I have posted this photo before. It is my great grandparents, Charles Oliver Ferrier and his wife, Sarah Evelyn Forkner Ferrier. Seated in the chair is his mother, Mary Castinger Ferrier. Oldest daughter, Victoria, was not present when this photo was taken, so her photo was inset on the left. My grandmother, Dulcie Ferrier Marlin, is the girl standing in the dark dress.
The reason I am putting this photo up again is to encourage all of you who work on family history, do genealogical research and are attempting to trace your ancestral roots… DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT everything in every way you can. This photo is a classic example of how things just get “lost” or disappear.
In 1955, my family made a trip to Missouri, and my father had a new slide camera. He had a real sense of family history and a huge pride in our pioneer roots. When we visited his uncle John Ferrier, my father had the good sense to take a photo of the above photo. It was hanging on Uncle John’s wall. See below photo which shows from left my grandmother, Dulcie Ferrier Marlin, Uncle John Ferrier, their sister Victoria Ferrier Newman, and me in the right corner, age 6. Hanging on the wall between John and Victoria is the photo.
Fast forward forty years. In 1995 I had the summer off from work and decided to start digging into family history. I conferred with my mother and she found the slides of our trip to Missouri in 1955. I did not remember ever seeing the two photos above, but she refreshed my memory and I took the slides to the one hour photo guy, had him make negatives and then prints.
Then in 1997 on a trip to Missouri with my niece Deanna, we visited John Ferrier’s daughter, June Ferrier Newman. June said she had never seen the photo above, and she did not remember it ever hanging in her father’s house though obviously it had been there because I had the photographs to prove it! Her father was long dead at that time and she had no idea where the photograph had gone. She checked with other family members and they, too, had no idea what had happened to this important piece of family history.
Here is my best advice:
Finally, you might want to consider doing what I am doing…documenting family history by way of a blog. This reaches a lot more people than you would otherwise be able to contact. I have had several unknown cousins contact me because they have seen something of interest on this blog. Don’t assume that someone will come along behind you and save everything and do further documentation. It happens but most of the time it doesn’t, no matter the best intentions. Also, don’t put off labeling things. I do this myself and wonder now if I will ever get around to writing on the back of photos (hence the blog). And if you do label photos, be sure to use a photo pen or the ink will eventually bleed through and ruin the image (my mother learned this the hard way).
The photo below is “Uncle Charley” and “Aunt Ev” Ferrier once again, my great grandparents, one of the last photos taken of them in very old age.