Places to Find Old Family Photos

Discovering Your History: Unexpected Places to Find Old Family Photos

The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words couldn’t be more true when preserving our history through family photos.

There’s nothing like looking back at old family photos to bring back waves of emotions and nostalgia. Family photos capture moments that would otherwise be lost forever and allow us to connect with our past. However, not all family memories are handed down from generation to generation.

Fortunately, there are surprising places where you can find old family photos, and with a little help, you can turn them into a digital preservation collection.

Chance Places You Can Find Old Family Photos


Flickr is a photo-sharing website where users upload and share their photos. The site banks thousands of photographs users upload, looking to share their family photos. Using specific search terms like a family surname, the location the family lived, or the time period they lived in, you will find old photos related to your family.
If you are lucky, you might even find one of your ancestors you have never seen before.

Distant Relatives

Reaching out to distant relatives is a great way to connect with your family history. Many times, distant relatives might have old family photos that have not been seen for years. They may even have photos of your great-great-grandparents or other family members that you have never seen before.

Connect with your distant relatives through social media, email, or letters, and you may be surprised by the treasures they have in their possession. That is also an opportunity to connect with them over a collaborative family app to keep conversations and family traditions going.

Old Home Attics

Old homes are treasures for old photo albums, letters, and documents.
Family members tend to store items like this away for safekeeping that eventually are often forgotten over time.

Speaking of, your own home attic might be another unexpected place to find old family photos. If your grandparents or great-grandparents have lived in the same house for a long time, you may not miss boxes of old family photos tucked away in a corner or the back of a closet.

Here is a great opportunity to explore your family history, discover photos of your ancestors you have never seen before for digital preservation.

Collateral Families

These are people related to your ancestor but are not in the direct line of descent. Through your genealogy research or even asking old relatives, you will identify who these families are. Your ancestral pictures may be in their collection of photographs. This can be another treasure trove of old family photos you may not have known existed. Branch out your family tree and see what you can find.

Historical Books and Church Histories

Many cities, towns, and churches have historical books written about them. These books often contain photos of historical events, notable personalities, and local families. If your ancestors were part of a historical event or were prominent community members, you might find their photos in these books.

Historical resources are a treasure trove of information, including old family photos. Church histories can also contain old families that were members of the church.

Check out your local library or historical society to see what resources are available to you.

In Summary

Digital preservation of old family photos is central to keeping family history alive.
Family photos are an essential part of our history and help us to connect with our past.

While family photos can pass down from generation to generation, there are other unexpected places where you can find these treasures. From Flickr to collateral families, there is a good chance you can find old family photos that are new to you. In addition, historical books and church histories are useful resources for finding old family photos.

Turn old family photos into digital memories with the Autumn Whispers App.