The photographs are all sizes. Some are obviously older photographs. Not one photograph is labeled! 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. Identifying individuals in the photographs is possible. How do you get started? 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. Skipping this step is tempting, but avoid that temptation! Could the photograph s be of her sisters, parents, or cousins? Check with your cousins, aunts, uncles…. You may not have much oral history in your family or a large extended family to ask.
You can still have options for determining the date or age of a photograph. Characteristics of the photograph itself provide clues to its age. What to do when you don't know who that ancestor is in your old photo areyoumycousin Click To Tweet Type of Photograph The type of photograph can place your photograph in a specific time period. If you know the time period a photograph was taken, you can narrow down possible candidates on your family tree.
The photographic process makes the photographs appear to float. Instead of glass, the image was on an iron plate. Early tintypes were in small, hinged cases like the daguerreotypes and the ambrotypes.
However, the cases were soon replaced by paper sleeves. The carte de visite gained popularity quickly during the Civil War as soldiers and family exchanged photographs. Like the CDV, the cabinet card was also an albumen print on thin paper and mounted on thicker paper.
The primary difference is the size. The cabinet card reached its peak popularity in the s but was used into the early s. Personal Collection of Lisa Lisson Hair Styles and Fashions Have you ever remembered when a photograph was taken of you based on your hairstyle or on the clothes you wore? Narrowing the date range a photograph was taken will narrow down the potential candidates the people can be. The photograph below the cabinet card from above dates to the early s. This photograph of Mary Elizabeth Scott below was taken in the early — mids.
Notice the center part with the bangs. Her hair is pulled into a bun in the back. The bodice of her dress along with the narrow sleeve is also indicative of this time period.
She wears a typical hairstyle of the day with a middle part and the hair styled over the ears. Her full skirt and the fuller sleeves were common in the fashions of Civil War women.
Where do you find examples of hairstyles and fashions from different time periods? You can find samples of photographs in a variety of places including: Use hairstyles and clothing to identify ancestors in old photos.
What type of photograph is it? Research the hair and clothing fashions you find. With this information, you will be able to estimate the date your photograph was taken and begin to narrow down who could possibly be in the photograph. Lisa believes researching your genealogy does not have to be overwhelming.
All you need is a solid plan, a genealogy toolbox, and the knowledge to use those tools. Passionate about genealogy research and helping others find resources and tools to confidently research their genealogy, Lisa can be found at LisaLisson.