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cosplayernerdgirl OP t1_j9c2xiq wrote

My grandmother passed away two years ago from brain cancer. I’m helping my grandfather go through photos. He doesn’t know anything about the people pictured. I don’t want to destroy them but I also don’t know what to do with them. Any advice is appreciated.


lmaliw t1_j9c6lef wrote

I think this is earlier that 1940 - maybe 1920. The headpiece the bride is wearing looks really similar to the one in the wedding photo of my great-grandma, who was married in 1919.

I save all the family photos, even the ones I don't know. I can't bear to get rid of them. I wonder if you could dig through your family tree and see how many direct relatives you have that were married ca 1920, maybe by process of elimination you can figure it out.


Binged_Kelvin t1_j9ccqbr wrote

Yeah - and the hairstyle on the woman at the back screams early 1920s to me.


Mjaguacate t1_j9eq0xn wrote

I would say around 1925 judging by the fashions


leifnoto t1_j9cb7k8 wrote

Find older relatives, even distant that might be able to identify. Both of you will love it, my 96 year old great aunt had a great time going through all the old photos and memories with us.


cosplayernerdgirl OP t1_j9ckxnc wrote

Unfortunately my grandmother was an only child. I may have relatives in other states but I’m unsure. I might have to save up for a dna test.


codeking12 t1_j9dofsf wrote

Ancestry has free trials where you can really dig down into your family tree for up to two weeks. That’s more than long enough for an exhaustive search if you’re dedicated. It’s a lot of fun and you’d be really surprised at how far you can go back and the history you can put together. You’ll also be connected to a number of your relatives who also use the service. If the marriage and birth records don’t help you out, no doubt some of your distant relatives may be able to.

I will say it’s unfortunate there weren’t notes on the backs of the photos. I thought everyone from the pre-digital world did that. Maybe I just got lucky.


zolakk t1_j9gkwxx wrote

Also if you l happen to have any Mormons in your family, reach out to them because IIRC genealogy is a big part of their faith and at least all the Mormons I know have surprisingly exhaustive family tree records


icky_sticky_notes t1_j9cgp85 wrote

Defintely somewhere in the range of 1920-1930 or so. The fit of the dress, footwear, hairstyles, veil style. 1939-45 was WWII so even if you think about the fact that the bouquets are abundant, that would not have been the case during wartime making this prior to that period.


FelixTaran t1_j9cjhar wrote

Yes, the lack of corset and the loose top. Also, it looks short, which also seems 1920’s.


cosplayernerdgirl OP t1_j9ccz1y wrote

Wow! That’s crazy. I’m obviously bad at dating things.


Bekiala t1_j9dqepi wrote

No shame in that. Some of us have an embarrassing obsession with vintage clothes and will happily help.

Also the others are correct. This is 1920s. Someone really good can sometimes narrow it down within a few years.


BSB8728 t1_j9exo35 wrote

I agree. My dad's half-sister got married in the early '20s, and this looks very much like her wedding photo.

Edit: Also note the groom's high collar. Nobody wore those in the '40s.


DirectorTop233 t1_j9flvum wrote

Yes. That was my first thought also. The attire looks older than the 1940's.


BuildingAFuture21 t1_j9csqw5 wrote

It wouldn’t hurt to get an ancestry account for a bit so you can create a family tree with the people you do know. I’ve been able to ID two family member photos doing this. Other people will upload pics and know who it is…it’s crazy how much you can find. Some of it’s kinda fuzzy since census stuff was hand-written, but overall I’ve found it really useful.

You can pay for however long, and even when you stop, you can still log in and see what you already created. You just can’t add stuff without paying.


jargo1 t1_j9d8qsq wrote

Family Search is a free alternative to Ancestry and is actually incredibly thorough


Perrykat12 t1_j9da6ez wrote

I found more through family search than I did with Ancestry!


scouter t1_j9d80zd wrote

This. My wife had legacy photos that her mother was unable to identify (dementia), and we were able to use ancestry submissions to figure out some of the unknowns.


codeking12 t1_j9doqnu wrote

I just commented this! Such a great service and enjoyable experience. I even paid for a 6 month membership and really dug deep. It’s totally worth it to do and share with family that might continue the quest or who would have otherwise never known.


