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Use Throwback Thursday for Family History

Use Throwback Thursday for Family History  Find more family history blogs at and family historians should pay close attention to social media on Thursdays. That’s the day when people post old photos of themselves from when they were much younger. Some people will post photos that include some of their relatives, too. The “event” (for lack of a better word) is called “Throwback Thursday”.

People might write it as Throwback Thursday, or #ThrowbackThursday, or #TBT. You might find it used on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, possibly Facebook, and maybe on other forms of social media as well. Today, people use it when they post old photos of themselves on a Thursday. Throwback Thursday, however, started out quite differently!

According to Know Your Meme, Throwback Thursday started out as a the title of a series of revamped retro cartoon characters that were illustrated by animator Saxon Moore. He posted them onto his blog starting in January of 2006.

In July of 2006, a blog called Nice Kicks started using Throwback Thursday. The blog focused on new sneakers. Once a week, they featured an old, yet beloved, pair of “kicks”. Those posts included the “Throwback Thursday” phrase.

Today, Throwback Thursday is all about photos. You don’t have to be especially internet savvy in order to participate. First, find an old photo of yourself. In general, people select photos from when they were a child, or an old photo that shows an important event (like a wedding or graduation). Save that photo until Thursday.

Learn how to post a photo onto your favorite social media site (if you don’t already know how to do that). Don’t forget to post Throwback Thursday, or #ThrowbackThursday, or #TBT with it. Do you have relatives that use that social media, too? Connect them to your Throwback Thursday post.

One of the coolest things about Throwback Thursday is that it sparks conversations. People naturally want to know more about the old photos that are posted. What was going on in that photo? What year was it taken? How old were you then? Bit by bit, the story behind the Throwback Thursday photo is revealed.

Genealogists and family historians should start doing Throwback Thursday. It’s a great excuse to post some really old family photos! Those photos may be brand new to some of your relatives. Those who have never seen that photo before might have a lot of questions about it. The discussion about the photo, and the people in it, could spark a relative’s interest in genealogy.

Throwback Thursday is a good way to get your relatives to help you figure out who is in an old photo. There must be a few that have “mystery people” in them. Post it on Thursday, and see if any of your relatives know who that person is. If you are lucky, someone will respond to your post with a related family story that is new to you!

Image by Jonas Larsson on Flickr.

Related Articles at

* How to Re-Create an Old Family Photo

* How Fashion Puts Dates on Photos

* That Awesome Photo

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