When photographs are passed down through generations of families, sometimes the stories of the people in the images become fragmented or lost. If you find yourself with a collection of photographs that lack contextual information, there are a number of clues you can look out for. The most effective way to date photographs is to combine historical analysis with knowledge of different photography techniques and materials through time. Here at The National Archives, we have teams who specialise in both areas and in this blog, Visual Collections Researcher Katherine Howells and Conservator of photographs and paper Ioannis Vasallos share their tips. You can also look out for handwritten notes on the back of the photograph such as names, events or locations. Look also at sleeves — is there a puff at the shoulder? And hairstyles — consider the parting, fringe and accessories. There are plenty of online resources on the history of fashion which can assist you in identifying the different elements. The presence of an individual in uniform can make the process of dating the photograph easier. This is the case for photographs taken in the 20th century, when uniforms become more standardised.
Dating Old Photographs
Learning how to identify the time period and people in old family photos is an art. It is also a worthy genealogical endeavor. Click Here to listen to the weekly podcast. There are clues to your family history in old photographs.
Understanding how to date old photos can prove quite difficult. times with the family and friends digging albums upon albums for reminiscence. at the vehicles and other items that surround the background of the photo.
I’m just now starting to archive all the photos my Mom has. Most of the ones we are doing now are the real old ones—her family photos and my Dad’s family photos. The problem is she can’t always narrow down the date enough to come up with a year. So that’s causing me to have a lot of photos with ’19xx-xx-xx’ as the date. There aren’t really any other family members who will know the answer so I doubt if the dates will ever be completed. Any suggestions as to how to handle situations like this so I don’t have a long list of ’19xx’ photos?
Patty, you are certainly not alone. I would suspect that most family photo collections have a considerable amount of paper prints that weren’t dated or even captioned. Back then, it was probably so easy to think you would always be around to tell someone anything they wanted to know about your photos. But, now we know that simply isn’t the case.
Dating Old Army Photographs
The power of photographs to bring back the moments once lived by individuals is an essence found in very rare things. When it is about shared memories of the glorious past there seems to be nothing better than reliving the times with the family and friends digging albums upon albums for reminiscence. But the journey could not be necessarily smooth as you tread on the path to discovering the treasures of ancestors, the photographs without any of the labels, where no one took the pain to organize it for the future generations.
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.
There is something about being able to look an ancestor in the eye—we make a connection to the people we can identify by both name and face. We search for traces of ourselves in their faces. We wonder what they were thinking or doing, or why that photograph was taken on that particular day. Sometimes the people in the photograph are not who we think they are. Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.
You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.
How to date family photographs
Here are several sites that can help you put your aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on the right branches of your family tree. Here are some places where you can pick up a few style cues to help you ID your own vintage family photographs! Wikipedia The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia provides a nicely detailed collection of articles about the many eras of clothing fashion. Here are direct links to the sections dedicated to the time since photography was possible: s s s s s s s s s s — — s.
Flickr collections by era These contributed photographs are grouped by decade, and the multitude of images will provide you with a helpful frame of reference to compare your vintage photos. Topics include evening attire, fashion accessories and even bathing costumes and undergarments.
Your old family photographs can be a great addition to your family history research. You can put a picture to your ancestors and that’s great. But if you do not know.
New online vintage hat archive helps date old family photos. To be honest, I almost didn’t finish writing this blog post. Yesterday, I discovered an online tool to colourize my old family photos — and I have been distrac. Dating old photographs provides clues to identifying your ancestors in the old family photos. The type of photo indicates the date a photo was taken. Learn more from the Photo Detective about her most popular topics: identifying historical photographs, Civil War photography, 19th century fashion and more.
In an earlier post, I suggested ways to determine the gender of children in nineteenth-century photos by examining the hair style. By Sophie Boudarel Original text written in French Marginal annotations are, as we saw in my last post, a precious element of French deeds. Although they are useful in descending genealogy, they may contain traps that must be skipped. All our ancestors did not die at age 50, and we may find exceptionally marginal….
Dating old family photographs
Photo-dating expert Jayne Shrimpton says it’s never too soon to try to identify ancestors in heirloom photographs in your family archive Most of us have at least some old family photographs that have been handed down the generations and these are very special heirlooms – among the most intimate and personal items associated with past family members. Sometimes we already know for certain, or have a good idea, which ancestors are pictured in these historic images, but since many photographs were not firmly identified at the time, there may well be some whose subjects are completely unrecognisable to us today.
Identifying photographs incorrectly not only leads to serious errors in compiling our visual family tree, but can also obscure what the pictures are actually telling us — visual pointers to what may be fascinating truths about our past.
