Not all of our ancestors were diligent about labeling their photographs. And sometimes, we have to face the difficult task of deciding and deducing who that is next to our great-grandma. But identifying unknown family members in your photos doesn’t have to be such a chore. It may not be the easiest job, but putting in the time can be highly rewarding!
I first learned to take a closer look at old photographs not with those in my family’s own collection, but by studying a forgotten photograph album picked up at an antique store. The photographs within this album dated to the Civil War, and in an effort to identify the individuals based on a few faded captions, I studied them carefully. Who were the women wearing stunning, full-skirted dresses? Who were the children with the solemn faces and neatly curled hair? Might the portraits of bewhiskered men have been a last memento before they left home for battle?