Tips for Searching Our Site

The search bar is located in the top right corner
Each photo has keywords attached, helping in the identity process


  • Surnames/Last Names - There are millions of surnames in the world and we are entering more on the site every week. Do not get discouraged if you do not find the name you are looking for, check back regularly.  Start with your surname, try grandparent’s surnames, cousins,  and other family, and friends.You can download the following document to see a list of surnames we currently have on our site.
  • Surname List Surname List (18 KB)

  • Location - Not all photos will have a city or state associated with it. For the most accurate search, use the full state name not abbreviations. Try searching by country, if ancestors have come from a country that no longer exits, for example Prussia or East Germany, search by the old name.  Other good location searches include major attractions, functions or regions such as "Disney Land", "Fort Bragg" or  "East Coast".

  • Keywords are KEY - All photos have been categorized with the information given by the person who submitted it and the same photo may be returned as a result in several different keyword searches.  For example, a picture of a couple in front of a grocery store with a man in uniform may be listed by several family surnames, the states they are from, state the picture was taken in, the country they are from, the location or name of the store and the branch of service represented by the uniform.

  • Search by Categories -We have a lot of interesting photos dating from the 1860’s to present, the more general your search the more results you will get [ war vs. WWII ].  We even have photos of foreign military and photos found after a natural disaster, you can search by type i.e., tornado, flood or fire.

  • Be Specific - Searching for very specific words can take longer, but it can be effective if you have search terms that are well known words such as the name of a boat, the place of a battle or a name like John B. Doe

  • Spelling & Grammar Count - Our search function takes it's job very seriously...if someone puts the word "OWNER" in their description and you search for the word "OWNERS" you may not get their picture in your results list. Be sure to try all the possibilities!

  • Read the stories behind the picture - Detailed stories about our submitted photos can be read on our blog.