Episode 60: Finding Pictures Of Your Civil War Ancestors

My mom gave me all the family photos. The earliest photo on my dad’s side dates to 1895. On her side, a cousin connected with me images from that time frame as well.  All the pictures came from relatives. Now imagine a serendipitous family photo find. One that you didn’t expect. That’s what happened to me on an ordinary day no searching required. 

Photo historian William Darrah in his book Cartes de Visite  mentioned that that every Civil War soldier was photographed.  That statement isn’t as odd as it appears. There were approximately 3,000 photographers working during the war.  Many of those soldiers visited studios to send home an image of themselves. Some posed before they left home. Mathew Brady’s photographers and many other photographers traveled with the troops.   

Do you have a photo of your Civil War ancestor?  Until last week, I didn’t. A number of people wrote and asked if I could talk more about finding Civil War photos.  Let me know if you locate the images you’re seeking.  

Don’t forget to download the PDF that goes with this episode. 

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About Maureen Taylor:

Maureen is a frequent keynote speaker on photo identification, photograph preservation, and family history at historical and genealogical societies, museums, conferences, libraries, and other organizations across the U.S., London and Canada.  She’s the author of several books and hundreds of articles and her television appearances include The View and The Today Show (where she researched and presented a complete family tree for host Meredith Vieira).  She’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, The Boston Globe, Martha Stewart Living, Germany’s top newspaper Der Spiegel, American Spirit, and The New York Times. Maureen was recently a spokesperson and photograph expert for MyHeritage.com, an internationally known family history website and also writes guidebooks, scholarly articles and online columns for such media as Smithsonian.com. Learn more at Maureentaylor.com

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