Friday, October 31, 2014

Uploading photos onto FamilySearch to protect and share them

I finally got some pictures of my Grandparents on FamilySearch. Here they are at Niagara Falls. Cute, right?

Sometimes members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints make the focus of their genealogical research finding names to take to the temple. That's great, but getting to know your ancestors that are already found is also a worthy goal. And if you're a beginner, it's the easiest place to start.

Ask your family members for pictures of their ancestors and then offer to scan them into the computer. Scanning a photo is something that a lot of people think is really hard. Honestly, it is; but you can figure it out! And once you do it'll seem really easy.

Getting the photos from your computer onto FamilySearch is the easy part. Just find them on your computer, drag them onto the screen, and upload them. Once they're uploaded you'll want to attach them to someone in your tree. If you have a group photo you can attach it to more than one person and tag each person.

Uploading photos on to FamilySearch is a good way to make sure they don't get lost. If your computer crashes or the photo is destroyed FamilySearch will still have it on their website. It's a good way to share them too. You may have 1st cousins or other extended family who are interested in those photos and don't have access to them. By posting them on FamilySearch you are making them available to family members you may not even know about.

Along with photos, you can add stories, documents, and audio files about your ancestors. They just recently started allowing audio files and I think that's great! My mom has several recorded interviews with her dad that I'm really happy that I don't have to transcribe!

Make sure you have the permission and legal rights to anything you upload onto FamilySearch. For example, you have the rights to your own photos and stories and you have permission for any photos or stories that your relatives give you to put on the website. If you take a picture of document that you own (like your birth certificate), you have the right to that picture, however, you don't have the rights to images that you've saved from or another (free or paid) website that has a copyright.

Other websites that allow you to build a family tree usually allow you to add photos and documents about your ancestors in a similar way. It may seem redundant to have your photos on several websites, but it allows you to share them with more people and (extra) ensures they'll never get lost.

Whether you're just getting in to family history or you're already an expert, protecting and sharing family photos and memories is an easy and rewarding way to serve your family

Have you ever found any photos or memories about your ancestors uploaded by someone else? Did it help with your research or make you feel more connected to that ancestor? Share your experiences in the comments!

Update March 2015: Check out if you want to share memories about living relatives.

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