Smart Girls Read Romance

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020


By Caroline Clemmons

Don’t you love great photos? I used to take tons of photos but somewhere along the way I stopped. Oh, I still love them, I just forget to snap them. Probably it’s because I’m not lugging my camera around. I forget my phone takes excellent pictures.

I also love old photos. I have great photos going back way over a hundred years. The oldest is of an ancestor of my father’s and is a woman wearing a Civil War era dress. There’s no date given on the photo. Maybe it was several years after the war and she simply didn’t have anything new to wear. 

Above, Hero and I on trip to Tennessee

I’ve become the family caretaker of old photos because I’ve written several family books. I didn’t start out to write several. My dad asked me to write one about how his family came to be in Texas. I collected information on that for decades. Probably I still would be if hadn’t gone digital and without the internet and email. Research is much easier now days.

Old Tin Type

In the meantime, my mother-in-law asked me to put together a book about her life for her grandchildren. A couple of books were done by someone on her father’s ancestry so she just wanted her ten grandchildren to know about her life (and her siblings and nieces and nephews). Ah, but then I had to do one for my mom to keep things even. Both mothers were in the same church Sunday School class—there might have been a teensy tiny bit of competiveness there. I’m so glad I did both books and they saw them years before they passed. My dad didn’t get to see the longer book my brother and I did on his family.

1885 Nancy and William Johnson

Anyway, I have a lot of family photos and stories. Some of the stories I couldn’t use because the story is “a secret” and the people involved are/were still alive. You simply can’t divulge things told to you in confidence. Too bad, because the secrets are usually the most interesting. But I digress.

My point is that photos add a lot to our lives. Seeing photos of places we’ve traveled reminds me of the pleasure of the trip. Photos of our flowers or pets are fun to see. I enjoy knowing how my ancestors looked as well as facts about them. Someday future generations may want to know about us.

Document the many parts of your life with photos. I’ve heard each one is worth a thousand words.     


  1. I love to look at old photos. What worries me most is now everything is digital and on flash drives. A lot of history is going to be lost that was once found in dusty attics and drawers of antique furniture.

  2. Great post, Caroline. I adore old photos and finding out about family. I can assure you, there are a ton of secrets we've uncovered too!

  3. My Sister the genealogist came into some photos last week- one with my parents and another couple in 1939. She found it odd that she found the tombstone of the non-family gentleman but not the woman. Through Ancestry, she found a relative of the woman in the photo and come to find out, she is 100 years old and lives in Alabama. My sister is trying to set up a meeting to chat with her to see if she remembers my parents.


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