Family Photo Detective

How often have you came across a photograph in your collection and the people in it don’t seem familiar. You interview family members and they do not recall who it is either. Who are these mystery people? When was this picture taken? Where was it taken? The book “Family Photo Detective” by Maureen A. Taylor is a great resource for learning how to find genealogy clues in old photos and solve family photo mysteries.

I recently checked this book out from the Portsmouth Public Library and after flitted through the pages I found it to be more than just the typical fluff filled book filled with common-sense advice such as reading the back of the picture or to interview living relatives. This text delves into the technical aspects of photography and print to provide the reader with information that helps limit the scope of their search as well as detailed information in how to preserve priceless heirlooms. The book does not stop at merely analyzing the photographs but expands into contextual clues including letters, stamps, family records, hair and clothing styles, all of which help to estimate a date and location and ultimately, hopefully, help identify those in the photograph.

This book is an excellent desk reference for those that are interested in photo preservation, genealogy, and anyone who really wants to find who who that mystery person is staring back at them in the picture from long ago.

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