Old family photos portraying children

Pictures of children are dear to us all and the old ones may be even more of a gift. What did mom or dad look like when they were small? Do I look like them? Do the grandchildren resemble them?  

A boy from Notodden.

The pictures can be funny, showing old fashions in clothes, helping us determine the period it was taken and so on. If we know one person in the picture, we can probably work out who the others are.

The two first pictures in this post show the same boy. In the first picture, I believe he is about 17 months old, born in 1928. The picture is taken in the industrial town of Notodden. The reason I believe it is summer, is that his shirt is short-sleeved. And he looks like he is about a year old and I know he was born in in February 1927. Does it look like a girl’s outfit? And he has long blond hair. Sometimes the clothes for boys and girls for this time period are similar. I have a picture of his brother with another boy. The boy looks like he is wearing a dress. So that was probably how they dressed back then.

Blomster Ole”

The second picture was taken when the boy was four or five. His mother had a flower and vegetable shop. So when he became older, he had to help deliver flowers all around town. His nickname then was “blomster Ole” (flower Ole). Holding so many tulips was probably a way of showing affluence, I believe they were costly at that time and grown in his mother’s greenhouse.

Where do we find pictures of the children in the family?

  • Does your brother or sister have the family collection?
  • Or should we go further to cousins? I have many pictures of my first cousins when they were children, their mothers wanted to share and sent letters to their siblings containing photos.
  • In picture books from a “bygd”, a township or area. In Norway we can find pictures of groups of people all the way back to the 1890’s participating in marriages or funerals. Children attended these events.
  • And pictures were taken of the whole family group. The oldest I have is from the 1860’s, showing my great-grandmother with her parents, her age is at about 10 at the time.
  • Go to a Facebook page from your area of interest and see what you can find. I posted this picture of the three boys, presuming I knew who they were. I was WRONG. The son of one of the boys could tell me the exact street address where the picture was taken and who the boys were. It made sense that it was in my family’s possession.
Three boys from Rjukan.

If you want to see more pictures of Norwegian children (barn), you can find more than 90,000 pictures here at  DigitaltMuseum. They have more than 2 million photos in total. You can, of course, limit the search by using additional search terms, for example: gutt (boy), jente (girl) fiske (fishing) and hest (horse).

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