Faded Photographs Reveal Clues

Have you looked through that old box of photos lately?  You just might have great clues that will help you identify your ancestors or at least find out more about the ones you already know.

 Old photos contain lots of clues via the clothes worn in the picture, the type of pose, the kind of photograph as well as any writing on the card stock used that identifies the photographer and their location.  Pay close attention, you may have overlooked something.

There are lots of books written on the subject of analyzing photos.  One of the most interesting is Forensic Genealogy by Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.  From the cut of the coat to the angle of the sun, experts can tell almost to the day and time when a photo was taken.

It makes me sad whenever I see discarded family photos in antique stores.  Many are labeled with names and dates that most genealogists can only wish for.  For a while, I purchased some of them, hoping to find their families.  But, alas, many have become so expensive I can no longer afford to do that.  So many people want to ‘adopt’ them as their own ancestors to frame and hang in the hallway antique dealers are charging much more for them now.  There are some websites out there that are doing what I wanted to do, cataloging old photos and posting them in hopes that the related families will find them.  Some examples of these sites are:

Dead Fred

Ancient Faces


Check them out.  You might just find a relative!

Read more about caring for your valuable photographs at http://www.diggingforancestors.com/Photos.html

Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.


I feel the same way when I see old photos at flea markets. By the way, your information on how to maintain old photos is great.

Leave a comment