there is only one mystery in the episode. Hosts Wes Cowan and Tikufi Zubari are back and they are now joined by Kaiama Glover, a professor at Barnard College, Columbia University. Worse of all is that will be only 4 episodes.

The first episode, tomorrow, (July 1) airs on most PBS stations at 9:00 p.m. (eastern & western time) including WXXI here in Rochester. PBS stations can air the program at any time so check your local listings for the day and time if out of Rochester.

The episode tomorrow deals the sinking of the SS Sultana at the end of the American Civil War. It was one of the worst maritime disasters in American history with more than 1,800 lives lost.

The July 8th episode tries to solve who killed union leader Jimmy Hoffa and why. That is one of the most famous unsolved cases of the twentieth century.

Other episodes this this season’s series try to explain what happened to the famous big bandleader Glenn Miller, who vanished during a flight across the English Channel during World War II and the mystery of the Austin Servant Girl Murders of the 1880s. That was one of the first recorded instances of serial murder in US History.

Top Songs of 1964; #12

The next song to go to the top of the record charts in 1964 was “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys. Although the Beach Boys had a string of hit songs in 1962 and 1963, this was their first song to hit number one. The song features Mike Love on lead vocal for the verse, and Brian Wilson for the chorus plus the rest of the group on back-up vocals. The song was originally listed as being written solely by Brian Wilson but in 1992 Mike Love sued saying that he also contributed to writing the song and his name was then added as an author.

“I Get Around” was top song on the Billboard Hot 100 record chart for 2 weeks (June 28 – July 11) but only for the week of June 28 – July 4 on the Cash Box chart.

Download Beach Boys songs (for small fee) from

Visit the Beach Boys website.

I Hate Spam

spamThis is just a rant, because as the subject says “I Hate Spam.” In part, because I have a website and this blog, I get lots of spam mail every day. I know that my ISP (Frontier) deletes some before I ever get my mail. Then I have my email set up so that most spam messages end up in the spam folder but I still have to delete those every day. Look at some of the spam I get. It appears that some are in Chinese. Seeing as I don’t know any oriental languages, I delete those right away.

Then there are those spam that pretend to be from other companies than they really are. One of the important things to think about is if some company is sending you a message and you don’t have a relationship with that company; don’t open it. There has been some emails being sent in the last year that if you click on an attachment it will encrypt the files on your computer and then you have to pay a ransom to get your computer unlocked.

One of those spam messages I have in this list even pretends to be from the IRS. They and other government agencies would NEVER send you an email. Especially about giving you some money.

They say that there isn’t any way to stop spam. Having an ant-virus program and keeping it up to date will help. The best advice is to be careful and make sure that a message is from someone you know.

Old News – Dedication of Clock

More news from the past. This time about the dedication of a clock and bronze tablet. The clock was renovated by the Village of Brockport in 1981


Thursday, June 25, 1914


Main Address Given by Hon. Geo. P. Decker. Clock Accepted for the Village by Mayor Harmon. List of Those Whose Names Appear on the Tablet.


Brockport Methodist

Main street presented a gala appearance on Saturday afternoon when about 1500 persons from Brockport and vicinity attended the dedication of the town clock in the tower of the Methodist church and the unveiling of the bronze memorial tablet placed near the base of the church tower. The D. A. R. had made provision for the seating of the majority of those present, seats being reserved especially for the G. A. R. and S. A. R. who sat in a body. From a speaker’s platform draped on the national colors and built over the church steps the speeches of the afternoon were given. The Brockport band furnished a program of music before and after the ceremonies. After the invocation pronounced by Rev. L. E. Ford the program opened with the address of Mrs. George H. Adams, Regent of Monroe Chapter, D. A. R. who formally and in a very happy address presented to the village the clock and tablet. Mrs. Adams spoke of these monuments as being dedicated not only to the memory of the brave Revolutionary soldiers but also being a means of bringing before the present generation and those to come a reminder of the indomitable character both of those who fought in battle and those early settlers who made their way into this locality and cleared the land upon which the homes of Brockport now stand. She spoke of a town clock as being a most appropriate gift on account of the prominent part the town clocks of colonial days had played in the history of those times. At her signal the silk flag covering the tablet was drawn aside and then also formally presented to the village the key to the clock tower and the insurance policy upon the clock which she said she was happy to present in such perfect condition to render service to the village of Brockport.

Village President George B. Harmon with a few well chosen words in which he complimented the donors upon their patriotism and public spirit accepted the gifts in behalf of the village.

