Temecula Valley Genealogical Society
Have some old unidentified photos hanging out in boxes?
Wish that you had stories to attach to them?
Not all of us are lucky enough to inherit family photos that are labeled with names, dates or places. For those of us that have some of these old photos, here is how to become a super sleuth and solve some of the mysteries about your unidentified family photos.
Tips for identifying your photo.
  • Determine the type of photo. That will give you a time frame that it came from. Photo Type-Timeline
  • Narrow the time frame by looking at the clothing and hair styles. Click for Fashion by Eras,   Hair Styles
  • Consider the Photographer or Studio name if known. When and where did they exist? Research it in Census, newspapers, maps, etc.
  • The pose, props and background  give you clues as to the ocassion the photo was taken as well as when or where it might have been taken.
  • Identify outdoor surroundings, vehicles and seasons .
  • Estimate the ages of all of those in the photo.
  • Where did you get the photo, and where did that person get the photo. Taking in to consideration the physical history of the photo can give you clues as to what family it may belong or not belong. Maybe even document the source/s. Example
  • Once you have examined all the possible details and made some conclusions check you family tree to determine which of your ancestors it could possibly be based on approximate year, place and age.
              Early Tintype Photo  abt 1860

      Who Is In That Photo!
       6 Steps to Identify   WHO Is In Your Family Photos
In depth Infomation:
Dating Old Photographs
Join Findmypast genealogist Myko Clelland and special guest, fashion historian and Curator of the Victoria & Albert Museum Dundee, Kirsty Hassard, as they date your old family history photographs and show you how to get more from historical family portraits and make them a memory in your family tree.
History of Photography
This video was originally created by The George Eastman House as a 12 part series, which can be found on YouTube. The videos were combined and condensed for educational purposes.