Organizing Family Photos.

Organizing family photos

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.
I find the best 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.

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

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. 

About Tokeloshe.

Welcome and thank you for visiting. I have been happily married (sic) for 40 years, have one son, a loving daughter in law and three adorable grandsons. We have been in Canada for 20 years and are originally from South-Africa. My first language is Afrikaans. (Ek kan nog Afrikaans praat, lees en skryf.) I love doing mixed media, scrap-booking, blogging and playing on the computer, I am also interested in photography, genealogy, reading, hiking, camping, arts and crafts.
This entry was posted in Crafts, Family, Genealogy, Organize, Organizing, Photos, Scrapbooking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Organizing Family Photos.

  1. perdebytjie says:

    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

    • Tokeloshe says:

      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

  2. HesterLeyNel says:

    Dis ‘n baie interessante onderwerp, maar baie werk. Ek bewonder jou vir al die moeite wat jy doen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow – ongelooflik. So jy het die alles ge-erf en bewaar. Hoogs interessant. En nogal ‘n lekker hobby ook daarby! En vandag kan jy dit op ‘n blog plaas – wat beter of meer wil mens dan hê!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tokeloshe says:

      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

  4. Molly says:

    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.


    • Tokeloshe says:

      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.


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