CrimsonKepala t1_j9dgx8u wrote

I've become the family tree historian of the family and I found it EXTREMELY helpful to digitize all of the photos (a major task, I know) and upload them to my google photos. Google photos is really smart about face matching, even across drastic age differences, and people in photos that I didn't recognize before, I realized who they were only after the face match suggestion was made by google photos. It's not a perfect system by any means, but I have been able to identify way more people by doing this.


cardew-vascular t1_j9e4v4k wrote

This happened to me when my grandmother died in 2005. My mom and I started searching the internet a few years ago and found out that all of the portrait style photos where taken by the same photographer (you could tell by the backdrop).

This photographer was notable in the city but his entire collection lost. Local historians were looking for his works as he was Vancouver's first Chinese photographer. He mostly photographed immigrant families and marginalised communities.

The city wanted to put together an exhibit and add his works to the archives, so we donated them and they were able to actually identify my non relatives because other families had also donated their photos.


Swordfish1929 t1_j9el6cp wrote

I would say the mid 20s given the length of the dress. Hem lines were at their shortest in about 1926 before starting to descend again but a wedding dress would have a longer hem anyway the very boxy tunic shape to the top invokes the earlier half of the decade to me so I would pin this in about 1925/6 but I'm not an expert or anything


somebodys_mom t1_j9e7uc2 wrote

If this was in your grandmother’s things, I would suspect it’s her parents, depending on your grandmother’s age. As others have said, it looks like they were married in maybe the early 1930s


allisawesome7777 t1_j9ez0ph wrote

I collect antique photos, and i would be overjoyed to give them a new home


Browncoat4Life t1_j9chb27 wrote

Would a DNA test through Ancestry maybe help? Might at least be able to narrow it down.


Bearcarnikki t1_j9f02in wrote

Take them to your local historical society. Even if it is tiny they will probably take them.


olympede t1_j9g96ov wrote

Is there an ethnographic/photographic museum that would be interested?


fire_butterf1y t1_j9dps1d wrote

These are the type of photos that Junk Journalers would love to have. Being one of them, I’m raising my hand. Happy to pay postage if you’re in the USA and your otherwise willing to part with them for free.


Lybychick t1_j9evtjc wrote

What is a “junk journaler”?


fire_butterf1y t1_j9ftvmx wrote

In my estimations, the best way for an ADD person to do their crafting. It’s basically using paper you might otherwise throw away to create journals. It’s turned into an industry of multi-media creations that are often more art journals than anything else. Some people collect them. Some people do write in them. YouTube is a great resource for more information.


sausage_k1ng t1_j9dhhzr wrote

Throw them away. We did. Found hundreds of old pics, and nobody had any idea who, when, nor where they were from. Two less Rubbermaid tubs to keep up with!!


codeking12 t1_j9doz9u wrote

I’m sorry but this is a terrible idea. There has to be a thousand more productive and creative things you could have done with them.


sausage_k1ng t1_j9ds4um wrote

Sorry, we’re not hoarders…


Galoptious t1_j9fhq6b wrote

If you had a tub of black and whites from the 30s or earlier, that’s not only a ton of history flushed, but also money.


turdferguson3891 t1_j9c4gte wrote

I make up back stories for them. She slowly poisoned him with arsenic and inherited his horse meat packing fortune before dying herself in a tragic dirigible accident.


pseudocultist t1_j9cgsxe wrote

We've done this with Glamor shots from Goodwill. "This is Cousin Iliana, last seen in 1987, not forgotten, we assume she joined a cult. She was always kind of taps head "


mikeonmaui t1_j9c6sh1 wrote

Here the the opportunity for you to have interesting and illustrious ancestors. As suggested here, make detailed and wild stories about who they are. Connect them with other photos of unknown people.


butterflypoo69 t1_j9ccnjh wrote

Who got the horses? That's important :0


milliescatmom t1_j9gf3mj wrote

I do art journaling. I love coming across a random treasure trove of “instant ancestors “ I use them in collages, maybe make up a story about them, make wedding, birthday, etc, all occasion cards


Pale-Entertainer-639 t1_j9gndfc wrote

Damn it, what I came here to say.
I used to love finding old photos in thrift stores and such and making up stories about who they were if people asked why I had the random photo of this random couple or something.


dizzydave79 t1_j9cb56q wrote

Just do what my great great aunt did. Write on the back "I don't know who these people are."


