Family Tree Research
This is where the looking glass meets the parchment. Using a vast array of history databases, our research will start to put the who into your family story. We start with what you know. Our family history reports include census documents, immigration papers, military records and much more. All packaged with tips on how to proceed and unearth even more. More extensive research reports, starting at $149, provide you with more depth and grist for further study. We specialize in German ancestry. Overseas research can be arranged.
Every family has colorful characters, military heroes, adventurers or others whose stories cry out to be written. We put our more than 30 years of research and writing experience to work to dig up the details and produce highly readable biographical sketches.
Maybe your family has someone like William Gaulke, a frontier pioneer who spent some of his youthful days as a confidante of Buffalo Bill Cody. Or Earl J. Mulqueen Jr., a U.S. Marine who lost his leg in an explosion during the “Second Pearl Harbor” of World War II. This came after he experienced some of the bloodiest fighting ever recorded — at Guadalcanal and Tarawa. Stories like these bring your family history to life.
Tribute and Memorial Videos
Video conveys your family story with great power and emotion. We will create a custom video memorial for an individual or a family tribute. We use still photographs, video clips, documents and maps in a simple pan-and-zoom style to create stunning yet affordable video presentations. Coupled with your choice of soundtrack, this creates a wonderful, lasting remembrance. The high-definition presentations can be burned to a DVD, hosted online or provided as digital files for viewing on smart phones, tablets or other digital devices.
Photo Repair & Enhancement
Heirloom photos give us a priceless glimpse into the past. Why let the ravages of time or careless handling cloud that view? It’s best to view images as they appeared to those who took them so long ago. We will digitize your prints and repair imperfections such as color cast, water stains, tears, ballpoint or pencil marks, smudges, scratches and other damage. Unlike some photo-restoration services, we don’t attempt to create painted pieces of artwork using your photos. The historical integrity of each image should be respected, while bringing out the details that become hidden by age and damage. Even basic image scanning with contrast and sharpness adjustments creates photos that can easily be shared.
Reading about someone in a book can be interesting, but the story gets much richer if you can hear that person’s own voice telling details of family history. Oral history is one of the main ways that favorite stories and family facts are passed around. But all of those priceless details can be lost if the information isn’t preserved. Audio recording of oral history is the most cost-effective way to capture and share family stories. We can handle all the details, from doing the interviews to getting them transcribed, burned onto a CD or encoded for listening on a digital device.
Just about everyone remembers using this process in an art class in elementary school. Using a crayon and white paper to reveal the raised detail of an object below it. We use puck-shaped crayon cakes and special paper to capture detail from old headstones. Sometimes this is the only way to reveal names and dates on weathered stones. It is also a great way to capture fine carving details from a time when stone-cutting was truly an art form.
It is a sad site in so many of our cemeteries. Some of the most beautiful, carved monuments and headstones deteriorated and stained by lichens, black mold, moss and other contaminants. Older stones made from slate, marble or sandstone are especially vulnerable to the damage done by the tiny roots of these organisms. Decades of build-up can make monuments look awful, and the information nearly impossible to read. We use a special, no-damage anti-biologic cleaner that has been approved for use at Arlington National Cemetery. Using special tools and soft brushes, we safely restore stones to beautiful condition. We can level and reset sunken or tilted stones.
Cemeteries, churches and historic buildings are just a few examples of how we can help document your history. We capture the detail of monuments and headstones, but also the natural surrounding beauty of the cemetery. Does a particular building or church play a role in your ancestry? We will capture the essence of those places with still imagery. Photos can be made into prints or incorporated into videos, photo albums or other projects. We also photograph memorabilia and ephemera so they can be shared widely among even remote family members.
Memorabilia such as these Big Little Books from the 1930s require special care and storage to make sure they stand the test of time and are available for future generations to enjoy. We provide tools like acid-free storage
containers and humidity control canisters to provide optimum storage for books, newspapers, slides, film negatives, 8-mm films, documents and ephemera.