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Creating & Preserving Memories

The past couple of weeks have been busy ones for me as I was hosting cousins from England on their first trip to the "New World". I have previously written about these cousins who had become separated from our Canadian family through the passage of time and previous generations of our family.

Thanks to my family research, and that of a close personal friend of my cousin, we were reunited several years ago and have seen each other once a year for the past 4 years. This year, my cousin decided to bring her family to Canada and we spent 9 days touring Southern Ontario and sharing the sights and in the process, we created many family memories.

As we toured the various sights around Southern Ontario, I couldn't help but think about all the other times I had visited each place over the years with people who are no longer with us. Some places, such as Niagara Falls and Niagara On The Lake invoked even stronger memories of the past and those that had lived and died there over the centuries.

In 100 years, our descendants will have a visual and audio record of our daily lives the likes of which have never before been seen. Almost everyone now has a cellular phone with a camera in it, and everywhere you go you see people taking photos. The photos taken today are uploaded to social media, shared by email and distributed around the globe in a matter of minutes. Just imagine how someone in 2117 will react at being able to see how we lived, worked and played and the places, people and things we experienced. At no time in history has human activity been so well documented, and it can only improve from here.

Only a few years ago most of us took photos using cameras and had the photos processed and printed to be saved in an album or a box. Photography really only became available to the general public in the 1950's and families began saving hundreds of undated photos. Over the course of time and generations, many of the people and places in those old photos become lost and sadly the subjects, the dates and their names become unknown to future generations. With today's technology, we have the ability to put names, dates and places on our photos automatically, ensuring that future generations will now who the people are in the photos, and when and where the photo was taken. This should help future genealogists piece together their family history in a way which is difficult, if not impossible, for those of us doing our research today.

When you take that selfie, or snap a photo of friends, family or special places and events, take the time to make a notation of when and where the photo was taken, and who the people are that are in it. Your ancestors will be very grateful that you did!

Toronto City Hall October 2017, Jeanette, Rob, Peter, David, Greg and an unknown photo bomber!

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