13 November 2018
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?’. Get ideas for finding images of your ancestors, starting with these three free websites
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.
This has 3.5 million items, including the earliest television footage and amateur film-making.
The BFI has more than 800,000 items including a Britain on Film section with a film player.
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.