Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Preserve memories in a photo book

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Preserve memories in a photo book

The attractive hardcover book with 20 pages filled with photographs taken over a lifetime was a wonderful surprise birthday gift for the elderly recipient. It was learned that the donor truly enjoyed selecting photos from collections already stored on her computer. She then exported them to a file maintained at Shutterfly ( and then created the book. Selections were made for cover design, page colors, captions, embellishments and labels.

Why not visit this website and discover all the possibilities available for creating a personalized book of photos. To experiment with individual photographs, one need only to "sign up" by providing an email address and a password. For example, a photo book illustrating a vacation trip, a wedding, a graduation or a child's special birthday party can be an appropriate way to preserve such special memories. The website's options are truly extensive and there are no time limits — enabling one to continually make changes, corrections and additions until a final book is created.

It should be noted that other items can also be personalized with photographs, such as greeting cards, calendars, mugs, and plaques. It should also be mentioned that often Shutterfly offers discounts and "specials."

Many other vendors offer similar services: An Internet search for "photo book" produces 83 million results.

In this era where photos are frequently exchanged electronically, it is noteworthy that special memories can (and probably should) be preserved in a more permanent, and beautiful, format — and made possible with Shutterfly's professional help.

War of 1812 research provided in guide

The Genealogical Publishing Company's Genealogy at a glance (GAAG) series now includes a most helpful guide, "War of 1812 Research." Although some participants in this war may have served only a few months, the records of those 250,000-plus servicemen contain valuable family information sought by genealogists and are found principally in (1) pension records, (2) compiled military service records and (3) bounty land application files. This new GAAG guide tells where these records can be found and what they contain. In addition, this guide provides information on regular army records, navy records, prisoner of war records, lineage societies' records, state records, published sources and online sources. There is also a handy chart showing how to find records for militiamen.

The GAAG "War of 1812 Research" guide is a 4-page, 8 -by-11-inch, laminated (for heavy use) reference, ISBN 978-0-8063-2035-9, that costs $8.95 plus $4.50 shipping and can be ordered as item number 1781 from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. Visa and MasterCard orders may also be placed toll-free at 1-800-296-687 or FAX 1-410-752-8492 or online at Visit the company's website to learn about this and all the other 33 guides in this series.

The Preserve the Pension Fund, compiler of this GAAG guide, is a joint effort by the National Archives & Records Administration, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, Fold3, Family Search and Ancestry to digitize and index the War of 1812 Pension files. The project is ongoing and the records are being uploaded to Fold3 and available free at Donations for this project are welcome and tax-deductible.

Postcards of Illinois

Historians may be interested in some views of days gone by — namely penny postcard views of Champaign County, which can be found at They are called penny postcards because it cost only a one-cent stamp to mail them. The stamp's cost went up to 2 cents in 1917-1919 to help pay for World War I. The website has a link to other postcards in Illinois and elsewhere. The cards are not for sale, but there may be places on the Internet to purchase such items.

A beautifully illustrated book of postcards was published by John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle in 2012. Picturing Illinois: 20th Century Postcard Art from Chicago to Cairo mentions, "The Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois holds some 5,200 postcards related to Abraham Lincoln and the state of Illinois ... [and] The Curt Teich Postcard Archives at the Lake County Museum near Wauconda, Illinois, is the largest public collection of postcards in the United States ... [and] includes some 365,000 postcards." (Page 202.)

Sections (1):Living