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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, October 22, 2007
Old-Photo Reunions
Posted by Maureen

I have a friend who has phenomenal family history luck. Around each genealogical corner is another discovery. She goes to libraries and finds new family in almost every book she picks up, posts online queries and actually gets an answer.  A couple of years ago she used a popular message board to try to find out more about a couple that moved west. What do you think happened?  You're right. She met a distant cousin who not only knew all about the married pair, she had a photo album full of pictures from the 1870s. In one fell swoop she reconnected with a whole generation of folks. Sheesh!

If you envy her picture success and want to locate pictures of your ancestors then try these tips:

  • Check out a reunion site.  
    • is the most popular with more than 5,000 people looking for images each week. If you find family then email Joe and his staff. They'll try to facilitate a reunion by putting you in touch with the person who posted. If it's a picture that the staff at DeadFred bought and posted and you can prove your relationship, the picture is yours.
    • is probably the second runner up in the reunion category. I don't have stats for the site, but take a look. It's well worth a visit.
  • Post to a message board
    • When you post looking for information add that you'd love to see pictures of these ancestors as well. There are hundreds of genealogy message boards so rather than list them here go to for Queries and Message Boards.
  • Search digital libraries
    • The Library of Congress is just one of many libraries across the country and overseas with digital image collections. A list of sites appeared in the October 2003 issue of Family Tree Magazine in the article "Picturing the Past" by David Fryxell. That'll get you started, but in the four years since the article appeared even smaller historical societies and libraries have begun adding pictures to their web sites.
Hope these tips enable you to find new images of relatives.  Share your successful photo reunions on the Photo Detective Forum. I can't wait to hear about what you've found!

photo-research tips | Web sites
Monday, October 22, 2007 2:50:07 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [4]
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 6:08:00 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Your link to has some extraneous characters in the html that's misdirecting readers who click on it. Just thought you'd like to know.
Thursday, October 25, 2007 12:57:51 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
It's fixed, thank you!
Friday, November 09, 2007 8:36:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
If your ancestor was at all famous, you can go to google, select to search in Images, and enter his or her name. I found several photos of a great-great uncle who went to the North Pole and has an inlet named after him in Alaska. Try entering just a surname ( I wouldn't try Smith) and see what turns up.
Monday, December 03, 2007 7:53:22 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Just to let you know, has over 10,000 visitors per day and all of our photos are submitted by visitors - we don't post photos from yearbooks as other sites do, our photos are all from family albums. We have also reunited several thousand photos with families as well as reunited long lost family members. Visitors can contact the photo submitters directly and obtain information about the photo and, depending on the circumstances, obtain the original photo.

AncientFaces was the first photo genealogy site online. We launched 6 months before DeadFred. According to the owners of DeadFred, they launched their site as a way to reunite families with the photos the owners had bought through the years. While they decided to use the format we had launched, their purpose has been very different. The emphasis is on yearbooks, etc, rather than on sharing individual family photos. There are over a hundred family photos added every week to AncientFaces by individual visitors, as well as family stories and recipes. AncientFaces is entirely free to everyone (browsers and submitters).

The internet has become a great place to share family information and we are very happy to be the prime movers in reuniting families through photos.

Good luck to everyone in their hunt!

Kathy Pinna
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