Sticky-Wicked t1_j9g2uzh wrote

Funny. But that is also very useful information for further investigation.


RoyH0bbs t1_j9d8tet wrote

It makes me sad to one day be a forgotten person in a photograph.


MrsRobertshaw t1_j9eb723 wrote

Grandma? Who’s the girl in the photo? The one in the boots with the fur?


irishlass5739 t1_j9cb8ev wrote

No, looks more like the 20's or earlier


NewtLeather5973 t1_j9c6m4x wrote

There's was not a happy marriage. But what it lacked in joy it made up for in efficiency and routine.


allorache t1_j9ddcms wrote

The bride definitely does not look happy!


vvavering_ t1_j9cm88m wrote

Is this from something? It’s tickling a memory at the back of my mind


MrsRobertshaw t1_j9eaxuv wrote

I know! Like the opening lines of a movie or something. A narrator talking over the top of a 1950s suburban scene right?


codeking12 t1_j9dpi2r wrote

People smiling in photos wasn’t always a common thing. It didn’t become a standard thing until the 20s and 30s so this might have predated that by a few years or they were late adopters. In Japan people didn’t smile in photos until after the back half of the 20th century.


Buffalo48 t1_j9c3f5w wrote

I looked at sold listing on ebay for vintage photos, it seems to me there is a market for it, but it appears a lot of it depends on the content of the photo.


MineNo5611 t1_j9cq5ue wrote

I mean no offense, but if you told me there were no biological women in this photo, I would believe you.


mrsmushroom t1_j9czdrj wrote

I was wondering why no one seemed to notice the woman in the front appears to be Trans.


butterflypoo69 t1_j9cdor3 wrote

There are people who, as a hobby or sometimes even a sort of profession, look for old photo albums in thrift stores and similar. Sometimes, they will try to find the people who owned the pictures, or even their descendants, and do so successfully. There are also what are called "found photos" - u/turdferguson3891 smartly mentioned these in his comment - these collectors take the old photos and make up back stories for them. I've done a few myself, it's fun.

In terms of format, and others can disagree with me, when you have a photograph where you can't identify everyone, it's ok to do something like this - "Bob Jones, unknown, Adam Smith, Betty Page, unknown" and similar.


ZenComanche t1_j9dn4ee wrote

Hold onto them. AI will figure out who they are soon.


moiecoute t1_j9c67ac wrote

Make a visit to the library. Some have or know digitising services. Do that and maybe 10, 20, 100 years from now others will be able to see it.


khleedril t1_j9crssh wrote

Absolutely scan/digitize them, if only for posterity. The originals will likely go black eventually.


Southall1960 t1_j9cbfhk wrote

Bride looks like a dude, fits well in today's society


leejtam t1_j9cl8tl wrote

This is def 1920s


PluckGT t1_j9e5zir wrote

That dude in the dress sure looks pissed


7042016566 t1_j9c7ivh wrote

Make greeting cards out of them


Ducatirules t1_j9d1fd0 wrote

Put glasses on her and she could be Frank Burns wife!!


amazonjazz t1_j9dxjpb wrote

The curved or "Tango" heel would have been out of fashion by 1925ish. I would look at records between 1920-1925


Stardust-Parade t1_j9cfl24 wrote

That wedding gown and veil is definitely from the 1920s.


DrVicenteBombadas t1_j9cmgm8 wrote

The lady is thinking "I gotta go feed them hogs!"


reddurty t1_j9cp9iy wrote

Some museums take vintage photographs


TheFuryIII t1_j9cryx1 wrote

The woman sitting down looks like me after a few too many cold snacks.


CdnKidz t1_j9cwfu9 wrote

My grandparents married in 1922. This looks almost exactly the same


zaftigquilter t1_j9d7ovo wrote

I think that it’s wonderful that you shared it with us on Reddit for us to admire and enjoy.


gheiminfantry t1_j9dgm78 wrote

Looks like great great grandma was a closet freak. Go granny!

