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    « Rock Memoirs - The Good and the Bad | Main | Facts and Imagination in Memoir and Family History »

    Unlocking Family Photographs

    Too often we meet people who say I have all kinds of old family photographs, but I can’t identify most of the people in them.

    Maureen Taylor’s book Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs is a tool that can solve their problem. Taylor shows her readers how to use historical photos as research tools. She demonstrates how a family historian can unlock clues contained in the pictures. For example:

    • Using clues about the type of photographic process used to take the picture helps to accurately date it.
    • Historical details like telephone lines visible in the photograph demonstrate that it couldn’t have been taken before a specific date.
    • Details of the dress, studio props and poses of photo subjects can be compared to historical records to help date the photograph.
    • A close examination of a photograph may allow the researcher to determine its location.
    • These clues may also reveal the identity of the photographer.
    • And finally all of this information combined with a family historians knowledge of ancestors may allow her to identify the people pictured.

    “If you are only going to buy one book on this subject, this is the book for you,” said reviewer Carol Boston of Eureka, Illinois.


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