At FamilySearch, we are excited about user reactions to the new Memories Gallery. We’ve received some really wonderful feedback:
- “Love the new Gallery update to familysearch.org…. Especially like having all photos and documents and stories in one location and having the ability to sort them in several ways. Thanks!!”
- “This is awesome.”
- “Always something wonderful when they make changes and tremendous improvements!! Thank you FamilySearch for blessing our lives!!”
We’re proud the Memories Gallery makes collecting treasured family artifacts – including photographs – easier and more enjoyable than ever.
How easy is it to add and view images?
1) Upload photos with a few clicks. Just click on the green plus symbol and upload images by dragging and dropping them, or by choosing a file. Images are digitally preserved forever.
2) Create an album. Click on “New Album” in the menu on the left, then begin adding images. You can organize photos by event, ancestor, lineage, or another designation of your choosing.
3) View your album. Simply scroll through albums to view your images. You can also include stories, documents, and audio files within albums.
Are you among the FamilySearch users to upload images to the Memories Gallery?
In case you need inspiration for getting started, we have collected stories from genealogists about how photos can illuminate a family history. Read about these favorite family photos, then begin enriching your family tree with images in Memories Gallery.
Genealogists Share Favorite Family Photos
When we first spotted this photo last year, my sisters and I all thought it was me blowing out the candles on this cake! Come to find out, it’s my mom! It’s amazing how photos can show the family resemblances so well at certain ages.
This photo is precious in our family. We only have one copy, so my mom digitized this photo of herself as a young girl blowing out the candles on her eighth birthday.
She put it in a photo book of her personal history and ordered copies for our whole family. This way everyone can be enriched by the meaningful photo and cherish it in a photo book that everyone can look at.
I love technology that enables us to share old photos in ways our ancestors could never have imagined!
Chicago. 1953. I am the little girl with pigtails sitting on mommy’s lap, picking at the fruit tray. My father is on the right. My mystified cousin David is left. MawMaw looks unhappy, probably tired from all the cooking. PawPaw is tucked behind Uncle Louie and Aunt Frances, mischief in his eyes. Newlyweds Uncle Irving and Aunt June are beaming with bliss. Linda and Filura are making faces. Little Louie is sucking up the last drops of holy nectar. Aunt Janet is holding hands with the boy she didn’t marry.
Seeing this cherished photo never fails to summon a rush of remembrance. As I see the faces of my family, I channel their voices, feel their warm hugs, taste the Tom turkey MawMaw cooked and PawPaw carved. The mahogany table with lion claw legs at which we ate was one my mother hated to dust. The ornate crystal chandelier reeked of ammonia from the holiday “scrub down.” As we opened our meal, PawPaw would offer a prayer – the shortest verse in the Bible: “Jesus wept.”
A professional photographer came to take this photo as we awaited our sumptuous feast. That is how important the occasion was.
There have been many holiday celebrations since then, but this photo has special meaning because half the people have passed away. We will never be together again in this life. My grandchildren will never meet the extended family that raised me and whom I honor every day as I work on my family tree.
My favorite family heirloom is the Union Case with two photographs of a man and a woman, who I believe are my second great-grandparents, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) and Lucretia (Smith) Seaver (1828-1884), who married in 1851 in Massachusetts.
Isaac is my only Civil War soldier ancestor. Maureen Taylor, a photo dating expert, indicated that the clothing was typical of the 1850s. The photos are ambrotypes encased in a gutta percha hard plastic case. I am told these were typical photographs taken before a man left for Civil War service so it may be dated about 1863.
I received this Union Case from the estate of my father’s youngest sister, Geraldine (Seaver) Remley in 2007. She likely obtained it when her mother died in 1962. It had, apparently, been handed down through four generations of my Seaver ancestors.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what those words are, may take some thought. I’ve had this picture of my two paternal great grandmothers for ages. Never thought much about it, other than it was nice to have a picture of both grandmothers together.
One day, I stopped and really looked at the image. I was able to place the time and event it was taken by the other photos taken at the same time – my father was leaving for boot camp, and the family was gathered at outside his home to say goodbye.
My great grandmothers really do not look happy, and I questioned why. As I thought about it, I realized that there was a lot of history between these two women. Each had a son and a daughter, who married the other’s son and daughter. One couple’s marriage had already ended in divorce, and the other’s marriage was destined to end the same way not long after this picture.
There is no doubt that there was plenty of blame and choosing sides going on and the last thing these two matriarchs wanted was to stand side-by-side and make nice for a picture.
But, here is why I love this picture, even though there were painful things going on, these two strong-willed women were able to put aside their differences for a few minutes to please a beloved grandson, who know doubt had to use a considerable amount of his charm to get them to agree for the photo.
This photo reminds me that we may not have a “picture perfect” family, but family matters and that we can make things work despite the messiness of our lives and choices of its members.
The discovery of this photo’s story has made me pay better attention to other photos and really look for their story. So, take a second look at your photos, and use fresh eyes to see the story beneath. Every family has a story worth saving.
Imagine my surprise to open an envelope and find an original photograph of my grandfather. It was taken as he was leaving for the uncertainties of WWII. I have seen this photo before.
I do not have the only copy, but I couldn’t help but wonder if this photograph was held and treasured by a beloved sister worried about her younger brother’s safety? Was it treasured again at his unexpected death many years later? Who will have it after me and will they feel the same awe and love as they hold it in their hands?
As I hold the photograph of my grandfather with its weathered edges, I try to recall any memories of him. He died when I was six years old and I have only vague memories of our time together, tractor rides and meals at the kitchen table. I don’t remember very much, but I do remember that I was loved. I remember hugs and kisses.
Today as I hold the photograph, I look on FamilySearch to see who added the image to Grandpa’s memories, only to see that this image is not there. A quick scan and a few computer clicks later and this photograph is there for the rest of his posterity to have. I spend a few minutes browsing images uploaded from cousins, uncles and aunts, my father. Each photo adding depth to a beloved Grandfather that has lived in the faded memories of my youth.
Preserve and Share Photos from Your Family Tree!
Whatever photos you most treasure, enrich your FamilySearch experience by adding images from your family tree to the new Memories Gallery. When you do, you’ll be preserving special family moments forever while also making photographs available to relatives, enriching a family history for everyone!