Forums > Off-Topic Discussion > Oldest photo in your family

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 21651

Portland, Oregon, US

What's the oldest photograph in your family?  Does it have a story?  Show it if you can.


I don't have a digital copy (something that I will correct someday), but there is a picture of my 3 year old father, taken around 1920 -- he is sitting on his mother's knee with his father standing behind.  It was before my two younger aunts were born.  The sad part is that my father's father died when my father was 10 or 11 -- clearly, I never met him.

Oct 11 12 09:24 am Link

Photographer

Orca Bay Images

Posts: 32233

Woodinville, Washington, US

My mom (96 years old) has a painted portrait photograph of her mother, taken (I think) around 1905-1910.

Oct 11 12 09:30 am Link

Photographer

Gianantonio

Posts: 8038

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

I have a photo of my Grandfather (Mother's side) in his corner grocery store from (I think) the 1920s).

Oct 11 12 09:35 am Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 38558

Portland, Oregon, US

Great question...

I will have to ask around in the family as I have never thought to look into it.

So far, the oldest I can find is estimated as 1861, a photo of my great great grandfather.

Oct 11 12 09:38 am Link

Model

P I X I E

Posts: 35327

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I think it is a photo of my great grandmother, on my mom's side (her father's mom), from 1905-1910. It was sent in a letter to her soon-to-be husband.

Oct 11 12 09:40 am Link

Photographer

MesmerEyes Photography

Posts: 3029

Tyler, Texas, US

Late 1800's not sure of the exact year. It's a tin type.

Oct 11 12 09:41 am Link

Photographer

NothingIsRealButTheGirl

Posts: 33559

Los Angeles, California, US

Oct 11 12 09:53 am Link

Model

Kelli

Posts: 24344

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I recently did a lot of genealogy work and was able to locate multiple old photographers. It's been an amazing experience.

Oct 11 12 09:54 am Link

Photographer

NothingIsRealButTheGirl

Posts: 33559

Los Angeles, California, US

Oct 11 12 09:55 am Link

Photographer

Eridu

Posts: 623

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Several Civil War-era images via a Family Bible that has wedding/death dates in it going back as far as 1836. Another fantastic image of my Grandmother as a 6 year old child, pushing a toy stroller at what I suspect was a Revival Tent Meeting.

Oct 11 12 10:27 am Link

Model

DivaEroticus

Posts: 14716

Fayetteville, Arkansas, US

I have one of my great uncle The Honorable James Vincent Coffey, just of the Superior Courts of the City and County of San Francisco.  It was taken some time prior to his 1919 death.

But I have a few of my father taken in 1914-16 when he was a famous diver and swimmer.

Oct 11 12 11:02 am Link

Photographer

-The Dave-

Posts: 8626

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Early 1800's from what I can tell...
http://www.daplv.com/MM/Scan_AP323.jpg

I have tons of old family pictures, problem is, I have no idea who is in most of them as most had names written in pencil on the back and it's really hard to read them.

Another...

http://www.daplv.com/MM/Scan_AP199.jpg

Oct 11 12 11:18 am Link

Photographer

-The Dave-

Posts: 8626

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Here is another, not quite sure what it is, looks like a photo but I think this was done before cameras as the backing says something about painted & crayons.  Circa 1780ish from the family records.

http://www.daplv.com/MM/Scan_AP263.jpg

http://www.daplv.com/MM/Scan_AP264.jpg

Oct 11 12 11:22 am Link

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 21651

Portland, Oregon, US

Wow -- this is great stuff.  I thought my ~1920 pictures was going to be among the oldest.  For the record, my grandparents on both sides were immigrants, coming over in the 1910s.  In fact, I don't know if any of them spoke English (Dad's dad died before I was born; mom's parents died when I was 2 or 3; Grandma Bertha spoke Yiddish primarily).

Oct 11 12 12:09 pm Link

Model

Bella la Bell

Posts: 4451

Kansas City, Missouri, US

It has to be the only photo of my great great great grandmother on her tribes' land before everyone was moved to OK and before she was a slave, I guess maybe 1860's time frame. I am unsure of the location or much about it. But every year when the family gets together my uncle from Canada makes sure to bring EVERYTHING about the family history books. This includes a copy of this image and even some photos of paints of people in our family... It is very interesting to look at the books and have him tell me stories about the family. I really enjoy the fact that he keeps such detailed records. Maybe when he passes on at a ripe old age, I will get to keep up with the family history books. big_smile

I will have to ask him for a copy some day soon! Wish I could post it on here. Love seeing everyone's images!

Oct 11 12 12:14 pm Link

Photographer

-The Dave-

Posts: 8626

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Looknsee Photography wrote:
Wow -- this is great stuff.  I thought my ~1920 pictures was going to be among the oldest.

smile I have cameras dating back that far...

This is my grandfathers 1928 Speed Graphics he used before the war, took this pic just last week of it.

http://www.daplv.com/MM/DP7_6519.jpg

and his business card, circa 1930ish

http://www.daplv.com/MM/B-CARD-Gramps.jpg
Same camera, I also have the reflector & lens hood that is on his b-card, just no flash bulbs that size.

Yes, I am a hoarder... smile

Oct 11 12 12:29 pm Link

Photographer

GCobb Photography

Posts: 15894

Southaven, Mississippi, US

I've got a picture of downtown Memphis from 1938 and I believe one of my grandfather I never met.  He's in a t-model or something, old yellow photo.  I'm pretty sure it was long before 1938 though.

Oct 11 12 12:32 pm Link

Photographer

Dannielle Levan

Posts: 12857

New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

http://www.teara.govt.nz/files/T097_2-041822tekiri.jpg

Heni Te Kiri Karamu, i'm not sure when this was taken...early in the 1900s i think. my uncle has the original back in NZ somewhere.
She was a female Maori warrior and person of great 'mana' (very accomplished) in my culture.
She's also a war hero. Her story is here: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t43/1

My great uncle wrote a more thorough biography on her.

Oct 11 12 02:14 pm Link

Model

DivaEroticus

Posts: 14716

Fayetteville, Arkansas, US

Here's a picture of Judge Coffey from 1906:

http://ia600603.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/23/items/souvenirofdrhyde00coff/souvenirofdrhyde00coff_jp2.zip&file=souvenirofdrhyde00coff_jp2/souvenirofdrhyde00coff_0025.jp2&scale=4&rotate=0

Oct 11 12 02:25 pm Link