How to Date an Old Photograph

An old black and white family photo

Old photographs are a great addition to family history research but sometimes it’s quite difficult to work out who is in the picture and how old it is. Here are some resources and people to help and guide you.

Roger Vaughan has a nice page about dating old carte de visite photographs.

Ron Cosens has similar pages about how to date an old photograph but he goes further by offering a photo dating service. There are two types of service offered; a photo dating wizard for carte de visite or cabinet card images, or custom dating for all types of image. has a useful page: 5 Steps for Identifying People in Old Family Photographs

Family Chronicle have a Dating Old Photographs page which seems to be aimed more at North American images and photos.

Using period costumes is a good and effective way of putting a date to your old photos. The Fashion Era website has a featured page with information and examples.

Maureen Taylor is an American photo detective who offers a photo dating service.