Many of you my long time readers know how absolutely fortunate I was to receive a plethora of family photographs once I started my family research.
Photographs arrived by way of large Rubbermaid boxes, snail mail, email and a lot of road trips. Identifying each of the individuals in the photographs has been a challenge. Frequently, I knew one or two of the individuals, but not the more distant relatives.
For many of the photographs, the first step was to determine if the photo was of ancestors or their friends.
This photograph of my great great grandmother Clara Haley was posted early in my blog’s history (back when Are You My Cousin? was just a family blog). At the end of the post I asked if anyone could identify the man and the boy.
Five months later I received a reply to my query.
From my grandmother’s first cousin.
We exchanged e-mails.
We shared stories and photographs.
I was able to interview the matriarch of the family.
Connections were made.
What is your best first step to identifying unknown photographs in your collection?
SHARE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS AND ASK FOR HELP.
You may not have blog, but that’s okay. Social media today provides many opportunities to share your photos. Where should you share them?
Email – While not social media, email is still a great place to start sharing your photographs and asking for help. Email your photograph(s) to any potential relative you can. Ask them if they recognize anyone in the photograph.
Ask your relative if they know of anyone else who you could ask about the photograph.
Facebook – Do you know the county or state where your photograph was taken? If your relatives have a family group page, post your photos there.
Also, post your photograph in a genealogy or historical society Facebook group that is focused on that location. Someone may recognize the individuals in your photograph. Think of this as networking genealogy style.
As a first step in identifying your photographs, this is fairly quick and easy. Waiting to hear back requires patience!
I would love to hear your successes! Share your success story in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest:
- Top 10 Resources for Dating Old Photographs
- Best Practices for Storing Heirloom Photographs
- 4 Tips to Identify Unknown Family Photographs
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