About Monika Jansen

Here are my most recent posts

While DNA Tests Offer a Peek into Family History, Your Genealogy Efforts are Missing This

family historyAs DNA testing kits become more affordable, the number of unbelievable family history stories surrounding these tests is increasing.

This recent piece written by The New York Times, covers a story on a Bob Hutchinson who used a DNA test to finally get some answers into the family history his mother kept a secret throughout his life. The test uncovered that he was one-eighth sub-Saharan African—a fact his mother never shared with him. From there he uncovered cousins he didn’t know he had and was able to establish a connection with this new found family.

There are countless other stories too—like Alice Collins Plebuch whose DNA test revealed a 100-year-old mystery (instead of the confirmation on her assumed Irish heritage) or Twitter user @MsClark_ who tweeted about the incredible search that led her to the discovery of her real father.

But as remarkable as these stories are, we couldn’t help but notice that something is missing in all them: a lack of background information. Yes, DNA testing is a great way to get some answers into your family history but unless there’s information that sheds light on that history, the only thing you’re left with is the results of the test. This often leaves you with more questions than answers.

The importance of photos in family history 

While there are several ways to uncover more about your roots, we cannot emphasize enough how important photos are to any genealogy project. This should be one of the first steps you take before jumping into the complicated root system that is your past. Why? Because every photo holds another piece of the puzzle. If an individual picture is worth 1,000 words, imagine how many stories you can discover through old print photos from your family’s past.

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Photograph Preservation 101: How to Get Glue off of Photos

photo-gluePutting photos in one of those sticky backed albums or scrapbooks may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but unless you made copies, preserving those photos might be tough.

 

Your first step will be to pull those photos off the pages without ripping or damaging the prints. Your second step will be to send those photos to us so we can scan them and make digital copies for you to keep for years to come.



But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves—getting that glue off in the first step will be tricky. If you try using force or ripping the photos off the pages, you run the risk ruining the photos forever. Fortunately, we can help.

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Create a New Year’s Resolution Vision Board for 2019

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADid you know that one of the biggest recent break-out pop stars, Meghan Trainor, created a vision board to map out her success? Before she made it to the top of the charts, she used a vision board to remind her of what she wanted to achieve, including a record deal, and a photo of the Grammy’s. Trainor then went on to achieve those things and more—and you could do the same in the coming New Year.


Now’s the perfect time to create a New Year’s resolution vision board that will help you paint the picture you want to see for your life in 2019.


What is a vision board?


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How to Make Your 2019 New Year’s Resolution Stick

resolutionGetting organized is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions to make—and it’s a resolution we wholeheartedly endorse, especially when it comes to preserving your precious memories. But as the year wears on, the likelihood of achieving these resolutions wanes.

 

In order to help you stick to your resolution, we pulled together a list of tricks that will make it much easier in 2019.

 

Break Your Big Resolution into Smaller Goals


If your resolution feels insurmountable, then it will be! See if you can break out your big goal into smaller more manageable goals. For example, if your resolution is “Get more organized,” try breaking it out into smaller tasks like:

 

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Why You Need to Digitize Photos and Preserve Them for Future Generations

digitize photosWhy and How to Digitize Photos For Future Generations. It’s This Easy


As technology continues to advance, the way in which we preserve our history is also changing. From cave drawings to oil paintings and from print photos to Snapchat selfies, it’s important for us to now digitize photos in order to keep them safe for future generations.

But if you need a few reasons why it’s important to digitize photos before it’s too late, then consider the following:



Print photos will eventually succumb to the elements

 

Unless you have your print photos stored in acid-free, archival-quality storage containers and kept in a temperature-controlled room away from sunlight, then your photos are at risk of getting destroyed by the elements. Of course, we definitely recommend doing everything you can to keep your print photos safe, but digitizing them is the only way to truly protect them from the elements.


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