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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Digital Storage Strategies for Sunsets

    Isn’t it strange when Real Life follows a premonition of something that you thought might/could/maybe would happen? You know, like worrying about losing your voice before a big event only to come down with laryngitis, or thinking “wouldn’t it be great…” and then finding an entire ancestral family in a cemetery when you were only looking for a single collateral relative?

    I’m pretty obsessive about backing up my digital files in a “belts and suspenders” sort of way. So, there’s no surprise about my favorite tip for digital photo management, shared in my guest post 5 Tips to Control Family Photo Chaos at the Blog:

    #1 Tip for Controlling Family Photo Chaos: 
    Collect Your Photos in ONE Location

    This advice might seem counter-intuitive for someone committed to backing up digital files, but it’s really just the first step to a simple and easy photo management system. When digital files are scattered across devices, cloud services, hard drives, and storage media the simple task of backing up files becomes a true chore. Duplicate files run rampant. Versions become orphaned. Worse, it’s hard to know what has been backed-up and what hasn’t.

    Yesterday, my external hard drive dropped off my computer radar; it just disappeared from the Mac Finder. Rebooting didn’t seem to help. It was gone. Since ALL my images are in that ONE location, I could be in trouble. I routinely move photos off my smartphone and iPad. I transfer photos from SD media cards and delete them. I clean off flash drives after research trips. But, all my images were backed up to a second external hard drive (My Photo Vault) and backed up again to a Dropbox account. In addition, archived DVDs hold yet another backup copy. I like and use Cloud storage like Dropbox, OneDrive, and ThisLife by Shutterfly, but I also like the faster speeds of backing up large TIFF format files to a local drive.

    Instead of panicking, I could easily plug in my Photo Vault drive and copy the images to a new external hard drive, my new Photo Library. Because all my photos were stored in ONE Location and backed from there, restoring the damaged hard drive was a minor mishap and not a digital disaster. I took a break for lunch and returned to my desk to find my files copied and ready to go.

    What's your favorite digital image storage solution?

    Find more strategies to help you safely and easily manage your photo collection in How to Archive Family Photos, available now at ShopFamilyTree and

    Photo by Anton Chiang on Flickr

    Disclosure: This post offers affiliate links which help keep this website online.


    Highlights from How to Archive Family Photos

    How to Archive Family Photos

    Introducing my newest book. . . How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally. As you can see, the Family Curator poster baby is speechless with excitement!

    My author copies have just arrived, which means that pre-orders and early orders are now being shipped from the FamilyTree Books publisher's warehouse. Online resellers like are accepting pre-orders now, with an expected shipping date in May.

    While you're waiting for Mr. Postman to deliver your copy, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tip and projects along with highlights from the pages of How to Archive Family Photos.

    If your smartphone camera is full of genealogy and family photos, like mine, you’ll find 240 pages of ideas to help you get control of the digital clutter and enjoy your photo collection with family and friends.

    Here’s a preview of the Table of Contents:

    PART 1: Organize, includes digital imaging basics like selecting digital storage devices and photo management software, as well as step-by-step guidance for gathering your images in one central location.
    Chapter 1: Getting Started
    Chapter 2: From Camera to Computer
    Chapter 3: Photo-Management Software
    Chapter 4: Online Photo Services
    Chapter 5: Digital Photo Management Work Flow

    PART 2: Digitize, focuses on your heirloom photo collection and best practices for scanning and organizing your digital images.
    Chapter 6: Collection or Clutter?
    Chapter 7: Prepare to Digitize
    Chapter 8: Gear Up
    Chapter 9: Start Digitizing
    Chapter 10: Organize and Preserve Original Photos

    PART 3: Create, showcases ideas for 25 Keepsake Photo Projects to help you get your photos off the hard drive and into fun projects you can share with family and friends. 
    Chapter 11: Core Photo Project Skills
    Chapter 12: Card, Collage, and Scrapbooking Projects
    Chapter 13: Calendar Projects
    Chapter 14: Smartphone and Tablet Projects
    Chapter 15: Fabric and Home Décor Craft Projects
    Chapter 16: Photo Book Projects

    I hope enjoy reading and using How to Archive Family Photos as much as I enjoyed writing it!

