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Our Ancestors’ Photo-Ready Family Record Sheets

By Maureen A. Taylor

Family milestones are well-known as photo occasions. Births, marriages and even deaths show up in family photo collections.

There’s another family photo op in your family history: The purchase of a photo album or a family record like the one below.

Old family photo record sheet
c. 1886, Library of Congress

Family record sheets suitable for framing were a way of documenting family history, similar to the center pages of a family Bible. The 1886 lithograph above has places to write down births, marriages and deaths, but in the center, oval spaces are meant to be cut out for photos. For this particular page, the buyer needed a picture of his or her parents together, as well as one of him/herself and spouse.

Many varieties of these family record sheets were created, including some in full color. You can view an assortment on the Library of Congress website. If you have one in your family, can you share it on our Facebook page?

Can’t wait to see the treasures your ancestors created by merging photos and family information!

Identify your old mystery family photos with these guides by Maureen A. Taylor:


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