Friday, 4 May 2012

Family Photograph’s


Believe it or not, there can be whole variety of vital clues in an old photo family as to who your Ancestors  were, when the photo was taken and what a person’s occupation was, amongst others. So, writing on the back of the Photo doesn’t necessarily need to be there for you read to find out important information on your Ancestor/s. What you discover will differ with each Photo,  for example if a person was in the Military you may find out if they were in the Army, Navy or Air Force and what Regiment they served with, all of which are dependent on what they are wearing at the time of the Photo. Or if it of a photo of Ancestor next to their new Car then you could find out when it was taken by the model of the Car and what your Ancestor was wearing.
So, there are a number of ways to find out any clues about your Ancestor. Some of which I’ve mentioned already.
-          Fashion
Fashion can change quite quickly and looking into different trends of fashion over the years can help you narrow down when a Photo might have been taken, although some trends will be fairly obvious, like with the 70’s and Flares for example.

-          Military
If you find a Photo of an Ancestor that was in the Military you may be able to find out a few clues. The Uniform he/she is wearing will tell you whether they were in the Army, Navy or Air Force (bear in mind that the Air Force wasn’t created until 1918). If your Ancestor was wearing their Cap or were holding in the Photo then look for their Cap Badge, every regiment, ship & Air Force Division, had their own Badge on their Caps meaning you’ll be able to find out which Regiment, Ship & Air Force Division they served with. Their Uniform, including their Caps, will also show you if they were an Office or not. The Uniforms have also changed over time and will tell you which period the photo was taken in.

-          Type of Photographs
Over the years Photographs have been printed on a variety of different things, each type of print will help you date the photo. What they’ve been printed on includes, but isn’t limited to: Metal (e.g. Tin-type or Ferrotype), paper and cardboard  (Carte-de-visite, Cabinet Card, A Photo Postcard) & Glass (An Ambrotype in a case or a Glass-plate Negative).

-          Background
The background can help you as well. It may help you find out where a Photo was taken, was it Pub, Castle, Back Garden or at work? For example and may also tell you what their interests were, all of which depend the type of photo taken. If your Ancestor ran a Pub and there is a photo of them stood at the front of a Pub then it could help narrow it down for you if you’re been unsure where the Pub is and/or what it was called. Granted, there are lot of Pubs with the same name (like the Nag’s Head for example) but if you can at least estimate where they were living then it’ll help narrow it down. You may find that your Ancestor was a big reader if you find a Photo of him/her near a bookshelf with tonnes of books in it. You won’t necessarily find these types of photo’s but the point is to look to see what and who (if anyone) else is in the Photo, you could very well find out something about your Ancestors personality.

There are also various places on the Internet for you to search to see if anyone may have upload Photos of your Ancestors (whether that’s because they just so happened to be in a group photo at a workplace or because you may be related in some way). But bear in mind that there isn’t any central governing places online to find photos. There are plenty of places to find them but at least most are User dependent in what Photos they have, meaning that’s it’s up to the individual user of each site to upload Photos, not the website itself.

I hope all this helps. It’ll hopefully be enough to at least get you started with your Family Photos. 

Useful Links:
Family Old Photo’s http://www3.familyoldphotos.com/
Your Family Legacy – Researching Old Photographs http://www.webyfl.com/researchingoldphotographs.aspx


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