Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - Share a Treasured Family Album...with EVERYONE in the Family

Quirk Album/Scrapbook recreated digitally for sharing

Lorine McGinnis Schulze from "Olive Tree Genealogy" inspired this post with her "Shutterfly: I'm Loving It!" post.  I'm also a fan of Shutterfly.  I love that you can create calendars, mugs, and photo albums through their website.  It's truly a wonderful way to create a family treasure!

In May 2002 as my family and I were preparing to depart Hawaii which had been our home for the past three years and head to our new duty station in Monterey, California, we were blessed to be able to stay with my aunt and uncle in Kailua.  My aunt shared with me some wonderful family photos and a very old family scrapbook from the Quirk side of the family.  We knew little about the album apart from the fact that it was a Quirk family album.  It had belonged to my grandmother, Mary Ann Brown nee Quirk, and had most likely been put together by one of her aunts and given to her. 

None of the pictures were labeled so no one was identified.  Bummer.  We were able to make out one of the people in the album for sure...Mary Ann, and she was in at least half of the pictures.  Score! The album was beginning to fall apart.  Mary Ann was born in 1913 and this obviously was from that era.  I made sure that when I scanned the images (600 dpi) that I scanned and saved them in order.  I fact, after I cropped the photos from each page, I saved them by page number (pg 1a, pg 1b, etc).  I wanted to keep the photos in context.  They were obviously put in the scrapbook in that order for a reason...even if that reason was the chronology of events.  It would undoubtedly give clues.

So after this week of being in family history heaven we moved on to our next duty station.  I became a Drill Sergeant and life got busy.  The pictures sat for almost 8 years and then I finally discovered Shutterfly albums and decided to do something meaningful with them.

I couldn't think of what to get for my mom for her birthday/Mother's Day (the both are always close) so it dawned on me to put together a copy of the album for her.  It's not exact but at least the photos are in the right order.  I even made the album pages black like the original album and added pictures of photo corners (something I wish the original had!).  I had shown the scanned images to my mom on previous trips home, trying to figure out who the people were.  Even though we hadn't solved many of the mysteries knowing our family history I was able to add at least some text with each page even if it asked a question, "Who were they?"  "Could it be this person/event?"

I created a pedigree chart for my mom and placed a picture of a coal breaker in the background (coal mining family here!).  I printed it on a mailing label (a 8-1/2x11 sized giant sticker), and placed it on the inside back cover.  I just gave it to my mom during this trip home.  It took awhile for me to get everything the way I wanted it.  She loves it and seeing how much she loves it meant so much more than I could possibly say.

There have been some benefits already.  My mom's memory was jogged a bit more.  I mislabeled a photo of people standing in front of a "Jeanesville, PA" sign as possibly being at a train station.  My mom reminded me as to how small that city was and that it was unlikely to have had it's own train station.  That Elizabeth Quirk was the postmistress for Jeanesville and this was most likely on the house since the post would have gone through there.  The album is saved on my Shutterfly logon and can easily be changed for the next person that gets a copy!

Shutterfly puts little orange triangles by pictures that may not print well or text that may have spelling mistakes


  1. When the album is printed, the orange triangles don't appear, do they?

  2. No they don't. They're just there for you to review any potential flaws. They're in the pictures above because I used screenshots from my shutterfly album rather than scanning pages from the one I gave my mom. The album was wonderful though. I'll be doing it again! :)