Category Archives: Old Photos

7 Resources for Finding Vintage Images of Places in Your Family Tree

Unfortunately, time travel can’t take us back to experience the lives of our ancestors.

However, thanks to photography and the internet, it is possible to find images of the places where our ancestors lived.

Here are seven great places to locate vintage photos:

  • Local Public Libraries – Many local libraries have collections of old photographs, some of which are digitally available online
  • State Libraries – Most U.S. state libraries/archives have digital collections accessible online
  • Local Historical Societies – As with local libraries, historical societies have a vested interest in preserving old photographs documenting the history of a town
  • Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) – DPLA has a huge collection of historical items pertaining to locations across the United States
  • eBay – I frequently buy old postcards and photos of places found in my family tree. It’s not free, but is inexpensive.
  • Google Earth/Google Maps – Views aren’t vintage, but if you want to see buildings that are still standing or the spot where a house once stood, Google Earth and Google Maps are the websites to visit.
  • General search engine search – A Google Images search brought up many pictures of current views, some historical buildings, old postcards and even homes for sale! I would love to find one of the houses where my ancestors lived listed for sale online with photos of the interior as it looks today. That would be one of my best finds ever.

What kinds of images have I located for Calais, Washington, Maine?

  • Calais Free Library – This is a very small library, which has no online images. However, there is a genealogist/historian, who will try to honor requests. there is a link on the home page to the Digital Maine Repository, housed at the:
  • Maine State Library – There are quite a few images and documents on the Digital Maine Repository, including several early town maps:

The local historical society is the St. Croix Historical Society, which hosts a Facebook page with vintage photos and also has links to the really neat page (with school info back to 1852!) and their old postcard collection of Calais scenes.

The postcard at the top of this post might not look like anything special, but, at the least, my grandfather and great grandfather attended this school, which is no longer standing. I was also able to find an image of the Red Beach School House, down the road from Calais, where my grandmother and her father would have attended school:

The Digital Public Library of America didn’t have many vintage photos, aside from the cute little Calais Free Library:

EBay always has a nice selection of Calais postcards and I’ve purchased them many times in the past.

It doesn’t take much digging to find vintage images online. If you haven’t ever tried it, take a few moments to see what turns up. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Albert McCarley (1886-1969): Going Home

This cute little guy is Albert McCarley, born 18 March 1886, probably in San Jose, Santa Clara, California. He was the son of James Albert McCarley (1860-1929) and Margaret Theodosia (Tarplee) McCarley (1866-1941), both of whom were born in Iowa, but settled in Northern California. Albert was their only child.

In 1910, James was the proprietor of a livery stable, but by 1920, he owned his own orchard. The census taker indicated that James and Margaret had been married for 25 years, placing their marriage c1885, probably in California.

This couple hasn’t been found in 1900, but the McCarley family had already settled in San Jose by the time of the 1880 census, with 20 year old James at home with his parents and siblings.

By 1910, Albert was a young single man working as a driver in his father’s livery business. In 1920, Albert was still at home, but enumerated as divorced and working on a farm, presumably in his father’s orchard.

In 1930, Albert had moved on to a career selling plumbing supplies. In 1940, at the end of the Depression and just before World War II, Bert worked on a government sewer project and his last known occupation was steam fitter in industrial building construction in the 1950 census.

In between the 1910 and 1920 censuses, Albert, aka Bert, married Anna Kelliher on 31 October 1910 in Marin County, California.

They were the parents of Albert’s only child, a son.


Keith Anthony, born 13 May 1913, California; died 18 September 1964, Contra Costa County, California; married Ruth Etta Webster, 7 July 1934, Alameda County, California

Keith and Ruth were the parents of two children, one who passed away in 2012 and one who is still living.

Each of those children has two children, giving Albert four grandchildren.

Albert married (2) Frances (Oehlmann) Tischer on 27 August 1932, San Francisco, California. Like Albert, Frances was previously married and also had one child. They had no children together.

Albert and Frances (1886-1976) are buried together at Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose, Santa Clara, California.

Albert’s photo is going home to a great grandchild. Another antique homeless photo back in the family. 🙂

Eva Mae King (1878-1950): Going Home to Family

This vintage photo of Eva Mae King is my latest rescued find that is going home to a descendant. One of Eva’s grandchildren died a few years ago. As she had no children, I suspect an estate buyer might have come across this photo.

However, there are descendants through another grandchild, so her photo will have family members to cherish and care for it.

Eva Mae King was born 18 February 1878, probably in Lewiston, Androscoggin, Maine, the third of five children born to Charles Henry King, a machinist, and Abby Eustis Taylor.

Eva married Millard Parker Miles on 1 July 1898 in Lewiston, not long after Eva’s 20th birthday.

In 1900, Millard and Eva lived with her parents, but by 1910, had settled in Auburn, Androscoggin, Maine and had two daughters. Millard worked first as a “shoe operative,” but later became a shipping clerk with L.C. Creamery, where he worked until retirement.


  1. Florence Parker, born 24 August 1901; died 23 August 1960, Aubrn, Androscoggin, Maine; married John W. Trethewey, 15 August 1928, Androscoggin County, Maine
  2. Alberta King, born 15 October 1903; died May 1987, Concord, Merrimack, New Hampshire; married Linwood E. Taylor, 20 January 1928, Maine

Linwood and Alberta were the parents of five children, one of whom might still be living. Sadly, three of their children – Carlton, Thurley and Susan – all died in childhood. A fourth recently passed away.

John and Florence became the parents of twin girls, Gloria Bradford Trethewey and Marilyn Parker Trethewey. Both married, although Marilyn had no children.

This photo of Eva is going home to a great grandchild. 🙂