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Find Your Family - Historic Pictures

Article Date: 
11 November, 2011 (All day)

Have you ever wondered what the town looked like where your parents or grandparents grew up?  If you have then the answer may be just a search away.  Many historical and genealogical sites are adding historical photos.   One of the newest is a site that shows pictures of old San Francisco.  

The pictures span 1850 to 1995 and show many of the major locations in San Francisco.  A slider bar at the top of the website lets you select the range of years in which you are interested and then you can browse the photos.  

Be ready to spend some time on the site.  It draws you in.  You may find yourself browsing an hour later and wonder where the time has gone.  The url for this site is oldsf.org .

Another site that captures the imagination is old-picture.com .  It shows pictures from significant events in U.S. history.  There are pictures of Lindberg, Einstein, and Pancho Villa.  There is a photo of Lincoln at Antietam.  There are also representative photos showing historic fire departments, ordinary people, parades, and political gatherings.  The photos help to bring to life events about which we may only have read.

There are more than 65,000 photos of Utah in the Utah State History website at history.utah.gov .  There are more than fifty photos of the construction of the state capitol building.  The collection also includes many photos of the Civilian Conservation Corp.  My parents have told me many stories of the CCC in Utah.  These photos give life to those stories.  They also have a collection of photos of the tubes used by Philo T. Farnsworth in the construction of the first television set.

The Morgan County Historical Society has more than 3,000 historic photos of Morgan County.  They are not online, but can be viewed easily by visiting the Morgan County Library.  Many historic photos of Morgan are online at the Utah State University Digital Newspaper Archive (digitalnewspapers.org).  Newspapers from approximately 1910 through 1954 are online.  Photos and stories from these newspapers are entertaining and educational.

Nearly every city in the nation has accumulated photos.  You may find one with your ancestor pictured, or a picture of somewhere they lived or worked.  If you are looking for a few hours of reminiscing, learning, and connecting with the past, search for historical photos in the location where you ancestors lived in one of the online search engines, like Google.  It will give you a great blast from the past as you see the lives of your ancestors come to life in the photos from their time.