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Dating old pictures

Dating old photographs can be difficult at times.


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Use costume history to date photos.

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The photographs are all sizes. Some are obviously older photographs. Who are the individuals in the photographs?

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Are the individuals family members? Most likely, but if not, the photograph was obviously treasured to have been kept throughout the years. Who owned the photograph s before you?

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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. and social media make it easier to contact more distant relatives. Reach out to those distant cousins.

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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. 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. Source: Library of Dating old pictures. Like the daguerreotypes, ambrotypes are in small hinged cases. Tintypes were popular for more than 30 years. 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. Dating old pictures des Visites CDV were introduced in The carte de visite gained popularity quickly during the Civil War as soldiers and family exchanged photographs. Cabinet cards and carte des visites CDV are often confused.

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. Have you ever remembered when a photograph was taken of you based on your hairstyle or on the clothes you wore?

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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.

Top 10 resources to help date your old photographs

The bodice of her dress along with the narrow sleeve is also indicative of this time period. The Dating old pictures below is from the Library of Congress photo collection and depicts a woman from the Civil War era. 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. Source : Library of Congress. Where do you find examples of hairstyles and fashions from different time periods? What type of photograph is it?

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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. If you need help organizing and preserving your lifetime of photos, videos, and keepsakes, find a photo organizer near you at the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.

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 Dating old pictures genealogy, Lisa can be found at LisaLisson. This is a great article.

Know what you already know

I only wish I had images as old as Daguerrotypes in my family collection. They must have been handed down to the wrong descendents not me if there were any at all. Hi please help me know the year in which this photo of our grandmother has been taken.

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It has been taken somewhere in Ghana, west Africa. Thank you so much. This is such a great article on dating old photos. I have one more suggestion — I have been successful in dating some of my cabinet cards by cross referencing the photographer in the city directory of the time period, noting what years that photographer appeared at the particular address printed on the card. Thought you might like to see the earliest in my collection, a carte de visite taken inmy great-great grandmother, Katherine Dating old pictures Faust, age 17 luckily for me on this one, her name and age had been written on the back.

What a great read and wonderful information. You must be logged Dating old pictures to post a comment. Not one photograph is labeled! Now what? Identifying individuals in the photographs is possible. How do you get started? Source: Library of Congress The Ambrotype — Like the daguerreotypes, ambrotypes are in small hinged cases. Source: 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?

Type of photograph

Source: Private collection of Cynthia Welcher The photograph below is from the Library of Congress photo collection and depicts a woman from the Civil War era. Source : Library of Congress Where do you find examples of hairstyles and fashions from different time periods?

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Google Images — Search for women and the particular year you are interested in. Sharon E Syrette on May 15, at pm. Log in to Reply.

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Jourdi Cleghorn on June 9, at pm. Mark Avosse on September 27, at am. Klein on January 2, at pm. Julia Williams on January 29, Dating old pictures am. Check out this… How to Tell Your Family History in a Keepsake Photo Album - […] add metadata information such as location, dates, names, and keywords to your photos. Submit a Comment Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment.

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Information from the world’s largest collection of british and irish carte de visite photographs and from 30 years of trade directory and census research.

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