The following inscription and list of Revolutionary soldiers buried in our near-by cemeteries whose names appear upon the tablet: — “To the Honor and Glory of Our Patriotic Ancestors, the Known and the Unknown, Who Gave Their Services and Lives for their Country in the War of the American Revolution, 1775-83.

ontario-beach-park-1914-06-25Brockport, Captain Joseph Roby, Rev. Amos Frink, Thomas Buck; Sweden, Captain Charles Treat, Captain John Griswold, Lieut. Ezekiel Elliott, Reuben Allen, Ansiem Comstock, Levi Francisci, Jonathan Fanning, Elisha Locke, Ebenezer Martin, Reuben Stickney; Clarendon, Lemuel Cook, Samuel Lewis, Augustus Sturges; Clarkson, Captain Samuel Darling, Sergeant Elijah Cook, John H. Bushnell, Joseph Kennedy, Jonathan Mead, David Smith, Eli Mead, Moody Freeman, William Pennatt; Hamlin, Peter Blossom; Kendall, Samuel Bates; Sandy Creek, Asa Clark; Spencerport, Charles Kimball; Adams Basin, Thomas King.

This clock and tablet are erected in gratitude and pride by Monroe Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, June 20, 1914.”

Dr. Alfred C. Thompson made a brief address of welcome to those present as a representative of the Brockport Chamber of Commerce saying that while his address must be brief his welcome was very long.

Mrs. Willard S. Augbury, State Regent of the D. A. R., gave an interesting address, dwelling at length upon the work being done by the many chapters of the D. A. R. in the state and the purpose of the organization, namely; to save our stories of patriotism and bravery from oblivion and to mark the historic spots of our country so that the present generation might have the brave deeds of their ancestors constantly before them. It is interesting to note here that Monroe Chapter is the first chapter in the state to have presented a town clock as a memorial. Mrs. Augsbury had attended eight dedications by different chapters within the week, but while other chapters had given handsome monuments, tablets, or in some cases drinking fountains, the Brockport town clock was the first one within her knowledge to have been presented.

Hon. R. C. Shannon as a representative of the Sons of the American Revolution gave a most entertaining and eloquent address upon the work done by that organization and highly complimented the Daughters for by no means being a second to his own organization in the energetic work they were doing.

The last speech of the afternoon was delivered by Hon. George P. Decker of Rochester and was as fine and comprehensive an address as Brockport has had the privilege of listening to in some time. Mr. Decker briefly outlined the history of this immediate locality from Revolutionary times showing that this spot was then a wilderness of forest, and that it was 18 years after the Peace of Paris before white settlers ventured here. That we therefore can connect ourselves with the Revolution only though our ancestors from the New England states or from the Hudson Valley. He rejoiced with Brockport had now given the people of this place a memorial of those times to be always before them. Mr. Decker drew comparisons between the life in those early days and now drew attention to the new standards of duty, of business, brought about by the phenomenal increase in population but based as of old, on the same principle of right and wrong, and finally, in closing he made tribute to the splendid work being done by the brotherhoods and sisterhoods of today in binding together the nation in its great interests, and preserving the heritage of the past.

After the singing of America accompanied by the band the benediction was pronounced by Rev. W. H. G. Lewis.

Preceding the exercises a luncheon to over forty-five prominent guests of the D. A. R., mostly from out of town, was served in the parlors of the church at 12:30 o’clock. The Brockport guests included the clergymen of the village and their wives. A tea to a number of the distinguished visitors was given after the ceremonies by Mrs. Fred Gordon at Whitehall.

All regretted the circumstances which made the presence of Mrs. William Cumming Story, National President General of the D. A. R. who had been expected as the guest of honor of the day impossible. The out of town visitors and members of Monroe Chapter seated on the speakers’ platform were: — Mrs. William S. Little of Rochester, Honorary State Regent, who 17 years ago organized Monroe Chapter; Mrs. W. S. Augsbury of Antwerp, State Regent; Mrs. Frederick W. Yates of Rochester, State Registrar and Genealogist; Mrs. Frank W. Dow of Rochester, Regent of Irondequoit Chapter; Mrs. Charles E. Crouse of Syracuse, Regent of Onondaga Chapter; Mrs. S. R. Cleveland of Watertown, former Regent of LeRay de Chaumont chapter; and Mrs. George H. Adams, Regent of Monroe Chapter. Mrs. Augsbury and Mrs. Adams were the recipients of handsome bouquets of sweet peas and roses the gift of Monroe Chapter after their speeches.

FSFT – Adding Family Sources

FamilySearch Family Tree (FSFT) the massive online genealogy tree of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) has recently made it very easy to add sources to a whole family. You have been able to add sources to a single person for a long time but now if the record has other family members you can add most other people in the family. This system works for most census records from 1850 to 1940. I have also attached birth, marriage and death records that I found on FamilySearch.

In the example below, I searched for George Saxton in the 1860 census and found his family living in Wetherfield, NY. There is that BIG blue button in a prominent spot on top hoping you will attach it to people in FSFT. Adding sources will help to prove that the data for a person is correct. It also helps other researchers that might be looking for their family connections.


The next screen, below, shows the screen to attach the sources. I had already attached the census source to George so he shows as green colored background, but still had to attach other family members. As George and his wife, Hannah, were elderly, most of their children had left home. Their son, John, is still living with his parents. So I attached the source to both Hannah and John.


