I wrote a post in September 2009 called, "Remember me." It was the only post I wrote in September 2009. Heck, I only wrote 22 posts the entire year. I think I was preoccupied with my newborn son. Priorities. Anyway, the post (since most of you won't follow the link and read it) was about fame and how it is probably worse to have it and lose it than to never have it at all. I made the pronouncement that if no one recognizes you or knows who you are, you can't be forgotten.
I think that was pretty good.
The reason I bring this up is that I've been doing a lot of work on my family tree on Ancestry.com and tracing the meandering roots of my family into the distant past. And as I uncover brother- and sister-in laws of my second cousin twice removed, I am saddened when there is nothing but census records and city directories to prove that they existed. I hate looking at these faceless squares on my tree.
At the very least, I like to find photos of headstones courtesy of Find a Grave. At least then they have a slab of stone with their name on it to prove they were here. But occasionally I find that some relative has loaded a photo of the person either from when they were young or very old. I like the young versions best. I like looking at those faces on my tree when so much life was ahead of them.
Some of the photos show character. I particularly like this one: