Power at the Genealogist’s Fingertip

The Norman Transcript has an article by Darlene Shawn, Power at the genealogist’s fingertip, about the power of the internet and how it can help genealogists find things they might never have known existed – such as old family photos.

Excerpt from the article:

The successful research of my Bever, Sarber, Stevens, Hatt and Smith lines have provided me with the best documentation of photos. Queries on the Internet have been the best method of contacting other researchers on these specific surnames.?

Finding the Bever line was a simple search of George Bever, my great-great-great-great-grandfather, who lived and died in Seneca County, Ohio. He was born March 26, 1800, in Virginia and died Sept. 26, 1869, in Ohio.?

Posted on the Web site was a picture of George, his wife, Sabina Bretz Bever, and other members of their family. Their son, Joseph Henry Bever, had moved from Ohio to Iowa and later to Washington. Joseph had a picture of his parents, whom he probably never saw again.?

One of Joseph’s descendants became the proud owner of these keepsakes and shared them on her Web site. My chances of finding a picture of my fourth great-grandparents would have been impossible without a computer.

I’ve experienced this first hand – the only photos I had of my great-grandmother were from her early 20s on up. I came into contact with a genealogists doing research on a branch of my family, and he sent me some photos that he thought I might find interesting if I hadn’t already seen them – they turned out to be of her and her family when she was a just a few years old, and then when she was a little older. It shocked my family – it was clearly her, and we had photos of her parents and sisters, but never any of her when she was that age. Her daughter, my grandmother, was in tears, because she had never seen any pictures of her mother when she was a child. These photos came from a branch of the family that were several states away.

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