Posting Photos Online

By Maureen A. Taylor

This week genealogists from all over are gathering in Salt Lake City to talk technology at RootsTech. Unfortunately, I won’t be there this year, although I might check out some of the virtual offerings.

I’m trying to finish research on a second volume of my Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation.

There are a lot of great websites out there that enable folks to share pictures and stories. Before I list them, here are some basic tips before you post your pictures in the global world of the web.

  • Don’t upload images larger than 72 dpi. That resolution is perfect for the web, but anyone trying to copy your image won’t end up with a very good print.
  • Make sure you own the photo (or have written permission to post). I wouldn’t want my cousins posting family photographs online that I own and you probably wouldn’t your cousins to do so either.
  • Don’t post images of living people. Genealogists generally recommend not posting information on living individuals and that rule applies to photos as well.

Now let’s get to the fun part. Websites! I have my personal favorites. Oh— did I mention that most of these sites are FREE?

  • History Pin. Take a tour of the world or your neighborhood in the photos on this site. There are “sets” of images that focus on themes. This website just won an award for the best mobile app. Try it and see.
  • 1000Memories. Need an online place to share your photos, stories and family videos, then check out this site. I was stunned to see the possibilities.
  • Dear Photograph. This is a really cool idea. Take a photograph of a place today then upload it and a historical photo of the same place. The juxtaposition of the two images is a lot of fun.
  • Ancient Faces and Dead Fred. These two reunion websites can help you reconnect with “missing” family photographs.

Let’s not forget that you can upload images to genealogical sites such as and

I’m trying to beat the winter blahs and maybe you are, too. On my personal website, I’m having a Silly Old Snapshot Contest. Upload an image, get folks to vote on it and you might end up winning a prize package. The contest ends on February 25.

Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album