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3 top free websites for finding ancestor images


Our family pictures are some of our most precious treasures. An ancestor’s image brings the past to life and can also answer the question, ‘Who do I look like?’. We collect family images as part of our research, asking relatives if they have any identifiable images of our ancestors and relatives. But, you can also search for identified images just as you search for documents naming them. Such images exist in many, many places and are a genealogical record – just as much as certificates, the census, parish registers and wills.


In the Christmas 2018 issue of Family Tree, family historian Diane Brook goes beyond the photos found in our family collections, to see what sort of images of our ancestors might be found in the archives – from prison mugshots, to paintings, sculptures and silhouettes.


She takes a comprehensive look at where you may find identified images, in archives, museums and other locations, both physical and online.


Here we’ve picked out just three of our favourite websites for finding images of ancestors, taken from Diane’s expert selection.


The National Science and Media Museum, Bradford

This has 3.5 million items, including the earliest television footage and amateur film-making.


The British Film Institute

The BFI has more than 800,000 items including a Britain on Film section with a film player.


• BBC archives

The BBC has an archive site includes named people who appeared, although but not all programmes held in the archive are included.


You can find Diane's guide to background reading & resources here.


And read her complete guide to sourcing images of our ancestors only in the Christmas 2018 issue of Family Tree, available here.


You might also enjoy these articles:

• How to care for family tree documents at home

How to spot dating clues in old photos

Rev up your family tree research with our 30-day genealogy bootcamp


Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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13/11/2018 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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