Your local or state historical society may be interested in them for their research department. And it may be tax deductible.


Mbcb350 t1_j9drvrt wrote

I love this picture! She looks like she’s about done with this day & I think it might be because her shoes are too small.


mossimoto11 t1_j9dry2l wrote

My grandma has a bathroom full of old wedding photos from random people but if you ask her who someone is she’ll make up a story 😂


Special_Wishbone_812 t1_j9fco34 wrote

Depending on where your family lives/lived, there may be a local historical society or museum that would be interested. A ton of family stuff has been coming at me as my parents age and there aren’t many cousins in my generation. They may want me to hold onto it forever, but I’m already looking into how I can unload it in a way that isn’t wasteful or disrespectful.


lopedopenope t1_j9cmsbn wrote

At the latest 1930 I’d say


meabbott t1_j9cohsg wrote

These are citizens of Bampton swinging by Downton Abbey to have their photo taken.


crystalsaladsandwich t1_j9cwxr7 wrote

If there are any antique shops your area, many will take old photos. My local one actually has a group of little old ladies dedicated to identifying people in old photos.


palmveach1972 t1_j9d0cj6 wrote

My Grandparents have a very similar style wedding photo. They were married mid 1920’s.


maddhatter783 t1_j9d0f2k wrote

We've got a Walmart family on our wall we just embrace them as family. Heck maybe we'll make a story up about them.


ScallionMaximum234 t1_j9d9n2e wrote

Honestly what does it hurt to just simply store then in a storage container? Id like to think that photos of myself and family, would not get thrown to the garbage in the future.


Alostcord t1_j9dqkzr wrote

Personally…I’ve left instructions to burn every photo..if I haven’t already done so myself.

Before anyone losses their mind.. I don’t like the idea of old family photos ending up in some antique store, for others to fawn over and buy.


Toledociocia t1_j9eeyly wrote

This pic is closer to 1910-20. Looks like my grandmother’s era.


kllove t1_j9esdiq wrote

Ancestry. com is worth it. Built the tree, check photos other people submitted for your shared relatives, find a match for someone in this photo, then be able to identify other people in the photo from that match. I’ve done this a TON. I recently found a large family portrait on a farm and slowly matched all but two of the 20+ people in it based on my ancestry research.


arothmanmusic t1_j9ev8e3 wrote

I'm in the same boat. My grandparents are gone and my mom, their oldest kid, is also gone. She was the one who knew who people were. Her younger siblings don't. We have a lot of pics of people nobody can identify. I also have boxes of 35mm slides and 8mm films filled with strangers.

One day my kids will get access to an Amazon Photos account with thousands of images that mean nothing to them.


richardmac999 t1_j9f4o5u wrote

I post them and make up complicated stories about the people.


Calm_Acanthaceae7574 t1_j9f7kdf wrote

This looks like 1910ish. I have seen photographs like this dated 1913/14.


misspcv1996 t1_j9f9iej wrote

This has the late 20s or early 30s written all over it.


MazW t1_j9fsdp7 wrote

I was coming here to say exactly that. Shoes are 20s/early 30s and the bridesmaid's (?) hair the same. But then of course, the people could have been behind the fashion and it could be later.


DirectorTop233 t1_j9flh3e wrote

I would keep them, especially if they were in MY family's possession. More than likely, they're some VERY distant relatives. It would be a shame to throw them away (I think). Maybe, if time allows, you can do research on the pictures.


Lyonors t1_j9fu5oc wrote

This is somewhere between say 1917 and 1925. That’s a drop waist dress on the bride and that headpiece predates WWII by literal decades. If you have any interest in genealogy, or if anyone in your family does, please scan them and upload them to a family tree. You have a decent chance of figuring out who they are that way.


FartAttack911 t1_j9g0ahk wrote

1940? Whoa, this looks 10-15 years older than that, though I could be wrong of course lol


Lindaspike t1_j9gf692 wrote

more like the 1920s, i'd say.


