Tag Archives: vintage family photos

Popular Halloween Costumes Your Family Members Actually Wore (1950s – 1970s)

Vintage Halloween Costumes Your Relatives Wore in the 50s, 60s and 70s

Popular Halloween Costumes 1950s, 1960s, 1970sHalloween is just around the corner! And while the usual witches, ghosts and cat costumes will certainly make their rounds, you may want to think outside the box and borrow some costume ideas from your relatives who grew up in the 50s, 60s or 70s. And if you celebrated Halloween during any of those decades, you could always revive one of your old costumes to make a unique splash at your next Halloween gathering.

As you flip through old family photo albums to add relatives and their stories to your family tree, you will undoubtedly see that Halloween costumes have changed a lot throughout the years. But one thing is always certain year after year: dressing up for Halloween is fun, no matter your age! Here are just some of our favorite popular and trendy costume ideas from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

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Identifying Unknown Family Photos for Genealogy

How to Use Photo Clues to Identify Family Members in Old Pictures

Identifying Unknown Family Photos for Genealogy

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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.

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7 Strangely Popular Interests of Your Victorian Ancestors

 Your 19th Century Ancestors Were into Some Seriously Weird Stuff 

7 Strange Hobbies of the Victorian Era

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Back in the 19th century before modern technology took over the entertainment scene, our ancestors were forced to figure out how to alleviate their boredom. And sometimes, reading a book or story telling just didn’t cut it. In addition to their fondness for dressing their pets as humans for family portraits, our Victorian ancestors had a plethora of other odd hobbies that were also surprisingly popular back in the day.

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Tips for Dating Old Family Photos Using Men’s Clothing – Victorian Era (1840-1900)

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.

Dating Old Family Photos Using Men's Clothing from the Victorian Era

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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.

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Clues for Dating Old Family Photos Using Women’s Clothing – Victorian Era (1840-1900)

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.

Dating Old Family Photos Using Women's Clothing Styles - Victorian Era

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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.

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Simple Tips for Dating Old Family Photos Using Women’s Hairstyles – Victorian Era (1840-1900)

Clues for Dating Your Old Family Photos of the Victorian Era

If you’ve been researching your family history for a while or just beginning the process, you’ve likely caught the genealogy detective bug. But even if you’re the best genealogy sleuth of the bunch, you can still often run into some brick walls, especially when  attempting to identify family members in photos from the Victorian era. During the span of the late 1930s and up to the 1900s, it can be difficult to decipher which decade those vintage photographs were actually taken as hair and clothing styles looked much the same.

But just as you can date photographs by photo type, you can also identify ancestors and date photos by equipping yourself with the knowledge of women’s hairstyles of yesteryear.

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7 Places to Find Photographs of Your Ancestors

Guest Article by Lisa Lisson, Genealogist & Family Historian

7 Places to Find Photographs of Your AncestorsAll genealogists wish for photographs of their ancestors. When we look at their photographs we get a sense of connection. We experience a sense of identity. Our ancestors’ stories become more real to us. These men and women of our past are no longer just names and dates on a family tree.


Where do you find photographs of your ancestors?

Photographs of our ancestors can be found in a variety of places, but sometimes you will need to look “outside of the box.” Below are 7 great examples of places to look for your ancestors’ pictures.
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Enter to Win! Guess My Family Heritage Blogathon Contest

We’re Giving Away $250 in Amazon Gift Cards to Three Lucky Winners!

It’s that time again: time for another fun genealogy blog contest! And this time we’re giving away Amazon gift cards totaling $250 to three very lucky participants (gift card values: $150, $50, $50)! If you have an old family photo and a blog, then you have everything you need to enter to win the “Guess My Family Heritage Blogathon Contest.”

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8 Common Types of Vintage Photos to Help You Identify the Past

Vintage Photo Characteristics That Can Help You Date Old Pictures

Identifying Time Period of Vintage Family Photos

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If you’re a passionate family history buff like us, everyone from your mother to your Great Aunt Sally knows that they can pawn off boxes of old family photos for you to peruse to your heart’s content. Sifting through vintage photos can be a family historian’s dream, that is, until you find out that you just can’t seem to identify the time period in which certain photos were taken. Much like genealogical resources and classes are helpful to discovering and sharing your family story, knowing some photography history can also be beneficial when it comes to identifying origins of vintage photos.

The following common types of vintage photos, their photographic processes and characteristics could help you positively identify some of your long-lost ancestors.

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The Real Reason Why Your Ancestors Didn’t Smile in Old Photographs

You’ll Probably Find it Pretty Silly!

The Real Reason Your Ancestors Didn't Smile in Family Portraits

Photo credit: WoogsWorld.com

Ever wonder why your ancestors aren’t grinning from ear to ear in those faded black and white family portraits? Though there are many speculations and theories as to why people donned such serious looks in photographs during the 19th century, we’ve decided to debunk the myths to provide you with the truth behind those stern stares.

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