FSFT does a fairly good job of matching people to family members. Sometimes there will be bad spelling in the source that it cannot figure out. In that case, you can “drag” the person on the left up or down to match them to a person on the right. Notice that there are two people in the above census record that FSFT could not match to any family member. I know that Laura was the wife of John Saxton. I still have not figured out who Emily Saxton was. She wasn’t in any earlier census for the family.

Using the new source system you can add many family sources in just an hour. I also found some new family sources that I had missed before while adding the sources to my extended family. Having more sources will benefit everyone. Seeing as FSFT will be around in one form or another for a long time, you don’t have to worry that the sources that you add today will disappear in the future.

Top Songs of 1964; #11

peter-and-gordonThe next song to hit the top of the record charts in 1964 was another British import; “A World Without Love” by Peter and Gordon. The song was written by Paul McCartney but under an an arrangement with their record contract it was listed as Lennon-McCartney as the writer. John Lennon had mentioned once that he thought that Paul had already written the song before he joined the Beatles. Both Paul and John didn’t think that the song was right for the Beatles so they let Peter and Gordon record it. Paul McCartney was dating Peter’s sister, Jane Asher at that time.

A World Without Love” was the first song released by Peter and Gordon and it was their only number one song on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box charts. It stayed there for only the week of 21-27 June, 1964. Other popular songs by the group were “Nobody I Know,” “I Don’t Want To See You Again,” “Woman,” “I Go to Pieces,” “Lady Godiva” and “Knight In Rusty Armour.” They broke up in 1968. Gordon Waller tried to have a musical career by himself but didn’t have much success. Peter Asher started working for Apple Records as a talent scout. He later moved to California where he managed and produced Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Peter also produced recordings for Cher, 10,000 Maniacs, and Diana Ross. He and Gordon got back together again in 2005 and toured until 2009 when Gordon Waller died.

Peter and Gordon have their own website but it appears it hasn’t been updated in a few years.

Download Peter and Gordon songs (for a small fee) from

Old News – Upcoming Events (1914)

More news from the past. This time are a couple of events coming up within the next week.< One is at Exposition Park which is now Edgerton Park./p>


Friday, June 19, 1914

Red Eagles Carnival at Exposition Park Next Week

expo-park-1914-6The Greater Sheesley Shows furnish the attraction for the Red Eagles Carnival at Exposition Pakr all next week. These shows include fifteen high-class attractions, two novel rides, four free acts, daily aeroplane flights, high wire performances, fireworks every evening and band concerts.

The aeroplane flights will be made by William A. Hetlich, who recently came out of a hospital at Bluefield, Va., where he had suffered from injuries received in a fall.

“The Dip of Death” is declared to be a thriller. This is a motor-drome built forty laps to the mile. Around this track, the sides of which are perpendicular, “Crazy” Hartley dashes at a speed of a mile a minute.

“Happy Jack” Eckert, said to be the largest human being in the world is one of the attractions. He weighs 739 pounds, according to the press agent.

Among the animal acts will be a troupe of trained horses. There will also be a minstrel show with a score of singers and comedians. Professor Tony Nicerotiose and his band will give concerts every afternoon at 2 o’clock and each evening at 7 o’clock.

St. Boniface

The pupils of our school are now making final preparations for the entertainment and closing exercises to take place on next Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, June 23rd and 24th. The painting of the special scenery is now completed and from present indications a most successful entertainment is to be given. Some interesting musical numbers will also be on the program for both evenings. The curtain will be raised at 8:15 sharp and it is ernestly requested that all be seated at this appointed time. Reserve seats can be secured from the Sisters at the Convent.

2014 Local Libraries of the Year

rrlcThe Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC) recently announced their libraries of the year in three categories.

The public library of the year is Chili Public Library. The judges were impressed by the large number of heartfelt nominations. They all agreed that “The staff and the library are loved by their community.” Some of the comments on this library are: “I have loved the Chili Public Library for years! The staff is wonderful – warm, friendly, and helpful!” and also “This library welcoming…not only the staff, but also the library itself.” Visit this webpage for a video of the library and a link to a photo tour.

The school library of the year goes to Brockport High School Library. The judges were impressed by the thoughtful nominations of this library and noted that library staff was mentioned by name.  Some of the comments on this library are: “I have been a teacher for 25 years and I have never worked with more energetic, competent, helpful, and knowledgeable librarians!” and also “Our library is remarkable entirely because of our head librarian, Kathleen Jaccarino, and library staff, Jane Agte and Pauline Pratt.” Visit this webpage for a video of this library and a link to a photo tour.

Finally, in the academic library of the year is University of Rochester River Campus Libraries. The panel of judges were impressed by the high level of service provided by the librarians and noted by the nominees. “The libraries have done a really good job building relationships with the teaching faculty” — something that all libraries strive to do, but not all succeed.  Visit this webpage for a video of this library and a photo tour with many photos that show how extensive the library is.

Congratulations to all these great regional libraries.