07 March 2014

Putting Names to Faces in Photos -- Help Might Be Just a Click Away!

Besides not finding our ancestors in the records, one of the most frustrating challenges we face is having in our possession photographs and having NO idea as to who is pictured.

This topic came up recently on a Facebook post in the RootsWeb Genealogists group. “I have some old pictures of people no one remembers who they are and it would be great if I could find some people who could tell me who they are.”

How often have you asked that question?  I sure have!  I have some photos from England, late 1800s to early 1900s and I have no idea of who is in them except that they probably include ancestors of my mom.

Some websites mentioned which might be helpful for this include:
+ ID A Photo (corresponding Facebook page)
+ Lost and Found Photo (Flickr Group)

The above websites focus on photo collections which might assist your hunt for a match. There are also other techniques you might employ to facilitate identifying the unidentified!
+ Identifying Your Photographs (Franklin County (VA) Public Library System)

Additionally, you will find that archives and other repositories are using Flickr and other platforms to publicize photos they have and for which they seek assistance in identifying individuals or landmarks, etc.  These crowd-sourcing efforts have met with resounding success in identifying previously mystery photos!
+ Mystery Photos: Help Us Identify Them (Pasadena Digital History via Flickr)
+ Mystery Pictures – Solved! (Library of Congress via Flicker)
+ Mystery Photographs – Tales of One City (Edinburgh Room (UK) via Flickr)
+ Mystery Photos (State Library of Queensland, Australia, via Flickr)
+ Tulsa's mystery places and mystery faces (article discusses using Flickr)

Basically if you search on Flickr + “mystery photograph” you will come up with many similar entries.  You might also read a previous Upfront with NGS blog post Bay Area history exhibit aided by crowdsourcing which talks about this concept.

So, if you find yourself with some photos for individuals who you have not been able to identify, hopefully the above resources might help.

Do you have any additional suggestions to offer your fellow genealogists?

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