How to Use Photo Clues to Identify Family Members in Old Pictures
One of the most enjoyable tasks of family history research is sitting down to sift through old family photo albums. While some may spark fond memories from childhood, or even help us recall events our parents and grandparents shared about their own lives, other photographs have narratives that remain unidentified. At one point or another in your research, you will stumble upon these pictures of relatives or distant ancestors whom you don’t recognize at all. It can certainly drive you crazy at times as you wonder, “Who is this ancestor, anyway?” and “What is this person’s story?”
Instead of continuing to wonder, use these photo clues and identification tips to help you decipher when pictures may have been taken, and figure out which relatives are in the photos.
These Free Photo Sharing Sites Make it Easy to Share Your Family’s Story
Sharing family photos with your relatives and other family historians is an important part of researching your family’s story and filling the branches on your family tree. Thankfully, online photo sharing is getting even easier by the minute with new sites and apps that seem to pop up every day! And each site offers incredible features like collaborative albums, photo editing options and organizational tools for your pictures. But which photo sharing site is best for your needs?
The following photo sharing sites are all free to use and offer their own unique capabilities for sharing your family’s story.
Stunning & Helpful Instagram Feeds to Help You Discover Your Ancestral Past
Looking for a great place to store, organize and share your family stories? There’s an app for that. Instagram, the mobile app used for photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking allows you to capture family memories with your smartphone or tablet and instantly share your family’s story with the world.
The mobile social networking platform is quickly becoming an important tool for genealogists and family historians to utilize in terms of preserving family memories, learning new research tips, collaborating with family members on their family trees and connecting to others who are passionate about discovering their ancestral pasts.
Even in the 19th Century, People Loved to Snap Ridiculous Photos of Their Pets
Have you ever had a professional family portrait taken alongside a beloved family pet? If you’re a dog or cat lover, it isn’t news that people thoroughly enjoy taking photos of their pets, with their pets — and even dressing them up as humans! Because after all, these furry friends of ours can be an integral part of our family’s history. What you might not know is that even way back in the Victorian era, your ancestors were obsessed with their own family pets — and they loved snapping photos of them, too.
More Helpful Clothing Clues for Dating Old Family Photos from the Victorian Era
If you’re hitting a brick wall when it comes to identifying family members in old photos from the Victorian era, you’re not alone. Even the most seasoned family historian will run into this headscratcher from time to time as Victorian fashions throughout the time period can look very similar to the untrained eye.
But just as you can decipher the dates of Victorian family photos by photo type, women’s clothing styles and hairstyles, you can also do so by using fashion hints found in men’s clothing from the Victorian era.
Find Old Family Photos Using These Free Sites
If you’re like us, you love flipping through old family photo albums to discover more about your family’s history. And if you’ve been fortunate enough to interview your elderly or extended family members, they’ve likely divulged some fun and interesting stories behind those photos that you’ve happily added to your family tree.
In addition to your old family photo albums, there are other great places to find old photographs of your ancestors, including historical photo websites you can use for free!
Decipher the Dates of Old Victorian Family Photos Using Clothing Clues
If you’re like most genealogists and family historians, you’ve more than likely hit some brick walls when dating old family photos. Attempting to identify your ancestors from the Victorian era can often be the most difficult as the clothing styles throughout this time period tend to look fairly similar.
But just as you can date Victorian family photographs by photo type and women’s hairstyles, you can also identify family members and date your old photos using clues found in women’s clothing of the Victorian era.
Guest Article by Lisa Lisson, Genealogist & Family Historian
The popular photo and video hosting website, Flickr, is a tool that has been added to my “genealogy toolbox.” It has a wealth of possibilities for the genealogist. (Did I mention Flickr is free?!)
For instance, I specialize in North Carolina genealogy. The State Archives of North Carolina has a Flickr account in which they have shared over 6500 photographs pertaining to North Carolina history. Photographs of individuals (both identified and unidentified) from a variety of time periods and areas about the state can be found. Photographs of locations, historic areas and even maps can also be found and all add color to ancestors’ lives.
Tips & Tools to Get Digitized Family Pictures Organized
Now that you know how to scan family photos, create photo backups and make easy edits to your family pictures using online photo editors, it’s time to figure out the best digital family photo organizing method for you. There are many tips out there to help you organize family photos that are saved to your computer, but in the end, it comes down to efficiency and simplicity so you are more apt to stick with this very crucial part of your family history research.
Easily Edit Family Pictures with These Web-Based Photo Editors
So you’ve scanned your family photos and created backups using a flash drive, CD or cloud photo backup software to preserve your family memories. Good for you! The next step is to restore your older, discolored family pictures to keep your family tree sitting pretty.
But photo editing software is difficult to use, right? In actuality, you don’t need to be a photo-editing professional to utilize photo editing tools. In fact, all you need is a free, online photo editing service that makes the photo editing process as easy as pie.