Your old family photos may hold hints to your ancestors'
religious heritage — and the most faithful clue may be a color.
Pictures of girls dressed in white frills, babies in their christening
gowns or boys doming white bows on their arms, for example, signal your
ancestors' spiritual beliefs and practices.
As with all
photography, dating and identifying religious images involves talking
with relatives, recognizing the photographic method, discovering when a
photographer was in business, following costume history and researching
clues within the image, such as props (see our to-step
photo-identification guide in the September 2002 Preserving Your
Memories, a special issue of Family Tree Magazine). Religious photo
clues a so can help you discover new genealogical documents and
Before you start researching photo details, talk
with relatives. Show them your unidentified images and ask if they know
who's in the pictures and what the photos represent. Inquire about your
ancestors' religious habits. Showing family members a photograph car
trigger memories in ways that other documents can't. Don't forget to
ask if they have any similar photographs in their own collections.
Their pictures might provide additional clues to your family's