This isn’t really a Louisiana story, but I thought these photos might be useful to someone.
As I’ve mentioned, my beloved grandmother isn’t well. Every time I visit, she gives me another stack of genealogy books from her collection. Some I’ve donated. Others will find a home in my crowded bookshelves.
The books include several self-published genealogy books.
At some point – probably the 1980s – it became very popular to photocopy family photos and organize them into spiral-bound books. Kinko’s must have had a booming business. Sometimes people would get fancy and spring for a hard-cover binding. The point was to put the family information on paper in the days before the internet. .
Genealogy libraries have shelves full of family histories that were the work of amateur genealogists. These are self-published books, and I’m going to be honest here. They can be a little iffy on the facts. You’ll find typos, misspelled names and wrong dates. Your Aunt Betty may not have remembered that Cousin Beverly’s twins were Ron and Dale not Rob and Gayle.
These books also contain photographs. Really bad photographs because someone slapped a photo on the copy machine and pressed a button. Scanners and smartphones didn’t exist back then. But it may be a good opportunity to get a fuzzy look at your ancestors.
So exercise caution when citing from them, but absolutely try to find them for a grainy look at your ancestors.
I spent the afternoon looking at pictures of the Newman family in a spiral-bound book my grandmother gave me. Two of the photos are of my grandmother’s great-uncles. In them, they’re holding musical instruments. I had no idea we were musical (that gene got lost).
So check out your local library (yes, I know I say that nonstop).