Family History Cabinet

I’m on a mission to finish up my genealogy research and organize it in some meaningful way to pass on to future generations. There are so many aspects to this whole project that it seems overwhelming at times, and I get paralyzed with indecision over what to tackle next.  I’ve researched the ancestors just about as far as I can go at this point, have a file cabinet, binders, and boxes filled with research, and have had my DNA done (twice), but I still have boxes and boxes of photos left to deal with.

I recently reorganized our front hallway dental cabinet so that the drawers are organized to make sense again. I use this chest to store and display family memorabilia from my husband and my childhoods and (mostly) from our parents’ and grandparents’ lives.  I got the idea of putting this together from a newspaper article given to me by my friend, Kathryn, who spotted it and gave it to me, knowing my interest in genealogy and that I owned a similar cabinet.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned more than once here that it belonged to my father who bought it used when he opened his dental practice in the late twenties. It was painted white when we acquired it, but we had it stripped to its natural mahogany. I think I should stop calling it a dental cabinet now- it’s our Family History Cabinet!

Here is a drawer with some items from my grandmother and great-grandmother.  Both photos are of my grandmother, Marion Bean Badenoch, known to her grandchildren as Mimi.


My latest genealogy/photography project is to scan and restore some of my old family photos.  I have hundreds, not counting those from my childhood and my children’s childhoods- so obviously, I am going to have to be very selective.  I believe that the photo of Mimi in the oval frame was taken when she was sixteen (that’s what my mother told me, I think), but I’ve also considered that it could be her wedding portrait- it’s a pretty fancy dress! She went to finishing school in Boston, so it could have been taken around that time.

Here is the photo as scanned:

CCI10222015 copy

And here is the restored one:


Contrast alone makes a huge difference, and I attempted to eliminate most of the scratches and marks as well.  I haven’t made a final decision about tone.  The tutorials I’ve watched showed converting all the images to a plain black and white, but I think I prefer some brown in the tones to give a bit of a vintage look to them. Another decision to make!

I think my next photo restoration project will be the cute childhood image of Mimi sitting in the chair.

4 responses

  1. Such a cool project Melinda. She is really beautiful. I have been meaning to tell you I love your header.

    October 23, 2015 at 4:16 am

  2. Charlaine Tolkien

    What a wonderful idea. I always enjoy your photos and what is going on with you and Lonnie. Karen and I also boxes of photos inherited from both families. We have talked about “going dark” for a month just to immerse ourselves in sorting, scanning, etc. Of course that is not too likely with travel, family and volunteer commitments. So I’m the meantime we will keep following your progress. We will be in Phoenix twice this winter – Nov 28-Dec 7 and Jan 1-24. We’d love to see you. Prescott is great so we could come your way.

    Sent from my iPhone Charlaine Tolkien Mobile: 612-710-3198


    October 23, 2015 at 6:12 am

  3. Debbie Thomas

    What a beautiful restoration! I’m in the same boat as you well know, without your ‘rowing skills!’ You are inspiring me…

    October 23, 2015 at 8:25 am

  4. Claudia Lowery

    I like the restoration , you did a great job !

    October 25, 2015 at 6:37 pm

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