A Picture is Worth 500 Words

When writing the story of your ancestors if you have photographs, old bibles, birth or death certificates these items can be very useful in telling that story. We are by nature and now more than ever influenced by visual images as opposed to the written word. I'm not here to judge but recognize that in order to reach your audience images are powerful in telling the story of your ancestors.

We are fortunate to have the power of computers that allow us to digitize and manipulate images with simple graphic programs which can transform a story that can impact those you hope to have read your story. For some of you who have experience with programs like photoshop you can take the art of image manipulation to another level.

In a previous article written for the Oklahoma Freedmen Collective you can see the use of graphic software and how it can be utilized in illustrating a story about Charles Cohee who was a leader within the Chickasaw Freedmen community.


The montage of various original Dawes Land Allotment enrollees was done with contribution from their descendants. It is a powerful statement that gives life to those enrollees and when integrated in their story we help preserve their history and legacy. The power of an image can be instrumental in preserving our history, don't be afraid to work those images into your family's story.

One of the keys to producing images for your story is learning how to layer several images to create a totally new graphic that can be worth more than "500 Words."

It's one thing to see the name of an enslaver on the document of your ancestor, it's another thing to see that enslaver with other images that illustrate who he was and others he enslaved and where they were enslaved.

I encourage you to experiment with images of your ancestor or historical documents you obtain, they will add impact to the story you tell about your family's history.





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