The Photo Detective
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Photo historian, photo preservationist and genealogist Maureen Taylor answers your questions about family photos from the daguerreotype era to digital.

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    Wedding Clues, Rootstech Tips

    Rootstech is the largest genealogy conference in the U.S. if not the world. Seriously!  This is one conference you have to prepare for, so in this episode I am sharing some tips. Since this episode taped on Valentine's Day it's appropriate to talk about clues in wedding photos. You'll learn what clues hint at marriage and how to find out more.

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    Old Providence - Time Travel At Your Desk

    I love my city.  It now shows. I have a new website: It runs on ChronoCharts, an interactive web platform developed by GeneaLabs, bringing historical maps and photos together. Images of buildings are pinned to a historical map based on their date of construction. Historical information is available. You can add your knowledge of a marker in the comments too.

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    Charting Your Family History

    Family tree charts have come a long way from the ones our nineteenth-century ancestors framed.  Janet Horvoka of Family Chartmasters joins me to chat about charts.  I guarantee after listening you'll want one.  I know I do.

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    DNA And Your Photos

    Raise your hand if you've taken a DNA test or given one to a family member.  Joining me this week is Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide.   She's among the industry leaders teaching us about how to use DNA for family history research.  You won't forget one of Diahan's lectures!

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    Making The Last Muster Movie

    It's true. Three of the profiles in The Last Muster series are now short documentary films, called A Trio of Revolutionary Voices.  Pamela Pacelli Cooper, President of Verissima Productions and her husband Rob Cooper helped make this dream a reality. Your support of our Kickstarter campaign did too. Don't miss this episode of how we turned a non-fiction work into a film.

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    A VividPix Redux

    Randy Fredlund of Vivid-Pix joined me to talk about imaging and how Vivid-pix works. He's the co-founder of the company.  It's a magical product. Upload an image and take your pick of the enhanced version you like. You can tweak it further too.

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    Civil War Photo Sleuth

    You won't believe what Civil War historian, Kurt Luther,  has created.  Civil War Photo Sleuth is a gathering place for images and information.

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    Christopher Desmond of MemoryWeb joined me for another episode of my podcast to share their big news.  MemoryWeb is now available for Android's and for your desktop.  They'll be rolling out improvements to these versions so that functionality will eventually match what's available through their IOS app.

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    The Literary Detective

    A few weeks ago, I interviewed author Paul Collins, The Literary Detective, about his new book, Blood and Ivy: The 1849 Murder that Scandalized Harvard.  It has a connection to a photo I found. Really!  I'm a huge fan of his.   Listen in and find out why.

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    The Gravestone Girls

    Brenda of the Gravestone Girls was on recently to talk about all things relating to gravestones and their preservation work.  We also chat about postmortem images.

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    If you’re like me, then you have photographs or scans of documents that can use a little touch-up. Vivid-Pix’s Restore software makes that easy. No more complicated solutions. Upload a picture to the software and quickly correct color, contrast, and brightness.

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    GenerationStory App

    A trip to the local outdoor flea market taught me a few things about how non-genealogists feel about pictures. Today my guest is Shannon Uschold of GenerationStory, a free iOS and desktop app to help you save the stories of family artifacts. She released the GenerationStory app in 2015.

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    Found Photos & My Unexpected Discovery

    A story about one woman's photo discovery at Goodwill made the news. It made me think about the photo terminology you see online. What's a found photo? What's an orphan photo? I gave these questions a lot of thought and came up with an opinion. Listen in and let me know if you agree.

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    Stop Trashing Photos

    My daughter's teary eyes at discovering a tossed photo were the inspiration for a recent blog post, "Let's Stop Trashing Family Photos".  It struck a nerve with my readers too.  My inbox and FB page were flooded with responses. Listen to their emails in this edition of The Photo Detective.

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    Finding Family on Ebay

    Just about anything can be listed on eBay. In this episode of The Photo Detective, you'll learn how to search for family materials and how to set up an alert so you'll never miss a "lost" family item.

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    Episode 15: MemoryWeb

    If you've ever wondered how to connect all your family photos with your genealogy, then you need to listen to this episode of The Photo Detective Podcast. My guest is Christopher Desmond of Memory Web.

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    Episode 14: Finding Family Photos

    A listener, Deborah Stock,  asked me to talk about how to find family photos. There are photos everywhere from genealogical databases, to books. There is no quick way to search for photos online. It takes time and methodology.

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    Episode 13: Ancestry Search Tips

    In this episode of The Photo Detective, Julianna Szucs of explains how to search this mega genealogy site.  She covers general search strategies, global searches, category searches as well as how to find what you need in individual collections.  My personal favorite tip is how to use three different types of wildcard searches.  I guarantee this episode will change how you use

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    Episode 11: My Heritage Photo Discoveries

    Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage was my guest this month. We did a demo of one of the really cool features of their instant discoveries option. Follow along as Daniel and I discuss how to get the most out of your Premium Plus or Complete subscription.

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    Episode 10: Animoto

    In this episode we take a look at how I use Animoto to create family history and house history videos. I give a live photo consult on a picture submitted by a viewer, then I discuss scanning tintypes.

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    Episode 9: Family History Videos

    In this episode of Ask Maureen, Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, shares: what do you see in a photo; photo preservation tips; big surprise for next month; Extreme Genes' discussion on houses in photos and reverse genealogy and photographs. Thank you for listening!

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    Episode 7: Orphan Photos

    In this episode Maureen unravels threads of a complex photo mystery that involves two orphan photos taken nearly 50 years apart and newspaper clippings spanning 16 years all discovered together in one frame. She also weighs in on the recent Amelia Earhart photo mystery.  If you are curious how a photo consult works, this episode of Ask Maureen provides a glimpse behind the curtain to see what Maureen can help you to discover. (Visit for more details and to view the pictures.)

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    Episode 6: Photo Tips & Tricks

    In this episode of Ask Maureen, Maureen gives some great tips and points the way to some great resources, including some recent podcast appearances. What do you do with that box of photos with no names?  How do you scan originals vs. slide copies? How should you deal with old black paper photo albums? Plus, you are invited to help The Photo Detective by participating in a survey about photo ID  problems. Can you help?

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    Episode 5: MetaData & Online Posting

    Metadata and online-posting best practices are the focus of this episode. What is metadata and why is important?  What are the ethics and etiquette of photo sharing? Maureen also answers a question, with a cool example, about lantern slides.

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    Episode 4: The Last Muster

    After a dozen years of searching, there are still new photographs popping up. These men and women experienced the Revolutionary War period and lived long enough to be photographed.  Do you have one in your collection?  Listen in to learn more about The Last Muster project.

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    Episode 3: Answering Listener’s Questions

    Ask Maureen Facebook Live events are your chance to ask your photo related questions.  Think about your number one concern. Is it unidentified images? Preserving photos? Organizing them for the next generation? Or maybe you want to know more about sharing pictures.  Go ahead and ask. I'm listening.  You can submit your question here.  Here are this month's answers to questions from followers.

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    Episode 2: Ask Maureen

    Maureen answers several great questions about identifying Orphan Photos, Conservation of Photos printed on Fabric, looking for clues in tin-types and locating information about old photo studios. Additionally, she provides some terrific resources for finding more ancestral photos and uploading photos to

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