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The older I get the more I appreciate our family's history. In years past I was always too busy to notice when important stuff was happening around me. I have always tended to focus on details and miss the fun.

Now, a look back at old family photographs allows me to see some of the things I missed. And its easier to enjoy myself now, after the fact.

We don't live in the past...but more and more I am realizing how the past has shaped how we live today!

Your old (or new) family photograph submissions are hereby solicited!

Whether it's one photo or a whole collection of them let's get them out there so we can all share in the history and heritage (and even humor) of our families. You can scan them and email them to me, or just mail them to me and I will scan them in. Email me for the best resolution standards:

or .

Anyway, lets get those pictures out here. We'll have a laugh..have a cry...we'll be reminded of stories to tell our grandchildren. With all that, we'll give them a greater context in which to understand their own lives and times.

--Jim Roper
September 2002

• Some family photo collections I am preparing for this site: (These are all still under construction).

Some Ropers at DISNEYLAND 1977 #1

Disneyland 1977 #2 is in the works.

Cemeteries and Roper Headstones at Carrier Mills IL (No. 7 Cemetery is posted below, Salem Cemetery is still in the works as of 01 Oct 2002).

• At last! Grandmother Ruby Roper's Oriental Album is scanned and the web pages have been posted.

This album belonged to Ruby Roper and currently consists of 162 images dating from about 1908-10 to 1955. It was a treasured item in Grandmother Ruby's home. The beautiful black lacquered finish with a rendering of Mount Fuji, Japan on its cover was very exotic and mysterious to me as a child. It was very special then...only available to look at if Grandmother Ruby assisted.

I received the album from my sister Brenda who had rescued it after Mary Sue (Roper) Dungan (Ruby's youngest daughter) died. It was rumored to have been found among stuff destined for the dump!

The album has lost a number of photos over the years...either they were given away or gleaned by various family members. What I received, I scanned and have stored the digitized images on CD. These archived images are high quality, sufficient for reproduction and enlargement.

One thing you will notice is that there is a significantly larger number of images of her first grandchildren than those that came later. This is only natural. I understand something of the joy and awe that grandchildren bring. The first ones make you crazy in love.

Archiving this album has brought me much joy. Studying the photographs of my grandparents, my father, my aunts and uncles as they were growing up has taken me more deeply into their lives than ever before. Repeatedly through scanning, touching up the images, and building the web site I was face to face with glimpses of their joy tucked in among the struggles of their lives. I felt something of the excitement they must have felt as they discovered they left home the first they joined the they fell in love and immersed themselves in they fell in love a second time, bringing children into the world.

I have a number of favorites among the images. The young lovers on the waterfront in Chicago are among them.

However, the image that reverberates most deeply in me is a poorly focused image of my grandfather reading in his easy chair. It is a reflection of my own temperament and spirit. Martha agreed. She called it "Roper melancholy."

There are a number of unknown individuals pictured. If you happen to know who they are (or if you even care to venture a guess at the identities) please let me know (email address at bottom of page).

Ruby Roper's ORIENTAL ALBUM Collection


--Jim Roper
September 2002

• Here is the first group of cemetery photographs Martha and I took on our summer of 2000 trip to Illinois.

Today cemeteries are functional places. Rather than a place of remembering, they are a place people tend to forget.

Think with me...when was the last time you went to a cemetery to visit (not for a funeral)? Today people don't "visit" cemeteries.

However, it was not always so. Cemeteries once held a more ceremonial place in the heart of the community. Families went there to remember their family members from the past. They would place flowers, tell stories of their loved ones and clean up the gravesite. Some would even picnic at the cemetery.

Another reason they visited would be to remember the future that awaits them all.

Such an exercise could be beneficial to our surgically enhanced, medicinally sustained, youth oriented culture. Cemeteries tend to bring the brevity of life into focus. They encourage us to make more of the time we have with our most important calling: building and nurturing human relationships.

Roper family members are buried in a number of cemeteries around Saline County. The Number 7 Cemetery has a few of the older gravesites, including the burial place of my great-great-grandfather and grandmother, William Carroll and Melissa Roper, and other family members.

Roper Headstones - Number 7 Cemetery, Saline County, IL

An interesting exercise: What would you like your epitaph to read? What would you like people to say about you at your funeral? What will people actually say about you at your funeral?

Directions to the Number 7 Cemetery.

A map of the location of the Number 7 Cemetery.

--Jim Roper
October 2002

• NEW PHOTOS from another Roper Branch. I first met (via email) Roddy L. Roper a few years ago when I saw his name as a member of the Saline County Genealogical Society.

Roddy is descended from George Washington and Rachel (Stockton) Roper through James Madison Roper and George Washington and Josephine (Kincheloe) Roper.

Roddy and I share GW and Rachel (Stockton) Roper as Grandparents.

Thanks for sharing your photos with us Roddy!


All kinds of interesting family historical stuff can be posted here. Like this...

Or, how about this... and this... and this... and this... and this.

History was not something that happened to someone else. Our aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents were part of the history of the last century...just as we are part of history today.

Both in...

War... and


Good times...

And not so good times...

Documents and photos tell the stories of our lives. They are reflections of our heritage.

(More to come)


ABOUT DIGITAL STANDARDS: Basically we follow the National Archives and Library of Congress guidelines for digitizing and displaying digital information. We hope to soon have a standards page with our own guidelines for scan resolutions and sizes. We would love for you to submit documents of family interest for posting.

Scanning and cataloging is a tedious process...creating and maintaining a website (how about two!) is very time consuming...your help is humbly sought. Many will benefit!

--Jim Roper
September 2002




© 2002 James E Roper