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Family Photographs

The Kilted Ancestors prompt for May 2023 in line with the Annual Genealogy Challenges & Triumphs topic was in relation to Photographs.

There is so much excitement around obtaining photographs of our Ancestors!

We can research members of our family for many years before someone passes us that photograph & says this is your Great Great Grandfather! Suddenly they become more real to us, we know what they look like, can compare if there are similarities with other family members…they are no longer faceless Ancestors!

Part of the Authors own family collection

Aside from finding Photographs of people we might also locate photographs of the houses they lived in, a factory they worked in or images of something they made or owned. Again, as I have mentioned in previous blog articles check with extended family as well as online & in the Archives, you just don’t know what photographs might be hiding until you look for them.

I think what I love about photographs is that they cover a wide variety of topics. Some are sombre such as images of flowers on the family grave, some are happy & perhaps taken at a family wedding or following the birth of a child, but you also get some really fun ones taken during family days out.

'Fun at the Fair' - Part of the Authors own family collection

As my own Families ‘Family Historian’ there have been times when I have been passed bundles of photographs by family members. The first stop has always been to sit with as many family members & go through these to try & identify as many people within them as I can. I normally write on the back of them in pencil, always ensure the pencil is not sharp as it may mark your images. I then scan them & index them against the family members or family groups.

This week I attended a Funeral & although these are often sad & sombre occasions sadly they are also one of the few occasions when we get to meet up with extended family. Use this opportunity to tell family members that you are researching the family tree, ask about family stories & ask them if they happen to possess any documents or photographs that might assist your research. Remember before you leave to make arrangements to meet up with them at a later date. One thing I always find is that death can spark a sense of nostalgia in most people, so you will be asking at the right time.


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