Share Large Photo Archives With Your Relatives Using Windows Live Mesh

Grandpa Need­ham Dier­lam and Bev­erly Dier­lam, 1932

One ques­tion I’m con­stantly fac­ing is, “Now that I have all these pho­tos scanned, what in the world do I do with them?” I have rel­a­tives who say they would love to see them. But it takes far more work to get the pho­tos to them!

Now that they are com­puter files, I can email them out, a few at a time. I can post them on my web site or on Face­book. These days you can cre­ate cof­fee table books, cal­en­dars, etc. All of those things take time, and there­fore, chances are they won’t actu­ally hap­pen. At least, in my case, not soon!

I have found the @Dropbox ser­vice is a great (and free!) mech­a­nism for file shar­ing amongst friends and rel­a­tives. Let me take a moment and explain Drop­box from this stand­point, because we’re going to be doing the same thing with Win­dows Live Mesh. Drop­box, accord­ing to Wikipedia, has over 50 mil­lion users. It’s a mature, reli­able, and securely encrypted service.

The orig­i­nal idea with Drop­box is that you use it for your­self. You install Drop­box on each of your com­put­ers (includ­ing your phone), and every­thing in your Drop­box fold­ers is always avail­able to you, on every com­puter. You can also use a web browser and obtain your files through their web site. It’s quite handy!

The free ver­sion of Drop­box has lim­its, some­where between 4 GB and 21 GB of file space. That is an awful lot of space for day-to-day usage. On the other hand, when you begin mak­ing thou­sands of high-resolution scans of pho­tos and old hand-written doc­u­ments, you run out of Drop­box space in a hurry!

Con­tinue read­ing

Rosanah Wife of George A. Barnard

Rosanah Wife of George A. Barnard

Rosanah Wife of George A. Barnard

The head­stone says, Rosanah Wife of George A. Barnard. Who would know she was mar­ried at 16, mother at 17, widow at 18? Years later but still in her early 20s she became the wife of George Allen Barnard, and together they became my great-great-great grandparents.

How did she feel, in barely-settled Kit­tan­ning, widow and mother at only 18? Her mother had died, and her step-mother was barely older than she.

I won­der if she saw lit­tle but a hope­less life before her. She lived 81 years, and her son lived to be 98. I like how her memo­r­ial dom­i­nates the sky­line at Glade Run Pres­by­ter­ian Church ceme­tery, Day­ton, Arm­strong County Pennsylvania.

7. George Allen Barnard (1809–1885) was the son of George Barnard and Sally Higley. Rosanah John­ston (1814–1896) was the daugh­ter of David R. John­ston and Isabella Robin­son.

6. George Barnard (1782–1862) was the son of Fran­cis Barnard Jr. and Chloe Mills.

5. Fran­cis Barnard Jr. (1741–1828) was the son of Fran­cis Barnard Sr. and Lucre­tia Pinney.

4. Fran­cis Barnard Sr. (1719–1789) was the son of Joseph Barnard Jr. and Abi­gail Griswold.

3. Joseph Barnard Jr. (1681–1736) was the son of Joseph Barnard Sr. and Sarah Strong.

2. Joseph Barnard Sr. (ca. 1650–1695) was the son of Fran­cis Barnard and Han­nah Meru­ell. Sarah Strong (1655/56–1732/33) was the daugh­ter of Elder John Strong and Abi­gail Ford.

1. Fran­cis Barnard (ca. 1617–1697/98). Han­nah Meru­ell (ca. 1627-ca. 1675). Elder John Strong (1605–1699). Abi­gail Ford (1608–1688).

Why We Need Cemetery Photography

Freshly Crushed Headstone

Freshly Crushed Headstone

This is one rea­son ceme­tery pho­tog­ra­phy can be impor­tant. Many head­stones are being actively destroyed! Click on the image for the grue­some detail.

This is in Pio­neer Ceme­tery, Ful­ton, Call­away County, Mis­souri. Many of the head­stones had mul­ti­ple tire tracks across them. It looked like some­one in a 4-wheeler or ATV was going in cir­cles all over the cemetery.

The face of at least one head­stone was freshly chipped/scraped, and they are being fur­ther cracked.

This ceme­tery has had severe van­dal­ism in the past. The still-muddy tracks show the van­dal­ism con­tin­ues. Yeah, some­one was just rid­ing around, but that per­son was actively destroy­ing what remains of this 19th Cen­tury cemetery.


Magic Mirror Cemetery Photography


Ancient head­stones can never be replaced. They may be the only his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments remain­ing from that time and place. Many head­stones are so worn as to be com­pletely unread­able — or so they appear to the unaided eye! The “Magic Mir­ror” tech­nique throws the writ­ing into sharp relief. The words quite lit­er­ally jump out at you!

The Magic Mir­ror is a “green” tech­nique. It does not risk any harm to the head­stone. All we do is shine sun light across the face of the inscription!

These two pho­tographs are of the same head­stone! Can you see how the writ­ing appears and dis­ap­pears? This head­stone looked exactly the same to the naked eye. We needed the Magic Mir­ror to read the inscription.

The Blue ital­ics text are the photo descrip­tions. You can skip over the text to con­tinue read­ing this Magic Mir­ror Ceme­tery Pho­tog­ra­phy tuto­r­ial. Click on any of the pho­tographs to see it full size.

Mary F. Herring

Mary F. Herring

Gideon F. Herring

Gideon F. Herring

Left, Mary F. Her­ring: One of two pho­tos of the same head­stone, show­ing the “magic mir­ror” effect. In each photo, the high­lighted inscrip­tion is vis­i­ble and the other inscrip­tion is not. It is the same effect with the naked eye — we had to use the mir­ror to make out the writ­ing at all.

Right, Gideon F. Her­ring: Care­fully com­pare this photo to the “Mary F. Her­ring” photo of the same head­stone, to see the dra­matic dif­fer­ence the “magic mir­ror” makes in read­abil­ity. We use the mir­ror to shine sun­light ACROSS the face of the head­stone, caus­ing shad­ows in the barely-visible inscriptions.

“Both on same head­stone one above the other, Mary F., Born Aug 15 1848, died Aug 28, 1852. Gideon F., Born Dec. 19, 1852, died July 10, 1854. Chil­dren of G.H. and H.A. Her­ring. Brother and sis­ter. Mary F. Her­ring was a daugh­ter of George Wash­ing­ton Her­ring and Hes­ter Ann Kemp, grand­daugh­ter of John Her­ring and Lucy Carver, and, Wal­ter Kemp and Jerusha Key. She was my great grandAunt.”

Con­tinue read­ing