Family Photo Detective: Learn how to find Genealogy Clues in old photos and solve Family Photo Mysteries

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 176 pages
Author: M. Taylor
Year: 2023 - revised edition
ISBN: 9780984845064
Other: b&w & colour photos, appendixes, index
Publisher: Picture Perfect Press

Historical family photos are cherished heirlooms that offer a glimpse into the lives of our ancestors. But the images, and the stories behind them, often fade away as decades pass--the who, when, where and why behind the photos are lost. In this book, photo identification expert and genealogist Maureen A. Taylor, The Photo Detective shows you how to study the clues in your old family photos to put names to faces and recapture their lost stories.

You'll learn how to:

  • Determine the type of image you have--from common paper prints to stereographs to historical daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes
  • Use clothing, accessories and hairstyles to date the image in the correct decade
  • Research photographer's imprints to narrow down when and where the photo was taken
  • Compare facial features in multiple photos to confirm identity and family resemblance
  • Interview family members to gather more information about the image
  • Identify props in the photo to create content for the image

Each chapter includes dozens of historical photos to illustrate key points and provide clear examples. Charts, timelines and resource lists make it easy to find the exact information you need. Dozens of case studies show you how to apply the techniques in the book to real-life photo research projects. The answers to your family photo questions are closer than you think. Let this book help you start finding them today.


1. Bringing the past to life
2. Talking with relatives
3. Cased images: Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes
4. Paper prints and negatives
5. Color and digital photographs
6. Identifying the photographer
7. Images from birth to death
8. Looking for clues
9. Identifying costume
10. Reading the clues in photographs
11. Photograph albums
12. Adding up the clues
Appendix 1. Labeling your images
Appendix 2. Worksheet: Cased image
Appendix 3. Worksheet: Prints
Appendix 4. Worksheet: Negatives
Appendix 5. Prints (group shots)
Appendix 6. Key to worksheets
Important Addresses


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Family Photo Detective: Learn how to find Genealogy Clues in old photos and solve Family Photo Mysteries

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