It’s great to be back after taking a short break.
The break gave me time that I needed to think about all I’ve learned recently during a family visit.
One of the purposes of the visit was to scan my mom’s old family photos.
Armed with my netbook and my sister’s scanner, I set about to tackle as much as I possibly could.
Frankly, the amount of information was overwhelming.
There was so many photos…so much documentation…so much memorabilia.
How would I organize it? Where would I start? The photos below show just a tiny fraction of what was on-hand!
As I began to work through all the items I knew I was looking at a treasure chest.
I commented to my mom that she needed to help me figure out what the most important items were.
Sure, it seemed like everything was important, but I was only going to be scanning and gathering information for a short time.
For three and a half days my mother and I looked at documents, talked about the people in the photos who were frozen in time, reminisced and made discoveries.
Every now and then my father would make his comments, too!
A few times I saw my mother looking very wistful. She would occasionally comment, “I didn’t know we still had this..”
Every now and then when we were getting tired, but close to finishing something I’d laugh and say, “Mom! Focus, focus, focus!”
By the second night my mother would bring things to me saying, “I absolutely want you to scan this!”
I would reply, “Okay, just add it to the stack and we’ll talk about it once I get there!”
One day, Aunt Sheila, my father’s sister, came to visit. I asked her a few questions about my father’s family tree. I also asked her if she wouldn’t mind writing down the information. She was happy to do so. In addition, she gave us an incredible surprise!
A while back I wrote a post about my father’s grandmother. In the post I stated that we didn’t know her name. Well, Aunt Sheila did!
My great-grandmother’s name was Maria Gomez Cobián.
Aunt Sheila also told us her grandmother’s mother came to Mexico from Austria!
Aunt Sheila didn’t know her name, but wanted us to know where she was born.
Among the precious treasures were two (tin?) photo plates.
One of them, shown below, is one inch in size.
I decided to see what would happen if I saved the scan as “a negative.”
The result shows the only image of my mother’s paternal grandfather, Arcadio Lopez.
Even though the result is grainy, we now have an idea of how my great-grandfather looked!
My mother was delighted! She thought the plates were lost.
Those of you who follow my site are aware that I’ve been documenting my family’s history. As you may imagine I came away from this experience with many more details to share!
A few weeks ago I felt humbled, amazed, surprised, overwhelmed and exhausted.
I also felt privileged.
I held photos and documents from my family that were up to one hundred years old.
I learned things about my grandparents and parents that I had never heard previously.
I was honored to capture was what precious to my mother.
It’s going to take me a while to organize all the details…but I’m excited to get started!
I have plenty of stories to share, so please stay tuned!