Genealogy World Archives

What Are The Benefits Of Restoring Old Photographs?

photo restoration beforeThere are many benefits to restoring old photos, since it is part of preserving family history. With advances in technology, it’s possible to edit, enhance and save your images in digital files and you can share them with other family members or friends, electronically. Professional photo restorers can take a torn or faded photograph and transform it into a beautifully-restored photo, suitable for framing.

Genealogical Benefits:

For historians, the benefits of restoring old photos may be considered priceless. The genealogical benefits are important to anybody trying to build a family tree. The types of paper and ink used in deteriorating photographs may give clues to the age or timeframe of the image or subjects. Careful handling and exact procedures are important, when restoring old photos, so expert restoration procedures should be used on any historically-significant photographs.

Eliminate scratches, folds, tears and fading:

Since old photographs have a tendency to degrade over time, professional photo restorers have developed techniques for cleaning old negatives and they can disguise scratches, folds, tears and repair other damage. Restoring old photos should not be attempted by amateurs, since it can permanently ruin originals. You may find online tutorials and software to help you, when restoring old photos, but for the best outcome, expert advice should be considered.

Electronic storage and ease of sharing:

Restoring old photos allows you to convert them to digital images, which are easy to store and share with friends or family. With advances in technology, it’s possible to take an entire photo collection and store it on CD or DVD. This can be a convenient way to retrieve a particular group of photographs or safely secure an additional copy, which will last into the next century. You can share digital copies through email or print as many copies as you need.

photo restoration after

Preservation of your originals:

Perhaps the primary benefit of restoring old photos is the preservation of your originals. In the case of deteriorating photographs, time may be of the essence. Since the oldest photographs may not be on archival paper or finished to protect them from fading, professional restoration, editing or preservation can prevent further damage. It’s possible you have stored an old box of photos in your attic or basement, away from sunlight or moisture. You may not be aware that degradation and fading can occur, even without any direct exposure.

Add colour to black and white photographs:

When restoring old photos, it’s possible to add colour to old black and white photos. Professional restoration and editing techniques can add clearer focus or sharpness, besides adding realistic shades to the images. Special effects may be used, but the subjects or images will be better defined, with this process.

There are many benefits to restoring old photos, but doing it properly is the most important factor. Professionals can provide quality work and historically-significant photographs should only be handled by experts, experienced in the proper techniques. For more information about restoring old photos, visit

Guest Post by Richard Haines of Photographs Forever

Feeble Minded and Stinking Proud

News of the release of the redacted sections of the 1911 census came at just the right time, while I was gathering information to use in a short Family History slot on BBC Radio Devon. A quick trawl through my own family’s 1911 images revealed no infirmities, so I was pleased to see items in the press and in Nick Barratt’s January 6th blog mentioning a “stinking proud” daughter – ideal!

However, looking at the image for Richard Woodward in Avon Road, Highbury, Islington (RG 14 Piece 985), I noticed that both descriptions “Feeble Minded & Stinking Proud” probably referred to Richard’s wife, who was called….Wife Abducted! His daughter? No name, but also “abducted”. The enumerator put a line through “& Stinking Proud” but accepted Richard’s description of his unnamed wife as feeble minded.

A quick search of the 1891 and 1901 censuses and FreeBMD revealed Mrs Woodward as Blanche and their daughter Maud. Richard Woodward married Blanche Emily Creasy in the June Quarter 1890 and Maud, their only child, was born a respectable 9 -12 months after the marriage (June Quarter 1891), so not in the same year, as it might appear from Richard’s 1911 entry.

What was going on? Was Richard a deserted husband? Had his wife and daughter really been abducted? Was he feeling hard done by, or simply completing the 1911 form with his tongue very firmly in his cheek? Richard was in his mid 30s when he married Blanche, who was 13/14 years his junior. Perhaps Blanche had found herself a toy boy?

Searching FMP for the “abducted” wife and daughter revealed that they were with their Creasy relatives on census night in 1911 at High St, Hadlow, Tonbridge, Kent (RG 14 Piece 4087). 20 year old Maud was easily found, but Blanche Woodward was incorrectly indexed as Creasy (correction sent to FMP).

A W CREASY HeadMarried54GrocerKent Margate
Ellen CREASYWifeMarried6 years41Kent Hadlow
Harold CREASYSonMarried2 years28Grocer AssistantKent Hadlow
Blanche WOODWARDSisterMarried22 years43Kent Margate
Maude WOODWARDNieceSingle20London Highbury

Ellen (nee Pine) was Arthur’s second wife. His first wife Susannah (mother of Harold) was alone in 1901 (RG13/759) and died later that year. Husband Arthur was not positively identified in 1901.

But what’s that faint pencilled note below the family listing on the Creasy 1911 census image? It appears to have been written by the enumerator and says “No. 3 Harold Creasy apart from wife”.

Harold’s wife Mary Eldridge Creasy (nee Simpson) and her son, 9 month old Arthur Harold John, were staying at 29 Duckett Road, Hornsey, with Mary’s parents. (RG14 Piece 7194).

So …. abducted Blanche and Maud were just visiting…… weren’t they?

Guest Post by Maureen Selley, Chairman Devon FHS

Five Reasons Why You Should Save Deteriorating Photographs

photo restoration beforeAny of your old photos should be restored and salvaged, if possible. With today’s photo restoration and storage technologies, your photo collection and family history can be preserved and stored, digitally. This means future generations can see your images clearly and in true depiction.

