Top 10 Resources for Dating Old Photographs

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.

How to Date Old Ancestor Photographs with Early Photo Types

AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! 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. At least I’ve got some information to work with, but I’m eager to learn more: When was the picture taken? Which two of my great-grandfather’s brothers are these?

If not, knowing how to date old photos may help you identify your family members pictured. Before , there were five types of photographic.

The photographs are all sizes. Some are obviously older photographs. Who are the individuals in the photographs? Are the individuals family members? Most likely, but if not, the photograph was obviously treasured to have been kept throughout the years. Who owned the photograph s before you? How did the photograph s come into your possession? The answers to these questions can narrow down which side of the family the photograph s belonged.

Email and social media make it easier to contact more distant relatives. Reach out to those distant cousins.

Using Women’s Collars to Date Old Family Photos

Do you have a box of old family photos tucked away somewhere? Are they labeled? Do you know your ancestors pictured or where they fit on the family tree? If not, knowing a bit about the History of Photography may help you identify when the photo was taken and who the ancestor may be.

The collar clues help determine the time period. When dating clothing in old photos, it’s important to watch for the details and to add up all the clothing clues.

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.

Dating old photos

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.

Attendees are encouraged to bring one or two photos of their own that they would like assistance dating or identifying. Length. 60 to 90 minutes.

Dolores’s interest in fashion history dates from her teenage years when vintage apparel was widely available in thrift stores. Trying to identify ancestors while looking at old photographs can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you have one of those families where the same face reappears every generation or so. One method is to study what kind of clothing a subject is wearing in a portrait. This is easiest if the subject is female as women’s fashions change more quickly than for men.

In general, old photos of family members were posed and often taken by professional photographers. Even when people began to use their own cameras, subjects were often posed. People dressed their best for these portraits in new, fashionable garments. Pictures of younger women typically show contemporary style trends. Older women often stick to older styles. You may see this stereotype portrayed in older movies and TV shows where old women wore costumes that were a generation outdated.

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Most family historians have THAT box. The box always looks roughly the same. Not long after I took up genealogy in , I began inheriting boxes and bags like those, and they all had lots of photographs — old ones. The photographs from the latter half of the 20th century are easiest to identify.

There are ways to examine photographs which can help place the date of a a unique approaches to helping you date your old photographs.

What do you really know about the old photographs you have of your ancestors? Do you have names and dates to go with each? How sure are you of the information you do have? There are ways to examine photographs which can help place the date of a photo within a couple of years. Pictures can also tell stories about your ancestors and the lives they led.

The best part is, you can learn to determine the approximate year of photographs and learn to read the stories within them for yourself. More Dating Old Photographs — offers a unique approaches to helping you date your old photographs. Most of this book is pages of sample photographs, with dates. You can compare your photographs to those in the book and determine if your pictures look like the same time period.

Pictures are grouped chronologically and grouped into four year time periods. A twelve page introduction by Maureen Talyor helps you get started. Taylor, a recognized expert in historical photography, compacts years of experience into a concise introduction geared to help the reader recognize key indicators to identifying a photographs age. Here is a list of topics covered in her introduction:.

Genealogy Sleuthing: How to Date Old Family Photos

Identifying an old photo isn’t as hard as you would think it would be. There are a few easy ways to identify old photos given how fast the photographic processes changed during the late s and early s. Here’s quick guide on How to Date Old Photos for photos from the ‘s – For more recent photos, you’ll need to rely on clues from the photo itself:.

Reources, Tips and Tutorials for Photo Restoration and Photo Dating Note: Please Help needed to enhance school photo Langley Moor Durham. Started by.

Dating an old photo is key to correctly identifying the person in it. I sat down with Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective , for her tips on where to get started when dating old photographs. Maureen also discussed the importance of researching the photographer. City directories can be a big help in this. How can you tell in a black and white photo? Maureen explained to me that blue eyes show up pale in black and white photographs.

Genealogy research: Dating vintage photographs by clothing & hairstyles

Moderator: sarah. Latest post by Hellascad in Restoration and coloring Get your Photographs restored or dated completely for free by the generous people on RootsChat. Please Include Family Names and Country in Titles of Photographs if known, or how the image relates to your family history.

use to date old photographs. We offered to date up to submis- sions. We received about and, in fact, we responded to them all. We were not able to help.

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…. The women in this photo are wearing soft, formal gowns of the early s.

Dating and Identifying Old Photographs

Hats from Provides vintage photograph restoration, books, and photo dating tips to genealogists and historians. If you have a box of unlabeled photographs in your basement or attic, you aren’t alone. Most families pass down photos that aren’t labeled, and it takes a Have you ever considered using Pinterest for your Genealogy and family history research?

Many that can be dated and analysed fall into the mid-late Victorian and Edwardian eras and can help you determine who the person in the photograph relates.

Learn the basic techniques that can be used to date and identify old photographs. A methodology will be presented that includes techniques for analyzing the type of photograph, the subject and setting, the occasion, and the location of a photograph. Techniques will also be presented that can be used to identify the people in your old photographs once an approximate date has been established.

Preservation supplies and techniques for storing and scanning old photos will be discussed. Attendees are encouraged to bring one or two photos of their own that they would like assistance dating or identifying. Learn advanced research methods and techniques for identifying the subject and setting,.

AF-025: Identifying Old Photographs: How to Do It and How It Can Help Your Research


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