Genealogists use Google to find more information about their ancestors, to discover genealogy resources that are new to them, or to learn more about a particular genealogy festival or event. Google probably won’t reveal information about a photograph – but Google Images might!
Google Images is specifically designed for people to use when they have a photo (or other image) that they want to learn more about. Start by selecting an old family photo that is a bit of a mystery. For example, choose the photo of an ancestor whom you haven’t been able to identify yet.
Put that photo onto your computer’s desktop. Give it a name. Next, click on the camera icon that is in the box where you would normally type words about something you want to search for. Doing so will open a box that gives you the option to upload an image.
When the photo you selected has been uploaded, Google Images will bring up a list of links to websites where that same photo appears. Typically, the links that appear are other genealogy or family history blogs. Or, you may get a link that is from a news source.
There is also the possibility that Google Images will not be able to locate that photo anywhere on the internet. If so, it might suggest images that are similar to what you uploaded. There is a chance that it might find your ancestor in another photo. Or, Google Images could give you images that are not at all what you were hoping for.
One thing to keep in mind is that Google Images does not search through the images that are posted to Facebook or to Ancestry.com or to other websites that require a subscription (or something similar). It isn’t going to bring up photos that people have posted to Pinterest or Flickr.
If Google Images did not give you the good results, you might want to try TinEye. It is a search company that is based in Toronto, Canada. TinEye can be used for free and is extremely simple to use.
Start by selecting a photo of your ancestor. You can upload the photo directly into TinEye by dragging it over the website and dropping it into the search engine box. Within seconds, TinEye will bring up similar images to the one you uploaded.
Just like with Google Images, there is a chance that TinEye won’t be able to find the photo you uploaded anywhere else on the internet. The reason might be because TinEye has “not yet crawled the website or page where it appears”. Try again later, and it might be able to give you a better result.
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