"Digital Scrapbooking" by Beverly Whitaker of Kansas City, Missouri
NOTE: Final Update, June 30, 2009.
This page will remain on the Internet.
NOTE: This page's scrapbook content
has been expanded into a 4-page PDF document:
Click the address shown here below to open to view and/or print:
Still here on this page, read about: Digital Family History Scrapbooks
As we seek out our ancestors and try to imagine what their lives were like, we are grateful for that occasional opportunity to study the image of one of them. Maybe this scrapbook page will encourage you to do something similar with photos saved by members of your family.
Identifying Photos: Like most families, we have some photos
of which we would like to be more postitive about identification.
Before you leave this page, see if you can help us with one we think
is probably John Deardorff.
Compare to the new PDF version which has more detail and a more appealing format.
Let me first introduce you to Durst Ammen, 1730-1805.
I don't know who has the original picture, which I assume was a charcoal portrait. Durst was born in Switzerland, came to Pennsylvania in 1749 on the ship, Crown. He had gone first to Germany at the age of 18. His first wife died there. Her name was Anna Barbara. In Pennsylvania, he met Eva Ranck whom he married in 1759. During the Revolutionary War, Durst served as a private in the 3rd Battalion, Lancaster County, PA. In 1786, he was granted 504 acres at Looney's Mill Creek in Botetourt County, Virginia, by Patrick Henry. Later, Durst purchased additional land in Virginia.
Durst and Eva had several children. Their daughter Barbary married Revolutionary soldier, Christian Harshbarger, in Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, in 1779. Christian was the son of Jacob Harshbarger and Maria Eva Petra. I have never seen their likenesses. However, one of Maria Eva's possessions is displayed at Crawfordsville, Indiana, at Lane House. It is the little iron pot which she was holding when she fell overboard during their voyage to America. A sailor by the name of Ebersole saw her blue linen dress under the water, thrust a pole into her garments and pulled her to safety. When she was safe on the boat again, it was found that she still clutched in her hands the little iron pot. This event occurred in 1754.
Below is a close-up of the little kettle.
The other photo is of me, examining the pot. These pictures were made in 1993, nearly 140 years after the event. Maria Eva Petra Harshbarger was my sixth great grandmother.
Several members of the Harshbarger family intermarried with the Deardorff family. Christian's daughter Catherine married John Deardorff, and they migrated to Ohio and Indiana and then in 1838, they went on west to southeastern Iowa. They had twelve children who survived into adulthood, several of whom journeyed still farther west.
Unfortunately, we have not yet verified a photo of John Deardorff, but a photo of his wife Catherine was recently added to my collection. It was provided courtesy of Mel Deardorff, descendant of Catherine and John's son Samuel F. Deardorff, produced from the original photo which was a daguerreotype. According to photography historians whom Mr.Deardorff consulted, the picture was probably made in about 1860. Previously, the only photo I had of Catherine was the smaller one also shown below. As was done occasionally in those days, a photo was made immediately upon her death (1871).
Is this a photo of Catherine Harshbarger's husband, John Deardorff?
The above photo was found recently in a red velvet photo album which was in a Deardorff trunk. The photos in the album were not labeled, but this one appeared close to one of Catherine (like the one at the above right). Note the photographer's name, the man's probable age, clothing, hair style etc. These are clues which should narrow the date and possible location where the photo was made. This needs to be compared with the known data about John Deardorff. He was born 17 Apr 1779 in Bedford County, Virginia, married Catherine Harshbarger at Fincastle, Botetourt County, Virginia, 13 Feb 1804. John and Kathy lived the first years of their married lives in Virginia, in Bedford and Botetourt Counties; then moved in 1817 to Highland County, Ohio; then to Union County, Indiana. In 1838, they moved to Des Moines County, Iowa and lived there the rest of their lives. John was a farmer, and acquired much property in southeastern Iowa. John died 1 Jul 1853 and is buried at Blakeway Cemetery, Des Moines County, Iowa.