First we’ll see her webinar on Identifying and Dating Family Photos, and then via Skype, Maureen will analyze a few old photos for us and answer any questions.
Old family photographs are a treasured part of any family history. Many of them, unfortunately, do not come neatly labeled on the back with names, dates, people or places. The photographs have a story to tell Solving the mystery faces and places in your old family photographs requires knowledge of your family history, combined with good old fashioned detective work. When you’re ready to take on the challenge, these five steps will get you started in style.
Not all old photographs are created alike. By identifying the type of photographic technique used to create your old family photos, it is possible to narrow down the time period when the photograph was taken. If you have trouble identifying the type yourself, a local photographer may be able to help. Daguerreotypes, for example, were popular from to about , while cabinet cards were in use from about to Check both the front and the back of the photograph and its case if it has one for a photographer’s name or imprint.
If you’re lucky, the photographer’s imprint will also list the location of his studio. Check city directories for the area found in libraries or ask the members of local historical or genealogical society to determine the time period the photographer was in business. You may also be able to find a published directory of photographers working in your specific region, such as Directory of Pennsylvania Photographers, by Linda A.
Ries and Jay W.
How to Recognise and Date Old Photos
The photographs are all sizes. Some are obviously older photographs. Who are the individuals in the photographs? Are the individuals family members?
Put A Date On That Old Photograph A date will sometimes help fit a photo into a family tree. Constructed by Roger Vaughan First Step: What sort of photograph.
Before they get added to your photo collection, make a note of where any newly-inherited or recently-discovered photos came from. Recording the provenance ownership history of family photographs is vitally important for accurate identification and your sanity later down the line. Old photos are often scattered throughout the attics, photo albums and hard drives of various family members. Track down all your family snaps by contacting known relatives.
You could even try contacting distant cousins, perhaps the descendants of ancestors who emigrated overseas. You never know what they may be holding onto. I thought I already had all known photos of my mother, Ivy Shrimpton , but recently my year old aunt, living in Canada since , sent me a previously unseen snapshot of Ivy as an 8-year old child.
Images of forebears could also be found in public collections, including dedicated photographic archives, local archives and record offices, old newspapers , trade or work-related periodicals. You might even get lucky and find one of your ancestors in a local history book.
Dating and Identifying Your Old Family Photographs
The internet and smartphone technology are key to the way I connect with others. I can’t imagine life without them. I love preowned and second-hand goods and I often go to thrift stores and yard sales. Recently, I found some old sepia photographs lying loose inside an antique book I purchased at a yard sale.
Old family photographs are a treasured part of any family history. items to help determine the approximate date a photograph was taken.
Dating old photographs can be difficult at times. Explore resources for dating cabinet cards, daguerreotypes and other old family photos. Relatives started cleaning out their closets and sending me the old family photographs! I received literal boxes of family photographs. Some arrived by email. Some photos arrived by snail mail. The challenge began when I realized a number of photographs were not labeled, and I had no idea who the individuals were.
I had to learn how to analyze those old family photos. The first step was to lean how to date those photographs. I had to determine how when a photograph was taken in order to be able to narrow down the possibilities of who the individuals were. Dating old photographs is a topic many of you are interested in based on the emails I receive. It is one of the most common questions I receive about photographs.
I realized very quickly I knew nothing about old photographs. The Case Studies section is a fantastic way to follow along on the analysis of antique photographs.
How to Date Old Ancestor Photographs with Early Photo Types
Learn more. Two young men stare out at me from a small old photograph. On the back, in my grandmother’s handwriting, is written “Grandpa King’s brothers.
Feb 26, – Family History Guide ~ Dating Old Photographs Old Photographs Description Genealogy Sites, Genealogy Research, Family.
Introduction : In this article, Mary Harrell-Sesniak shows how you can date old, undated family photos by first figuring out what type of photograph they are, and uses old newspapers and other sources to illustrate different types of photos. Mary is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. Do you have a box of old, undated family photos somewhere up in the attic—or maybe buried in the back of some closet?
Have you wondered how you were ever going to figure out who these family members might be, since the old photographs lack inscriptions or dates? Genealogy is a lot like detective work, gathering clues to make the pieces of your family puzzle fit together. Old, undated family photographs are pieces of evidence, clues that—if you examine closely enough—might yield some answers. By knowing a little of the history of photography, you might be able to solve the mystery of those old photos by first recognizing what type of photograph they are—which in turn will help you narrow down the date range for when the photo was created.
This blog article will help you do that. Evening Star Washington, D. It was created with a camera obscura, a device used by artists to project images on a wall or screen. After a long eight-hour exposure time, the image became affixed.