How NOT to save your photos or donate books


Photos found in donated books (click to enlarge)

Have you ever hidden anything in a book? Maybe used a photo as a bookmark? I don’t recommend it as a way to save your photos! Here’s why:

I volunteer weekly for my local Friends of the Library. We price and sort donated books for our monthly used book sales (at which I also run a cash register), and we have a lovely used book shop in the Main library downtown which is open six days a week. We raise around $200K every year for library programs such as the Summer Reading Program for children.


The holidays are for sharing family photos and stories

Not a holiday, but a family (mine) enjoying a photo album together. This is a newspaper clipping from the Idaho Statesman, in 1965, when the new minister and his family came to town.


When do “the holidays” begin and end for you? For me, they start with Thanksgiving and end on January 1st. Halloween serves as a heads-up: The holidays are coming!

No matter what holidays you celebrate, if you are lucky enough to have a family that enjoys getting together (in person or virtually), it’s the perfect time for sharing family photos and stories. It’s also a great opportunity to learn from your elders, share your genealogy discoveries, and create new memories.


About the Photomyne scanning app

Let’s start with the fact that I am an emeritus (retired) member of The Photo Managers who never specialized in photo scanning. But the more popular it becomes, the more confused I see people getting. So, I’m hoping to clear things up a bit.

Instead of becoming a crackerjack photo manager like some of my colleagues, I combined my general professional organizing and genealogy experience into a book called What’s a Photo Without the Story? How to Create Your Family Legacy. It includes chapters on how to organize, preserve, and share your family photos. So I do have a vested interest — not so much in HOW people do it, but more THAT they do it, and making it seem do-able to them.


How and when to find a common ancestor

Photo of Henry Clay by Mathew Benjamin Brady, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.


I finally did it!

Did what?

I figured out my relationship to Henry Clay, the 19th century American statesman.


By finding our common ancestor.


DNA tests: The gift that keeps on giving

DNA Helix

Have you had your DNA tested?

How often do you revisit your results?

(This post is for people who have tested, or who want to test, their DNA for genealogy purposes. It’s not for those who don’t want to, or who are more interested in DNA for health purposes or traits.)


Gifts I Got from Mom

From Mom’s album: “Stopped in Albuq. 7-1959” There’s more to this story in my new book!

I grew up in a family of six, with my parents, three younger brothers, and few relatives. Certainly none who lived nearby.

My parents did not share family stories or photos. Not really. We enjoyed slide shows of our own family vacations, but nothing historical. I guess they were too busy working and raising us up.


Genealogy Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering hands


Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month?

This is very convenient for the genealogy community since the 1950 U.S. census is being released on April 1, 2022. (That’s when the mandatory 72-year privacy waiting period ends.)

Here is a list of genealogy volunteer opportunities, and some of the benefits of participating.


RootsTech is (still) for Everyone!

RootsTechDo you regret missing RootsTech 2022?

It’s not too late!

Yes, a few features are no longer available, but many of them — including 1500+ recorded sessions, on 185 topics, in 30+ languages —will be available all year long!


What the heck is a second cousin once removed?

This question — How are we related? — might arise when you gather with relatives during holidays. Or anytime.

Most people just laugh and change the subject.

But, next time, YOU can be the one who knows the answer!

(PRO TIP: Keep this post handy for reference!)


Odds Are We’re Gonna Be Alright

Screenshot of “Odds Are” lyrics by Barenaked Ladies

I heard this song recently.

Yes, it’s old, but it was new to me.

And it gave me hope.

The song is “Odds Are” by Barenaked Ladies.