Monday, July 21, 2014

Scan Those Old Photos and Documents - Old Bixenman Photos

Do you have old family photos and documents sitting around in a box in a closet somewhere? I guarantee that even if you're not interested in them, someone is! Please either scan them in to your computer or contact your family historian (If you're related to me, that would be me!) and get them scanned in.

Why do I feel it's important? I have two good reasons. First, to share the old family photos with others in the family! In the past, you'd have to worry about the price of duplicating a photo and physically sending a copy to whoever would like a copy. Now, the only cost is your time. The second reason is to preserve history. What would happen if tragedy happened and you lost your house to fire, flood or tornado? Those family photos would be gone!

Finally, once you get them scanned in, make certain to back them up! Write them to a CD or DVD and mail them to other family members! Put them on a blog or website! What I do is use Bittorrent Sync to automatically back up my family history documentation folder to relatives who volunteer to be the backup location in order to also have a copy of it. You can see my writeup about this program here.

I enjoy bringing my flat-bed scanner to relatives' houses and scanning in their old photos and documents. As I scan them in, I create a text file documenting who is in each photo. This way I can document who they are as I enter them into my family history database.
Back in 2006, I visited Chariton County, Missouri to see the area my Bixenman and Miller family lived back in the late 1800s. I visited the cemetery to take photos, purchased a church family book and visited with Edna Clark, my second cousin, once removed. I had been given her phone number by a member of the Chariton County Historic Society. I spent nearly an entire day scanning in her old photos, some of them in very poor condition. I'm very happy to have gotten them into digital format before they completely disintegrated.

Annie Leber First Communion - My first cousin, once removed
Casper Bixenman - My great-granduncle

Casper and Helena Bixenman

Harvest at the Casper Bixenman Farm near Tyvan, Saskatchewan, Canada

Mary Leber - My first cousin once removed and Crescence Miller - My grand aunt
Ellen, John, Thomas and Peter Bixenman, about 1896 - My first cousins, twice removed

The Joseph Bixenman Family - My great-grand uncle Front row: Joseph, Mary Crescentia, Mary Jane Rodgers Bixenman holding Charles, Back row: Bridgitta Helena, John Bernard, Peter Albert, Philomena, Bernard Benedict

Newspaper article about John Bixenman from June 10, 1965

The John and Mary Leber Bixenman Family - about 1920
William Schiltz and Bridgitta Helena Bixenman wedding - 1910

William Schiltz and Bridgitta Helena Bixenman wedding - 1910
George Leber Family - Elizabeth Mitch Leber, Lorraine Leber, George Leber and Benedict Bixenman - George's grandfather and my great-great-grandfather

Benedict and Crescentia Bixenman are in the center with a little girl between them in front of the family home.

Benedict Bixenman's original handwritten will. I scanned this from the Chariton County, Missouri museum collection.

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