Photo Detective Online Training
8/1/2001
Scouring the Web for pictures from your family's past? Broaden your search beyond faces and you may be surprised at what you'll find.

Online photo research is like most family history research — a hit-and-miss endeavor. Genealogists primarily looking for faces of their ancestors are likely to be disappointed. But when you look beyond faces you might be surprisingly pleased to find photos of places and events that affected your family.

Not long ago, for example, I got a copy of a photograph of a train wreck. Many such photographs exist because historic disasters attracted photographers then just as they do today. What makes this one interesting to me as an archivist is that it's a panoramic photograph. What makes it interesting to me as a family historian is the fact that my great-grandfather from Illinois was reportedly a passenger on this train when the wreck occurred.