Organizing Family Photos.

Organizing family photos

Klik hier vir Afrikaans.

My interest in Genealogy started with my Father, who interviewed my Grandmother in the old age home, before she passed away, about her family.
My Grandmother  had an incredible memory and kept a lot of photos, documents, negatives and mementos, which my Dad passed onto me.

I scan the original in color, even if it is monochrome, then I save a copy as adj. (Adjusted) which I work with, otherwise I have to scan the original again, when I go overboard with Photoshop, which I have

He kept meticulous notes which I copied.

Notes copied from my dad and the symbols he used.
I placed a black sheet behind the page to reduce the bleed through.
I also turned it into a sketch in a photo editing program for readability.

Reduce bleed through for double sided document scan

I have stored the original photos chronologically into archival safe photo albums, including as much info as I have. The photos are numbered and copied onto a list.
Many photos had no information, which left me with some Orphans. I use a K and Company-SMASH Collection-Pen and Glue Stick-Black, which is Archival and acid free to write on the backs.
I found another good way to mark photos at the back,  is to print the captions on acid free paper on the computer, cut it out and then paste it on the back with an acid-free glue stick.

Photo Restoration.
Click above for more info.

Update: My early attempts 😉
I have since had many photos restored by
Colorized by Restoring and Coloring Old Family Pictures. (Facebook group)
which you read more can about here 

I have printed restored copies of most, they are in the same albums, with notes that they are copies. I also sent many of the copies to my father. If there is information on the back of the photo, I scanned that as well.

Original photos and copies in an album, when I have scrap-booked a layout, I print a copy of the layout and include it with the photos. I used some of these photos in my At the Beachlayout

Original photos and copies in an album, with a print of my “Family Gatheringlayout.
Since I took these photos I have slipped 4″ x 6″ photo papers behind the small photos, to prevent them from slipping out.  I have also written notes on the photo papers.

I turned a copy of the photo into a sketch and added numbers, to identify the people in “Family Gathering“. 

Photograph with information included taken from my “Pose” scrapbook layout.

I keep small photos in Sport Collector sleeves.

I also had problems with printing small square photos, as they were cropped, due to the ratio. Some Kodak Picture Kiosks have a print full photo option, but you have to select it.

One of my albums with negatives in sleeves. I also have boxes filled with negatives.

I scanned most of the photos and negatives on an Epson Perfection 1260 Flatbed scanner, which was my first scanner and has a 35 mm adapter for slides and negatives, but unfortunately Windows does not support the drives anymore. I now use a Epson WF 3620.
The back up files are on external drives and in the cloud.

We have a good camera and a light-box, but some of the old negatives are thick, so that does not always work either.

Negative photographed on my light-box.

This is a photo of a negative on the light-box. The camera is mounted upside down on a tripod. You can unscrew the plate at the end of the center column and slide the tube out, reverse it and feed it through from underneath. I use a remote so that I’m not blinded by the light from the fluorescent tubes. The negative is inverted with Adobe Photoshop.

Digitizing Negatives Without A Scanner, Using A Digital Camera

Kodak Kiosks can scan negatives.

I think Drugstores and Camera stores can also scan negatives.

I print the most important documents, family trees and information and file them according to surnames.

I use free online family trees like and I belong to many Genealogy Facebook groups and pages. See South African Genealogy Links.

Through research and sharing I have discovered many interesting things, that I did not know. There are so many stories.
I don’t think my mother knew her mother’s real names.
Once I discovered my grandmother’s real names, I could trace the families to the progenitors. I was even able to find more photos of her and her family online.
There is also sad history about wars, concentration camps, prisoner of war camps, death of siblings, etc. Our grandparents never spoke of this as it was too painful. We have to gather the good and the bad before it is too late. All and much more was discovered through research.

How to create/Make Secret group in Facebook

I have secret Family Facebook groups, which I share photos and info with. My son is admin too all. I have received photos and information through these groups.

I have a free private blog at WordPress, which my son is also admin, I have uploaded most of my photos, documents and info to this blog. It is searchable and a great help.

I have scrap-booked many of the photos, which I photograph and share on my blog, Facebook, Instagram,, etc.

