Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for Zebra

These are zebras. One day someone will find this picture in a stash left by me. Maybe a grandchild will find it but more likely a great grandchild. It will not be a yellowed copy but one that is found online. I don't know how it will work then but I assume anything that is out on the Internet will be retrievable.

If you are like me, there are tons of pictures you have saved that are not identified. Just like all the old photos I have, some will never be named. The same could happen with the zebra picture.

What does this picture tell you? The zebra's are enclosed in a large paddock. Some are under the tree so we assume it's cooler there. There are trees in the background and it looks like a savanna. It looks like it might have been on a safari somewhere. Without knowing where this is, assumptions can be wrong.

The picture is full color and has been changed to make it look older. The zebra's are in Riverside County, California. They are owned by one of our neighbors who has a horse ranch where he raises thoroughbreds. I don't know why he has the zebras but when we first saw them, we were surprised. We pass them twice a day on the way to baseball practice and games and we can't afford to leave town much less go on a safari.

I am guilty of not identifying my photos. Thinking about it, I don't want to leave a mess behind for someone else. Today's genealogists and family historians are making inroads into the past left for us to find. We can make it easier for future historians so when they find my zebra picture, they will know it was taken in Riverside County, California in 2014.

Family history has many facets. Not only are we on the hunt for facts, we are totally delighted when we find pictures. One of the most amazing moments are when we find unexpected treasure in the way of photographs. 

My grandfather was a photographer and took lots of pictures. My mother was never without a camera. In fact, her Master Degree was in Audio/Visual and it was an exciting time in 1967 when technology was blooming. 

My cousin in Tennessee found a treasure trove of photos he didn't know he had. It was an exciting week as he sent the scanned photos to me and when I went to Tennessee, he handed me a CD with them as well. 

Cousins I find online also share photos and yesterday another one found me. We are now sharing photos of my Aunt Ruth, her grandmother. 

One of the problems with all these photos is the way they are organized. I read a post by James Tanner who had a useful suggestion. Here is the link to his article "Let the computer do its work of organizing your genealogy". Taking his advise, I started organizing my pictures. It is AMAZING. They don't appear to be in order but all of them are searchable. It is going to take a long time to go back and rename my photos and documents but in the end, what a time saver!

His way of handling documents is simple. Create one searchable file with documents named so they can be found by person, place, date or event. The computer does the work, why reinvent the wheel?  

The A to Z challenge ends today. It has been fun and a challenge but now, I'm looking at tomorrow. Tomorrow is the day that I start of the real challenge of cleaning up and identifying my own photos so when my grandson does the A to Z challenge years from now and adds pictures, he won't have to wonder who these people are or where they were taken.

Thanks you for reading and commenting on my posts. It has made the challenge a joy and I have had a very good time reading and learning about others. Big Smile!


  1. I need to do the same thing. Thousands of photos, few identifed properly.

  2. And congratulations on finishing the A-Z challenge!!

  3. Great suggestions! I'm heading over to James' site asap to get the low-down on his methods. I've enjoyed our visits in the A-Z and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship! Gail

  4. Good times for all of April! Congratulations for your prolific posts. I have enjoyed all of them!

  5. Great idea. I'll have to look at that link. Good idea for Z too. I have a ton of my mother's photographs and I have NO idea who these people are. And I can't ask her anymore. They are from her time in the service, and from people abroad.

    Maui Jungalow

  6. This was a great post, Ann. I like how it makes me feel. Warm and wanting to make sure future descendents who may be interested in our family will have some idea who is in our photos. The Older and Older Bionic Brother actually asked me to scan the Mama's photo albums. He surprised me. I had no idea he was sentimental about the past as much as me. I am very glad he is.

    Cheers to you, Ann!

    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  7. Great Z post! And thanks for the link to what looks like a really interesting and useful article. I'll definitely go take a look at it. I do try to identify scanned photos with subject, date and sometimes location, but then when I try to move them around, I often get a prompt saying the file extension names are too long. I with there were a way to identify photos without having to create such ridiculously long file names for them!