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How to Find Photos of Your Ancestors

by eHow Contributor

Find out as much as possible about your ancestors before searching for old family photos. At least know the full name, the person's date of birth, the area he lived in, and the job he performed. All of this information helps narrow a broad search. Additional information, such as date of marriage, children's births and names, can only help the search.

Visit one of the many websites that cater to genealogy searches. Some of them have rounded up unidentified photos and want visitors to claim them. Others just post old photos. The sites are searchable by name or location. Some list the owners of the photo and how to contact them. Check the resources section for some of the websites.

Do an eBay search of all your known ancestors, using the family surname and "family photos" or "family diaries" or "family bibles." This is a long shot, but someone might have the photos up for auction.

Search the photo collections of any historical society in the city or area where the ancestor lived. Most people took and kept photos in the early days of photography, and a lot of those were passed on to historical societies. Some collections may yield other information such as articles about and the possessions of the ancestor. Do a quick search of any antique shops in the area. Some old photos turn up at those shops.

Items you will need
  • desire to find ancestor photos
  • internet connection
  • time and money

Tips

  • Find out as much as possible about your ancestors before searching for old family photos. At least know the full name, and date of birth, as well as the area where they lived. All this information helps to narrow down where to search.
  • Any additional information, such as date of marriage, children's births and names, etc. can only help you in your search for family photos.

References