Or "Rednecks, High School Yearbooks and Great Photo's"
by Uncle Hiram
I don't know about Yall but one of the things I love to add to my family research material is photo's of the various folks in my tree. The problem with that is most of my family tends to run away when someone breaks out a camera. I sware sometimes I think they must all be afraid that they will show up on "America's Most Wanted." Now I tried making little drawings of all of them but skill level as an artist has not progressed past the kindergarten level.
For the last few years I have made myself a total pest to most of my families by snapping photo's of them while they weren't paying attention. This has resulted in some "interesting" photos as well has two broken cameras, three black eyes and a broken nose. I never said my family was entirely stable.
About a year ago I was in a used book store (one of my favorite hangouts) and ran across a yearbook from Athens Texas High School from 1967. I was joking with my blonde that I couldn't for the life of me think of why anyone would want an old yearbook from a school they didn't attend, when I came across a photo of James Hocutt. After I convinced the store manager that I had not had some kinda spastic attack in the middle of his store, I purchased the book. I scanned the photo into my Database and began my search for more old Yearbooks.
Since then I have purchased Yearbooks from seven high schools all over Texas and two colleges. All bought from used book stores for less than $15 each. I have managed to add photos of 16 cousins using this method.
Now I know that Some college's started doing Photo yearbooks during the 1880s and that most High Schools had them by the 1930s. You will not be able to add new branches by doing this but you will be able invaluable photos to your family tree.
If you are near a university that one of your family members attended you can contact their Library and see if they have any of the yearbooks from the years you are looking for. That way you can determine if your ancestor is in it and with the high quality copy machines that are out there. You can make a copy that is at least acceptable to add to your files. You might also wanna check out the local libraries and used book stores.
-Adios and Keep Smiling!
- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)