Collections of U.S. Historic Photos

Horse and Buggy DaysThere is a saying: “A photo is a window into the lives of your ancestors.” Never were there truer words. Many of us would given anything to have some image of a grandmother, great uncle, etc., but don’t give up — many people have located images of ancestors they never knew existed. Yes, there will be some that were never taken, so of course don’t exist … but you never know until you search.

When actual photos of an ancestor are not available, having images of other family members, the family hometown, or even historical images of events the relative was a part of can also be important. Using this site of ‘online U. S. historical photos‘ of each of the 50 states just could prove invaluable.

This site has taken each state and linked up available resources of photos of people and events of that state. The categories can range from state archives, aerial photos, private collections, historical societies, etc.Photo-Anderson-Oregon Museum can be an excellent resource of family images, especially if the family or individuals held governmental office, ran a business, involved in social or church activities or other contributions to the community. Also look and see if there are sources from yearbooks – there could be an image of an ancestor in such a book you have never seen.

There is not large search for all the states, you do need to click on each state and review the different collections. It there are some of a specific region or county where you had ancestors, concentrate on that first. Within each category or collection, there is a search box. If an image is located, check any information below the photo for details (dates, location and names.)

Photo-GreensboroLong forgotten images just might be around the corner – do some searching.


Photos: Western Maryland, Garrett CountyHORSE AND BUGGY DAYS – about 1900. A group of local residents (left to right): Frank Georg, Nellie Kaese, Dora Schlossnagel, Harry Schlossnagel, and Preama Schlossnagel. The houses on the left were the properties of Mrs. Grace King and Raymond Georg. Mrs. King’s mother, Mrs. Jane Bowman, resided there for a number of years. The building in the middle, a blacksmith shop owned by the Menhorns, was razed. The home formerly owned by Waldo and Mary Zinkan now occupies the site.

Group portrait of the William R. Anderson family of Salem, Oregon in the 1890s. Photo has each person’s name written above their head.

Greensboro, N. C. – 1943 – Students from Lindley Elementary School pose in their Junior Commando uniforms in recognition for their efforts collecting scrap metal.  The 5 children are: Martha Ann Gallimore, Jim Fulton, George Corwall, Patricia Booth, and Dorothy Foster.

Related genealogy blogs:

Forgotten Photos

Awesome Photos

What’s Real in a Photo?

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