2022.05.04 – Searching on Photos


Searching on Photos
Submitted by Dale E. Lee

I was merrily scrolling through posts from the Facebook groups I’ve joined, looking for something interesting that did not have to do with a specific part of the world, and stumbled into an intriguing idea.

An Organization called Family History Fanatics claims that it is actually possible to find information on your relatives and ancestors by issuing searches on, of all things, Photos.

So how, you ask, can you search on photos, meaning the kind someone else may have stored?

In FamilySearch, there is a menu item called Memories. If you go to the Memories menu item before you go into any individual family member in your Family Tree, you’ll see a Find sub-menu item, and that’s were the fun begins.

When people add pictures to Memories, they normally add names, titles, dates, and descriptions and have tagged them to point to a particular ancestor as a way of showing why the pictures are meaningful. These descriptions can be used by the search engine to find things of interest. When you issue a search criteria and receive the results, you can then look to see if the descriptions contain information on your own ancestor, or if they have added a tag that points to that ancestor. But even if they haven’t, once the results are returned and you know it is applicable, you can tag it to them yourself! For example, you search on a ship they were on in the navy. Once you tag it, it will add a link from the picture to your own ancestor’s profile.

Being a little creative, you can search for things like:

  • Specific Military units
  • Schools
  • Ships
  • Historic events
  • Recipes
  • Grave stones
  • Draft cards
  • City, state or county names
  • Associations
  • Professional organizations
  • Etc.

Note, however, that if the originator of the picture has marked it as Private it won’t be shown to the public. So just because you don’t get back everything you think you should, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

Give it a try. It is possible that you could return far more than you expected!

To see the original video from Family History Fanatics see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3TtH_1KAwU

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