Recently, my husband, brother- and sister-in-law and I visited my husband's elderly aunt and uncle in New York. My husband has been putting together a family tree and researching his family's genealogy using a program offered through Genebase.com.
A visit to Ellis Island was an important and moving part of our trip. Touring the museum was enlightening and provided us with a wealth of information about what our immigrant family members experienced on their voyage to America. We found the names of family members of both of our families on the Memorial Wall. And with some nudging from Scrapbook Dreamer, one of my favorite sites for scrap book inspiration, I put together several scrap book pages featuring vintage family photographs and images of documents we were able to acquire through the Ellis Island Data Base.
If your family came through Ellis Island, you should be able to locate such critical documents as ship manifests and even some naturalization documents. Be sure to check alternate spellings since many families names were anglicized after they arrived to make them easier to pronounce and spell in English.
I scanned and was able to enhance and correct scratches and flaws in the original pictures, as well as preserve a copy that I can share with other family members.
I used lace edge punches, store bought crocheted lace, and multiple layers of matting to display the cherished photographs. Distress Ink (Frayed Burlap) was used to "age" documents that were printed out on white matte photo paper. The wide lace border on the wedding photograph is actually a row of narrow lace with scallops of pearls glued over a length of wide saw tooth crocheted lace. I used some brown wooden buttons and large pearls (Kaiser) to embellish the flowers.
The flourishes are from Tim Holtz Grungeboard "Elements". I painted them with off white acrylic paint and then smudged them with patina colored Stickles. Although they look bright and glittery in the photograph, in real life, the patina is a soft green blush on the off-white that picks up the green in the background panel.