TheI've been given an old family photo album. It came from my great uncle and it's one of those really frustrating albums where none of the photos have names associated with them.

The spine of the poorly-looking album has torn in half, and a music box that was encased in the back is well beyond playing its creepy, tinkling tune, rattling about in the void.

I say none of the photos have names. That's a lie as three of them do have writing on the back and do prove that this is a genuine photo album from our family, and not some random collection of photos picked up at a car boot sale for a couple of quid.

The poorly spine of the photo album

One of them is named "Mr R. J. Whipp", most likely my 3x great-uncle, another has the name and rough address of a Mrs Hearn. Some more detective work will be needed to pin down exactly which Mrs Hearn that was.


The third is writing that has been heavily blacked out and barely readable. The picture appears to be a Victorian post-mortem photograph of a mother holding her dead daughter.

With these few clues to go on, I'd love to be able to put names to all the faces.

So, and this is a bit of a long shot, I'm putting these wonderful photos online to see if anyone is able to identify them.

They're mainly photographic studio shots, so there are the names and locations of the studios. Some of the locations tie in with places I know ancestors originated from (Reading, west London, and Lynn), some (eg. Glasgow) weren't expected along that branch of our family. 

What I'm really hoping is that, somewhere, the records of those photographic studios still exist.

I'll be checking museums, libraries and archives, as well as the internet, for traces of these records as some of the photos have index numbers on the back used for reordering. Maybe, just maybe, the details of the subjects and person who ordered them are kept somewhere.
Most of the photos are carte de visite format, dating them late 1850s-c1910; a few are cabinet card format, dating them to 1866-c1914. I've added all the photos to the album here, and I'll be sharing them one a day on social media too.

And this is where I need your help

If you recognise anyone in the photos, or have leads as to where more information could be found, please either comment on the relevant photo(s) or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

View the Mystery Photo Album »