     P.S. If you haven’t yet ordered the book, click HERE to save 20% and get FREE SHIPPING before May 1, 2015.


    Hello Texas! Come Say "Hi" at the Houston Genealogical Forum


    This weekend I’m traveling to the Lonestar State for the May meeting of the Houston Genealogical Forum. I’ll be presenting three sessions on preserving and digitizing family keepsakes, and signing copies of my new book How to Archive Family Photos.

    I’m excited to be visiting a state where my collateral relatives once lived and my grandmother frequently visited. Please introduce yourself and say “Howdy” if are able to attend the meeting.

    Hope to see you there!


    Please, Mr. Postman: Waiting for a Special Delivery of How to Archive Family Photos

    Photo of rural mailboxes

    It will feel Official when the paperback edition of my new book How to Archive Family Photos arrives at the door. If the preview PDF ebook is a hint, all the design details, charts, and photos that look gorgeous on my iPad will look great in the paperback edition too. So, I’m hanging out at the mailbox just waiting to see what today’s post brings my way.

    If you want to get in on an early copy, fresh from FamilyTree Books, this is a great time to take advantage of the FREE SHIPPING Special. Use the special Family Curator Coupon Code ARCHIVE20 and get another 20% off. But don’t wait too long. This offer expires April 30, 2015. ORDER HERE

    How to Archive Family Photos Cover web

    How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally is a practical handbook filled with solutions and strategies for organizing your growing photo collection.

    You’ll find:

    • practical ideas for managing smartphone, camera, and downloaded digital images
    • tips to help you set up a file naming and computer folder organizing system
    • best practices for digitizing your heirloom family photos
    • and MORE

    I loved creating the 25 Easy Keepsake Projects featured in my new book, and I think we came up with a great variety of  projects to inspire creatives at all levels of experience. From custom printed photos on fabric to designing a simple online collage or FaceBook Cover, I hope you’ll find new ways to showcase your favorite family photos.

    Order from ShopFamilyTree before April 30, 2015 and get FREE US SHIPPING and 20% off with coupon code ARCHIVE20.

    Also available for Pre-Order at

    Photo by Peter Mackey, “New mailbox - gas bottle cat.” CC License


    Hello, O-HI-O! When You Return to Your Ancestral State, Is It Reverse Migration?

    Auklet flock Shumagins 1986

    Naaah. It’s probably just Family History Travel! But, watever it’s called, I am very excited to be attending the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference in Columbus, Ohio, April 9-11, most especially since discovering that I have at least three native Ohio ancestors from Athens County, Ohio. If their census reporting is accurate, they may even be among the “First Families of Ohio"!

    I’m looking forward to my first visit to the Buckeye State, and to presenting three sessions on preserving and digitizing family keepsakes. Be sure to say “Hello!” if you’re in Columbus for this great event, and please let me know if you have any tips on the Athens County Squires or Lampson families.

    Squires robert lindsay

    Robert Lindsay Squires, born 1836 Athens County, Ohio
    died 1911 Gardner, Johnson County, Kansas 

    I don’t know too much about the Squires-Lampson family, except that they moved to Johnson County, Kansas about 1864 settling in Gardner, Kansas where they raised their large family and lived the rest of their lives. R.L., as Robert was known, was the son of Robert Squires and Cecelia Dean, both born Ohio. R.L. outlived his wife Emma by 16 years, marrying for the second time at the young age of 63.

    Squires lampson

    Emma Lampson Squires with her youngest daughter, Emma, born 1884.

    Emma Frances Lampson Squires was born 1837 in Athens County, Ohio to Phillip W. Lampson, born Ohio, and Polly Tracy. She died in Gardner, Kansas at the age of 58, the mother of 12 children.

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