7 Surprising Places To Find Photos Of Ancestors

Finding photos of ancestors gives us a sense of connection, even if we don’t them by name. Acquiring that feeling is one of the reasons why people do genealogy research. In this post from Crest Leaf, we will find out some of the best places to look for ancestor photos.

Thank you to Lisa Lisson for coming up with this very useful article. If you would like to read its complete version, click here. Make sure to browse Crest Leaf for more informative family history posts.

1. Within Your Own Family

If you are not sure which family members to ask, start with the women of the family. Typically, women were (and still are?) the keepers of the family photographs.

2. “Unknown Relatives”


The joy of genealogy research is discovering fellow researchers who may information about your ancestors. You may also have information about their ancestors so talk to them.

3. Church Histories/Directories

Churches periodically create church histories and/or directories that include photographs of its members and church life.

4. Historical Photo Sites

This is a list of free historical photo sites:

  1. Ellis Island Passenger Ship Search
  2. The Francis Frith Collection
  3. Family Old Photos
  4. Ancestor Search – Photo Search Engine
  5. Images of England
  6. The National Archives and Records Administration
  7. Library of Congress Historic Photos Flickr Project
  8. National Portrait Gallery
  9. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum – Photo Archives
  10. Military History Institute Photographs

Check for relevant information and give it a try, you might find your old family photos on these sites.

5. Yearbooks

Yearbooks are great places to find photographs of your ancestors. These may be found in local libraries.

6. The Descendants of Your Ancestor’s Friends

This suggestion requires a bit more looking, but can be very rewarding.

7. Local Historical Societies


Historical societies are the keepers and promoters of an area’s history. You can check information about your local historical society from this comprehensive list created by Wikipedia. This list also includes other societies from different countries around the world.

Source: CrestLeaf.com