Can I Find Details of Photographs of my Ancestors?

Many people have photographs of their ancestors and ask the question ‘Can I find any more photographs of my family by the same photographer?’ or ‘Can I find out the names of the people in my photograph?’.

To do this would mean that the photographer’s records need to be available somewhere, especially their day books listing customer details and their heavy, old glass negatives.

This is very rarely the case as the books and negatives have nearly always been destroyed many years ago as the demand for providing reprints died out.

Very occasionally, records have been saved and are held in a museum, library or County Records Office local to where the photographer had his studio. It is always worth enquiring and, if you do get lucky, don’t forget to let us know about it as we are building up a list of archives that hold this type of material.

Don’t forget that dating your photographs can often help you to identify who is in the picture – see our section on Dating Old Photographs for the ways to do this.