Among the children of John and Catherine was a daughter Catherine who married John Wesley Williams while in Indiana. They moved from Indiana in 1843 and joined Catherine's parents in Des Moines County, Iowa. The son of John Wesley Williams and Catherine Deardorff was John Hubbard Williams; he married Mary Elizabeth Dickey.
John Wesley Williams & Catherine Deardorff - - - - - - - - - Mary Elizabeth Dickey & John Hubbard Williams
Orel Pearl Williams, daughter of John Hubbard Williams and Mary Elizabeth Dickey, was my great grandmother, and I feel fortunate to have known her. Many of the stories about her family were passed down and verified by her daughter, Edna Britton DeLong, (my grandmother) who was largely responsible for my interest in family history.
Pearl Williams Britton, 1889, wedding photo
I don't believe either my grandmother or great grandmother knew that one of their Deardorff cousins had died at the Alamo. The Deardorff/Dearduff family's original American home was in York County, Pennsylvania, and then Bedford and Botetourt Counties in Virginia before moving west. The next generation included William and his half sister Elizabeth; they came to Texas in about 1830 to DeWitt's Colony in Gonzales. William and his brother-in-law were in Gonzales when the call came from Colonel William Travis for reinforcements at the Alamo; they were among the brave 32 who went to the aid of soldiers at the Alamo. Battle with Santa Anna's army ended there on March 6, 1836, with the death of 189 known patriots who valued freedom more than life itself.
The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
Upon our visit to San Antonio in 1995, we found William's name at the monument
at the Alamo called the Alamo Cenotaph.
View Our Family Tree
View Our Family History Lineages at WorldConnect
[You are permitted to download GedComs at this site]
These files provide the ancestry of our great grandparents!
Once you've collected family data, documents, and photos, it's time to publish. Don't wait until you're "finished." Although you may eventually want to write and publish a traditional book for your family, an electronic "e-book" is an excellent way to preserve and distribute your genealogical work, even as you continue to acquire additional information.
Several years ago, I created my first CD SCRAPBOOK( in HTML format) for one family line. Users could browse through all 60 pages, using their own Internet browser. It wasn't published on the web, just on CDs distributed to the immediate family, including data on present generations. In addition to text, there were numerous photographs and document images. By careful pre-planning, the contents of the CD can be printed as 8 1/2 x 11" pages, for those who want to print their own "book" in addition to an "e-book."
My subsequent CD Family History e-books use a different method. Because a variety of PDF-creation software is now available, I switched to producing PDF documents instead of HTML pages. The files I create in desktop-publishing software can be converted almost instantly into PDF. These files are much smaller than the HTML files, and I've found the layout process to be a great deal easier. Again, I recommend that you prepare 8 1/2 x 11" pages. I still include photos, documents, charts, and text. For surname scrapbooks, I find it works best to create a separate file for each generation plus additional files of genealogical charts. Together, they form chapters of an "e-book." These Family History Scrapbook Pages can be placed onto Surname CDs and distributed to relatives. I print single copies for our own easy reference. Furthermore, PDF files can be uploaded to a web-host on the Internet when desired. It takes only seconds more to send out an e-mail providing the URL to selected readers. Remember, however, that by placing files on the Internet, the public also has access.
We have also placed a number of our PDF-formatted Surname Descendancy Files on the Web which you are welcome to view.
Future Plans: Because our Family Scrapbooks have personal and current information, we choose not to post them for public viewing.
However, plans are underway to release partial scrapbooks to the public via the Internet, as a way of exchanging information with "distant cousins."
They would contain information along the lines of that which is shown on this web page, in PDF documents placed online by us, or the pages done in HTML for:
James Matthews and Susanna Laughlin
which can be viewed now at:
Thomas Pullen and Lydia Bowers
which can be viewed at:
Copyright © 2002-2009, Beverly Whitaker
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