Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Doing Honor to Family

There are many different ways that we as genealogists and family historians find to honor the memories of our ancestors. Many of us write stories taken from the bits of information we glean from research, others of us love the joy of making beautiful scrap book pages, and still others are content to gather all available information in our software programs and make printed family trees to hand down. All are worthy endeavors to keep the memories of the past alive.

The two of us, The You Go Genealogy Girls, find many different ways to honor our loved ones. Girl #1 has made purses and bags with photos on them and Christmas tree ornaments. I love to do scrapbooking pages and wall art of various types, all with photos and trinkets of our ancestors added. I am running out of wall space to display everything and have even helped Number 1 fill up her wall space too.

We are lucky to be the proud owners of a beautiful family photo of our Great Great Grandparents and their family, The George Albert Copsey family which was taken in Custer County, Nebraska in about 1886-87. Not only do we have this treasured photo of their family and their sod house but it is also an important photo in the collection taken by the famous early photographer, Solomon D. Butcher. He made many early glass plate negative prints of the Plains, mostly in Nebraska during the later part of the 1800's and often centering around Custer County, Nebraska. This collection of glass plate negatives is at the Nebraska State Historical Society. Ours is a photograph and the original glass plate negative from the Butcher collection can be seen HERE and the plate details are available HERE. We invite you to take a look at the original glass plate, it is quite interesting and has a somewhat different look from our photo.

Many of the Solomon D.  Butcher photographs can be seen on the Library of Congress American Memory website. If you are a student of history and especially that of the early Plains and  American west those photos offer very poignant views of sod houses and the families who lived during those early years.

Cropped closeup taken from our original photograph of the George Albert Copsey family.

As many of you may already know, Ruby recently wrote a helpful new book about doing "Genealogy Research in Nebraska". Of course she had many hundreds of family photos that she could have chosen from to use on her book cover but our Copsey family is the one she wanted to use and when she suggested that to me in the pre-production stages, I was in total agreement that she had chosen well. What better way of doing honor to one of our dearest families? We are both so proud and so thankful that the Copsey's chose so many years ago to have their photo taken for posterity. Little did they know that thanks to Mr. Butcher, their Great Great Granddaughters would "make them famous" 130 years later! To us they were already a great family in our knowledge of their history and accomplishments...and were it not for them just where would we be? It is they who deserve our love and we honor them each time we look at those faces.

One of my other postings on my photo blog Taken Somewhere in Time has more early photos and information about Effie Mae Copsey, our G Grandma, the little girl with the doll in the sod house picture. "Great Grandma Gardner's Photo Timeline"

Ruby's book cover!

Ruby's book can be ordered from Roots Family Publishing: HERE.

Thanks for stopping by our blog!  ~Cheri, You Go Genealogy Girl #2

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