SavorySouth t1_j9k1328 wrote

As others have posted, photo is 1920’s, likely 1918 -1925. My thoughts are: it’s a studio bridal portrait with high end florals. I think the ladies are sisters (bride & maid of honor). Likely age 18-22 at the time of the photo and would have been part of the great immigration (1892-1924) of 20M through Ellis Island into the US. They would have been their families first brides in the US and the photos reflects the prosperity reached…. Studio bridal portraits were a point of pride for immigrant families, sent as postcards back to the old country. Bride has a mid length graduated pearl necklace and white silk Mary Jane shoes (pumps meant you had teas and socials to go to that required this level of dress, otherwise it would have been brogues worn, shoes were expensive). The dress hem is a huge clue as to the date, shortest closest to 1930. This looks longer length. Bride is wearing Mary Jane shoes (not laced boots) popular and widely available 1920’s.

The headpiece with exposed hair is somewhat unusual as most brides would have their heads covered…like a cloche style headpiece in same fabric of the dress with tulle again to match the dress. Bride doesn’t have this, the “tulle fan” definitely starts behind her exposed hair and she also has a lot of her neck and some décolletage exposed. For a bride it’s way unusual and if you run across others photos with this look write down their name & possible ethnicity & location of the wedding…. my guess it it’s a Americanized spin on their old world European bridal traditional. It’s definitely an American wedding, those florals with the long ribboned streamers are US floral style. The florals are quite beautiful for the entire group, they paid top $ to have these in the photo & it’s meant to show the bride came from a family of means.

OP, on the reverse of the photos does it anywhere indicate the studio or location? It appears to be a studio portrait rather than on location at the bride’s family’s home. If so, that “window” in the back was used for a multitude of other wedding, baby and family portraits. You might just luck out and find that window in a image search & so find what city it was taken in.

If I’m correct and they are childhood immigrants or 1st gen, the Ellis Island records are pretty detailed. Problem is where to start. My suggestion is to do a family tree on both sides to get to wherever everyone was living in 1940 and go to the publicly accessible US census record for 1940. The ladies in the photos would be probably alive for the 1940 census. 1940 census indicates where they were born, almost always their maiden name & age. You can use that to start your Ellis Island search.


cosplayernerdgirl OP t1_j9k4sl7 wrote

Wow! Your amazing! This is so awesome.


SavorySouth t1_j9ka82c wrote

Thank you! For clothing, should you want to read up more, is a fabulous resource. & she has lots of links to those that collect vintage wedding photos and to wedding newspaper and magazine articles of the teens & 1920’s in the UK, AU & US.

Florals in the photo are amazing! Must be over 2 dz roses 🌹 in the brides beribboned bouquet alone!


Spade_137596 t1_j9c8s5k wrote

I had a box full of similar from my grandparents. As much as it pained me, I ended up throwing them away because no one in my family knew who they were and we have too much…stuff already.


Randell1970 t1_j9d0xhj wrote

If they’re vintage & cool!,,, keep them & make up stories..! 😂


Desperate_Context_15 t1_j9daztv wrote

That looks much older than 1940 based off the coloring and clothes. I’m thinking teens to 20s maybe


AJ_Mexico t1_j9ditc4 wrote

Ask not only relatives, but friends of the family. Post to DeadFred and


Terry_Dachtel t1_j9dpmjm wrote

Everyone in this picture except the balding guy in the back: hurry tf up


ChildrenotheWatchers t1_j9dywnl wrote

Someone on probably can tell you, if you have distant relatives who use that. Or you can ask the historical society if you know where the pictures were taken. Or a genealogy library or public library.

The city might publish weddings in the old newspapers.


8ladybug8 t1_j9e65mt wrote

I have a fair amount of old unmarked photos. I’m impressed with peoples ability to pinpoint to the 1920’s. Is there a online site that would make this easier for the rest of us?


duke_awapuhi t1_j9ec26h wrote

Haha this is a question I have for myself too. Honestly, I keep them all, but there are some who I have no idea who they are and never will lol.

Also, your picture looks mid to late 1920’s, not 40’s


FireInPaperBox t1_j9etkx5 wrote

It’s crazy to think the ppl in this photo have never seen a computer with internet, or used a GPS. So many things haven’t happened yet. I’m not sure what I would do with it either. If it’s just a few I’d keep them. Part of history now. Try to find out who’s in them.


