Photos & Postcards : Now & Then

The idea for doing a blog post on this has been rolling around in my mind for a long while. It comes out of two intersecting interests. The first is visiting places, many with ancestral ties, and second is collecting old postcards of places I have visited. I really did not have the idea to put them together until fairly recently and not with an eye to actually replicating the same vista as on a postcard—but I might try harder on that, in the future. I love using postcards to illustrate genealogy posts and stories as they are fairly easy to locate and many are in the public domain. This article has an extensive list of what is and is not in the public domain. Basically if was published before 1923 (even if copyrighted) and between 1923 and 1978 – without a public copyright notice, they are in the public domain. Please click on photo, especially the vertical ones to see complete images.


That said here are a few to get you started thinking about using postcards. This first pairing is of a photo I took in Stratford on Avon at the walkway “Church Avenue” up to Holy Trinity church. I bought the postcard (published 1901-1907) a few years after I took the photo. It seems to me that the original trees have been replanted.

The iconic Anne Hathway’s cottage in Stratford I have loved since I was a child. I have had the good fortune to have visited there twice. This lovely old postcard captures it in an earlier time probably 120 years ago. Note that the thatching has increased in thickness over the years.

REHOBOTH now RUMFORD, Rhode Island

The next pairing is not so precise as I don’t know exactly where on “Ten Mile River” the original was taken. Mine was on the southside in what is now Rumford, Rhode Island but was originally Rehoboth, Massachusetts. This would have been the southern-most boundary for the parcels on the original “Ring of Green” I purchased the postcard again, after I had taken the photo.

MONTACUTE, Somerset England

This next one is of a holiday rental called the “Tudor Rose” in Montacute, Somerset, England we stayed at for a week in 2019. This is a Grade II listed, 15th century cottage that sits right across the street from the National Trust Property “Montacute House”. Before it was a holiday house it was a tea room. Note on additional window was added in the last 100 years.

And since I mentioned Montacute House this pairing of the grand entrance.

SOUTH HARTING, Hampshire, England

This next pairing goes back to when my son lived in South Harting, Hampshire.

EDINBURGH CASTLE, Edinburgh, Scotland

My earliest views of Edinburgh were from postcards my parents sent back in the early 1970’s. However I did not travel there until 2016. We stayed on Johnston Terrace with lovely view of Edinburgh Castle.

DUNSTER YARN MARKET, Dunster, Somerset

This postcard is one of my favorites, for many reasons including the my tour guide Jean and Den. My photo pales in comparison….



And last but not least is the iconic Stonehenge. It appears that some of the lintels have been reset in the original positions.

I probably have enough of these to do a part two If I ever get ’round to it. Until then, if you aren’t using postcards in your genealogy—you may want to think about it.

© 2022 Kelly Wheaton All Rights Reserved.

3 Comments on “Photos & Postcards : Now & Then”

  1. Pingback: Photos and Postcards: Now and Then Part Two | Wheaton Wood

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