Dating Old Family Photographs

Two vintage photographs compared

These images from my collection of old family photographs are of my maternal grandfather William Henry Tyson a veteran of the First World War and before that the Boer War.

Bill Tyson
Bill Tyson

I’m not sure when the photo above was taken but grandad Bill died in 1945 aged 69. He is seen here standing outside his house in Kenway Road, Earls Court, London. Granddad was a stallholder in North End Road market in Fulham where he originally lived. I believe he in fact at one time owned three stalls selling vegetables, flowers and fish. Quite an entrepreneur, he even sold home-made ice cream to local people.

Is it the same person?

William H Tyson With flowers (edited)

I had just downloaded the image to this post when something began to puzzle me. I had assumed it was my grandfather proudly showing off some of the flowers he sold, but looking at the face it seemed a different person; related almost certainly, but somehow different.  I am not sure when it was taken but it has distinctly sepia tones and more faded, so I presume older. Is this perhaps my great grandfather who I believe was a flower seller too?  – Or am I mistaken again?

Need some specialist advice?  This book by Jayne Shrimpton a leading expert on old family photographs is amazing.

Dating family Photographs, including chapters on recognizing different types of photos, investigating photographers, dating professional photos. Includes chapters on professional photos, inherited photo albums and status, age & likeness. Exploring past lives through weddings, home, work, leisure and war.
There is also advice on preserving old photos.

Tracing Your Ancestors Through Family Photographs

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