A Year of Passionate Photo Detecting: What Did You Miss?

By Maureen A. Taylor

On this Photo Detective blog, 2016 was a year of early color (and colorized) photos, photo-ID tips and crowd-sourcing.

If you missed the most-popular posts, don’t worry. The links in this 2016 wrap-up will take you them.

Photo Identification Tips

We started the year off right with a big tip. Newspapers solved one woman’s photo mystery—they might help with your pictures too. The King family case study shows you how to apply those tips.

I made a breakthrough in my own family history this year. Google helped me locate images of all the ships on which my Civil War ancestor served. Can you say jackpot? Follow my tips and see what you discover.

Group Picture Mysteries
My favorite old photo this year was the group portrait with the girl sleeping (or blinking?) in the second row. Can you spot the clues in this Old Family Gathering photo?

Foreign Images
Captions in a foreign language or pictures taken in an unfamiliar-sounding place can be a research problem. In two columns, Foreign Caption Mystery and Caption Mystery, you can learn more about how how tackle this photo-identification trouble.

Can You Help Solve This Mystery?
Two high school- or college-aged girls are in this picture. The date is about 1910, but who are these young ladies, and where are they? Read about the clues and see if you can help.

Coloring the Past
Wherever you stand on the colorizing of photos, you’ll find the images pretty neat to look at.

See how the details pop in a Thanksgiving tablescape colorized using Algorithma, an online coloring tool.

The Library of Congress has a very large collection of period color images called Photochroms. They’re amazing! The real scenes of ancestral hometowns will keep you mesmerized for hours.

Thank you for another fantastic year of family photo mysteries! Here’s where to find instructions on how to share your mystery photos for possible free analysis on this blog. Can’t wait to see what you’ll share in 2017!

Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album
  • Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Photo-Organizing Practices
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Searching for Family History Photos: How to Get Them Now
  • Save