There are a number of reasons why your photos may start to deteriorate, even when properly-stored. Deteriorating photos from past decades could be the result of the inks and photo paper used, since they weren’t of archival quality. This can result in fading and degradation, even if they haven’t been exposed to sunlight, moisture or natural disasters.

What are five reasons why you should save deteriorating photographs?

  1. Deteriorating photos may provide important historical links in your family or possible clues about your ancestors. When rebuilding your family tree, it is possible to determine certain aspects of your ancestry, such as weddings, landmarks of geographical nature and other important occasions. Enhancing your old photos may reveal details you had not noticed before. Preserving your collection will allow you to pass them onto future generations, for the next century.
  2. In certain cases, there may be celebrity status in your photo collection and photographs of archival quality can be historically and monetarily significant, if they depict Royal or famous ancestors. You could be sitting on a national treasure and be unaware of it!
  3. Photo restoration, photo retouching and photo editing services can enhance the quality of your deteriorating photos and you can now have copies made to CD or DVD, for long-term storage. This allows you to view, share, catalogue or print images, free of spots, stains, tears or blemishes.
  4. photo restoration afterOne of the final reasons you should save your deteriorating photos is that they may contain important and sentimental memories. If you have ever experienced natural disaster, such as a flood or fire, you may already know how heart-breaking it can be to lose all of your precious photographs, from the past. When you salvage your old photos, their safe and convenient electronic storage means they are preserved and easily portable. You have no reason to worry about their destruction in a basement or attic, any longer.
  5. During the enhancement of your black and white photographs, colour can be added. In addition, better brightness, contrast, detail and clearer focus or sharpness can become part of the photo editing process. You can convert your deteriorating photos into quality enlargements, suitable for framing or gift-giving

As you can see, there are sensible and logical reasons why you should save deteriorating photographs, before it is too late. You don’t want to risk losing your family history, when you can preserve it forever! You can find a photo restorer you trust to provide photo restoration, photo retouching and photo editing services to enhance and salvage deteriorating photos. Old photos can be made new again, with better focus and clarity than the originals. For more information, visit

Guest post by Richard Haines of Photographs Forever

Watching Family History Vodcasts Is Both Entertaining And Full Of Information

family history showcaseFamily History Vodcasts provide a monthly glimpse of pertinent genealogy information, for people interested in tracing personal heritage. Nick Barratt and Laura Berry present the best tips in genealogy, while entertaining the audience with actual case studies. Insider trade secrets, frequently used by expert historians, are shared- including how to access some of Britain’s best archives!

In The Family History Show monthly video podcasts, viewers may participate in sharing their personal stories about historical discoveries or hear about Nick’s Top Ten Genealogy Tips. Vodcast subject matter includes learning about tracing bloodlines back to Royalty or hearing the real-life story of the Titanic’s last living survivor. Each month, viewers can watch a newly-added vodcast or study previously-released vodcasts, to review past research topics.

The Family History Show vodcasts are the progressive culmination of other work Nick and Laura have worked on, together. Laura Berry, Nick’s co-presenter on the video podcasts, worked with him on other projects, related to tracing family roots. “Who Do You Think You Are?” and “Find My Past” may have convinced viewers that the process of discovering personal heritage was simple. In the video podcasts, viewers get expanded insider information, in an entertaining manner.

Viewers can learn where to find basic research resources, besides information about the archives or research institutions, required to complete the task of finding family roots. Some of the entertaining video podcasts on The Family History Show will include interviews of professional historians. Various projects and insights will be discussed, which reveal additional tips. Each vodcast will feature monthly “Top Ten Tips” on the subject matter, but additional insight can be discovered from other top historians, which provide interesting perspectives.

Nick Barratt continues to provide live speaking engagements about family history and the media, but ancestral tourism is another active initiative, in the upcoming schedule. Besides monthly vodcasts, there are ongoing educational projects that Nick is involved with. Preservation of historical archives and public records, rights of public access to these records and further educating the general public about the importance of genealogy, are some of Nick’s personal crusades.

For those people interested in learning more about genealogy, The Family History Show video podcasts can be an easy way to learn more about historical research. Nick’s weekly blog is another convenient way to find out about upcoming vodcasts or some of the fascinating stories Laura and Nick are working on. Viewers may have valuable archives in their attic or storage and these forgotten photos or documents, letters and objects could be highlighted in upcoming episodes.

With Internet access, you can be entertained by The Family History Show vodcasts and learn more about genealogy. Top Ten Tips and interesting interviews or discussions with knowledgeable historians, provides information to help those people participating in their own research. Nick Barratt and Laura Berry have a personal passion for any research of historical value and the monthly vodcasts share these unique perspectives, with a worldwide Internet audience.

Guest post by Alec Tritton – see the Tritton Family History website

News November 2011

Every month, Laura and I will sit down and chat about what is happening in family history and genealogy circles.

  • What is happening at Local and National Archives and Record Offices
  • News of the Latest and Best Lectures and Courses
  • The Latest Digitization Projects
  • New Online Resources
  • Great Genealogy and Local History Days Out
  • News from the Family History Societies
  • And anything else that we may think is of interest to viewers of the Family History Show


We are sorry but the competition to win a copy of The King’s Speech is now closed

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