I use Pinterest to keep track of my Genealogy links.


This is so neat, I can actually scroll and click on the pictures. 

I have added some photos to online family trees, but I have found that some people download them on their computers and upload them to their own family trees on other sites, so I have added a copyright symbol to them.

Genealogy Links

South African Genealogy Links.

Technology for Genealogy (Facebook)

Genealogy Scrapbooking Creations (Facebook)

Copyright Fundamentals for Family Historians

Organizing Genealogy 

Organizing Photos for Genealogy

Scrapbook planning.

Pictures from the past. 


  1. Jy doen ongelooflike werk,Linda!Ek wens ook nou dat ek beter na my ouma en ma se stories geluister het.Ek het bitter min foto ‘s uit die verlede.Vandat ek blog,is dit makliker om ‘n geskiedenis van mensself op te bou…al mens se reise,ervarings en emosies.Dis een van die internet se voordele.
    Ek is mal oor jou blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ons is bly jy is terug, kan nie wag vir al die fotos en stories nie. Ons moet nog kyk of ek en jy familie is 😉

      Ek kan my Pa daarvoor bedank, hy het netjies agterop die meeste fotos geskryf, dokumente baie veilig bewaar, netjiese notas gehou en hy het ook ‘n baie goeie geheue gehad.
      Ek is ook baie dankbaar vir al die fotos wat die familie vir my gegee het en nog gee. Ek is ook maar skuldig dat ek nie belangestel het nie, maar ek is baie bly dat ek met die laaste besoek aan my skoonouers, uitgevra het oor datums, name, ens.

      Dit was moeilik want hulle wou nie daaroor praat nie, maar ons moenie dat die verlede vergete word nie.

      Jy kan gerus online soek vir fotos, ek het heelwat fotos so gekry. Ek het so pas pragtige fotos van my ouma, haar broers, suster en selfs haar Pa van iemand gekry.

      Baie dankie Dina ♥♥♥

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ja ek is baie gelukkig, my Pa was ook baie bly dat ek dit oorgeneem het. Hy het baie ou negatiewe gehad, waarvan hy nie die fotos gehad het nie, ek het hulle ge”scan” en vir hom afskrifte gestuur.
      Ek sal liewers te veel hê om te doen as te min, ek is nooit verveeld nie 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lucky internet accident to find your blog and find this post. It is incredibly helpful and full of good ideas and tips. Thank you very much for taking the time to share all of this! My children are uninterested in genealogy but someday my grandchildren (age 2 1/2 and 6 days) may come looking for interesting family history information as I did when I was a young teen. Thank you again for this wonderful information, it has really inspired me to get back to work on my own collection of photos and family ephemera.


    • Thank you Molly for taking the time to give such positive feedback, which just motivates and encourages me to do more.
      I wasn’t so much interested in Genealogy when I was younger, but I think once we have grandchildren of our own we realize the importance of preserving our knowledge, mementos, photos and more. Every document or photo has so much information and there is so much available on the internet today. I would love to see what you do. I would also love to connect with you on
      You can contact me here if you like.


    • Thank you for you positive feedback. I hope you found the post in English. I’m glad you found it inspiring. You are more than welcome. Please let me know of your progress.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, i did find the post in English. Knowing that we too will be leaving this earth, it is good to know that we are remembered. So now, I will try to keep the memories of my forefathers alive. Hopefully, this will help the next generations appreciate their humble beginnings.


        • Strangers in the Box

          Come, look with me inside this drawer,
          In this box I’ve often seen,
          At the pictures, black and white,
          Faces proud, still, serene.
          I wish I knew the people,
          These strangers in the box,
          Their names and all their memories
          Are lost among my socks.
          I wonder what their lives were like,
          How did they spend their days?
          What about their special times?
          I’ll never know their ways.
          If only someone had taken time
          To tell who, what, where, or when,
          These faces of my heritage
          Would come to life again.
          Could this become the fate
          Of the pictures we take today?
          The faces and the memories
          Someday to be passed away?
          Make time to save your stories,
          Seize the opportunity when it knocks,
          Or someday you and yours could be
          The strangers in the box.

          Author: Pam Harazim


I would ❤️ to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.