Wee1ria t1_j9f3194 wrote

Even if you don’t know who they are now, down the road someone in your family may do the family tree and figure out who they are. I was able to identify people in photos for people I was distantly related to when I did mine. If you have the space, I would really recommend keeping it. It may be the only surviving copy.


GunnarKaasen t1_j9f7axv wrote

I’ve reached the age where my sister and I ARE the older generation in our family. She stuck me with “The Box” that has a lot of unsorted family pictures. Now I’m scanning them and sending her all the ones I can’t identify. If she doesn’t know either, no one else will ever know or care about those images. So I’m reluctantly deleting the remaining unknowns and tossing the original prints. I decided it’s OK to be sentimental, but probably less compelling to be sentimental about photos that could just as well be someone else’s family. Still, it’s hard.


FW190G t1_j9fc8ja wrote

the face of the bride does not portend much happiness


Hippie_Flip123 t1_j9fj306 wrote

Looks like the beginning of an unhappy marriage


jmfhokie t1_j9fjfiq wrote

All I can say is, that bride doesn’t look very happy at all lol


tawncat t1_j9fle44 wrote

Early early 1900’s though I’d say


true-skeptic t1_j9ftz8k wrote

I located distant relatives that were able to identify most of the people in my grandmother’s collection of old family photos. I labeled them all for any future generations of family that want to save them.


DriveLast t1_j9fu02d wrote

I’d be grateful that I came from such rich blood


goofballlovers t1_j9fz7vi wrote

Show to older members of family see what they say😯🤯🫣🥹🤔🫢😬😟


Acer018 t1_j9g7d9t wrote

I agree with the comments that this looks like a 1920's period wedding with the hairstyle and dresses. I never seen a wedding portrait with such unhappy looking people.


rockylafayette t1_j9g8yab wrote

Saving photos for the sake of sentimentality of someone else’s sentimentality is no way to go through life. You can donate them to charity and they might get picked up by local theaters for props or restaurants for decorations. You can also see if Society of American Archivists would like them.


jar1967 t1_j9gb4aa wrote

The bride and room do not appear to be happy


ZeeZeeX t1_j9gct4z wrote

I'd guess 1800s.


ahabthecrusader t1_j9gd02v wrote

I’m pretty sure the two at the bottom are Mickey and Mandy Milkovich. Two at the top are Phillip Gallagher and Sierra.


Tpeest t1_j9gec39 wrote

Local antique stores have stacks of old photos in every corner


joebarnette t1_j9gg4j6 wrote

at some point I wonder about AI doing facial recognition across something like and their databases of newspapers and personal submissions. It would/will surely end up with some folks finding relatives and identifying old photos like this.


Gzdad1999 t1_j9ggezj wrote

The bride was brave to be out back then!


TheGreekRoman t1_j9gi6j6 wrote

It’s potentially your family history, just keep hold of them and put them away in a box somewhere safe and leave them be, imagine your grandkids being able to look back to the 1920’s!


spiderborland t1_j9gmu69 wrote

I feel like it's just a matter of time before an AI will be able to at least take a guess at who a person is in every photo or painting ever. Facebook was already doing a "Is This You" feature a handful of years ago, and software has gotten a lot better. I wouldn't even be surprised that even if there wasn't a direct cross reference, that it could guess based on physical features and an understanding of how genetics work. Heck, as soon as I typed "physical features," the software could even take physical descriptions like "had a lazy eye" or even just "beard" and can narrow it down based on other features.

It's kind of cool... and a little creepy.


Environmental_Staff7 t1_j9f8gaf wrote

My brother puts them up in his house. Lol. Family portraits. Says they are his real family.


doomsdaybeast t1_j9dweqc wrote

What do you do about the most unhappy people I've ever seen, jeez


SirRidealot t1_j9e5m5t wrote

Throw them away. Life is about what we do when we’re alive, not about the stuff we get or the pictures we take. If there’s no one left, these photos have no value. If unsure, put them in a box, add a calendar note in five years. Then throw them away.


Zestyclose_Hippo8368 t1_j9esanf wrote

Man why do ladies from back then always look so manly my mom should me pictures of her aunt and cousin and i just thought wtf she look Hella manly


zooterlooter t1_j9emszx wrote

Feel sorry for the homey who married that homely woman.

Her feet are huge, that's a man.