A picture of Fran and how do I start my own family history project?

Here is an image of Francine Marshmutt Andersen in her full glory – laying down on a chair and sleeping. She was a grand dog and protected Jakki not only unsorted537from other people but often from herself. Fran was frequently mad at Jakki and often shunned her.  I couldn’t for the life of me ever tell you what Jakki did each time that earned the wrath of Fran but she did it.

My favorite Fran story is the day I realized Jakki had to be hiding food in her bedroom (a forbidden thing so as to prevent a reason for Mice to join our household). Jakki had hidden food all over her room, I was pretty sure but I couldn’t find it. So I asked Fran to turn state’s evidence against Jakki. She happily did leading me around the room showing me the food hiding places. All it took was one piece of whatever food she pointed out (finders fee). For years thereafter she would sometimes come and get me and let me know there was food in her girl’s room. Happily turning states evidence against her girl for a couple of snacks.

Jakki wasn’t ever very happy about that skill. Fran could have been a great bomb sniffing dog she had an amazing nose and was stubborn enough to just sit there and wait for people to figure out she was right in the first place. This is from our house in Greenwood Indiana, looking out over the back yard. The chair did not leave Greenwood with us as we traversed to Maryland. There are times I still see Fran hovering over her girl. I miss her. I always knew someone was watching Jakki and making sure she was safe and not doing anything too crazy. It is amazing how much dogs can not only enter your life but change it for the better. Its hard to yell at the television during a basketball game when somebody bites your feet every time you yell.

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In 2012 we took a trip to Mount Vernon. It is actually only about an hour from Maryland without traffic (3 with traffic). This is how my children reacted on the front lawn of the father of our country, they goofed around like crazy people. We had a blast that day and Nick didn’t even complain about walking around all of Mt. Vernon (we covered nearly 4.5 miles of territory walking that day).

My parents took us to Mount Vernon the first time back in 1971. Somewhere in the slide scans of my father are some of the pictures. I remember that because I posted on to the history blog awhile ago.

The other day someone wrote me an email asking how to start a family history project. I thought I would share the concept that Jakki, Luke, Nick and I have developed.

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Step 1 – get an awesome team. Done!!! There is the team, they are really great kids and helped move this project forward.

Step 2 – invest in a good scanner. The better the scanner the better the software. That is critical going forward as good software separates the pictures automatically instead of scanning them as a single page.

We started with my grandfather slides and father’s slides. If you aren’t doing slides that releases you from the prosumer scanner grouping, you can get a good scanner for a lot less. Jakki organized the slides into grouping, any pre-labeled slides (my dad or grandfather hand labeling) were scanned with he name attached to them. The rest were scanned by year or by type (slide tray, slide sheet, loose).

The last part of the project is sharing them. Telling the stories that come to you when you see the pictures. Then other family members can chime in with their thoughts or different memories of the events in the pictures. Share all that into a blog. WordPress let’s you have a blog for free so it isn’t costly. Finally the last and perhaps most important thing – backup the pictures. Spend just a little extra and backup your pictures to the cloud. That way you have at least two-three copies at your home and one more in the cloud.

It has and continues to be a fun project – start your family history project today!


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow!

One thought on “A picture of Fran and how do I start my own family history project?

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