In this entry, I will share how to research at home. Researching your family’s history doesn’t always consist of library trips, state archives visits, and online database searches. It begins with you.
You have access to family bibles, photo albums, scrapbooks, and conversations. These are excellent family research resources.
How to begin your family research at home.
- Write down what you know about your parents and grandparents, that’s six people. Add your great-grandparents that 14 people. You are off to a great start!
- Search your family photo albums and family bibles. Gently peel the photos out and flip the back for names, locations, and dates. Family bibles will have a marriage, birth, and death dates.
- Visit your elders. Begin a conversation about what you remember about your relatives and allow them to correct you.
- Bring/buy a flatbed photo scanner. Or download a scanner app. Using an app is more time consuming because you will be scanning photos individually. Don’t forget to write down the information about the pictures.
- Use your smartphone or device to record their conversations. Ask, “May, I record your story?”
Recently a cousin posted a photo on social media of her dad, Jarrett Ervin Jr. and his cousin Samuel Crawford posing with their mothers, my Great-grandmother Sarah Grimsley Ervin (b. 1893), and my Great Aunt Mamie Grimsley Crawford (b. 1899). The black and white photo was in a park setting.
I asked, “Was this photo taken in 1968?” My cousin answered she didn’t know any details about the picture. I posted a similar photo of me sitting in a baby carrier on a picnic table. I added I believe this was on the same day.
I texted my mom the pictures. I asked if she remembered the event. She answered no, but she enjoyed seeing her Granny and auntie.
Out of the two photos, three people are still living, me, my cousins Jay and Tony. Jay wouldn’t know more than me because he’s only three weeks older than me, but Tony is ten years older than us. I asked my mom if she had Cousin Tony’s telephone number. She gave me two different numbers for him. The first one I dialed, he answered.
My call surprised Tony because we hadn’t talked in years. I texted him the photos. But he didn’t need to see them he knew what pictures I was describing to him. He gave me the details.
Tony said it was a family reunion. We use to have them every year at the Columbus Zoo.
After my conversation with Tony, I followed up with my mom. Now she remembers. My mom added Ohio state employees with their families received a free day at the zoo. Uncle Jim, Sarah’s son, was State employee. I thought, Wow! Uncle Jim got his entire extended family into the zoo free annually.
The Columbus Zoo had an amusement park on the same grounds. My mom said the rides were free, too. However, there was an admittance fee to visit the animals.
This family historical event has been accurately recorded through a family home visit to scan photos, a social media posting, and three telephone conversations.
If you doubt that the photos were taken on the same day, take into consideration that the top photo is a picture of a picture. The bottom photo was scanned and restored through an app. Before restoration, it was severely discolored and scratched. I had baby spit-up on my chin too.
History of the Columbus Zoo.
- In 1927, the Columbus Zoological Park opened in Columbus, Ohio.
- In the 1940s, the zoo increased its number of animals.
- In 1951, the City of Columbus began to manage the zoo.
- In 1978, Jack Hanna became the zoo’s Executive Director. He worked as the director for 14 years. Hanna appeared on television shows and made the Columbus Zoo nationally known.
The history of the Columbus Zoo is from http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Columbus_Zoo_and_Aquarium .
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