When These People Recreate Old Photos of Their Ancestors, Something Surprising and Powerful Happens

BuzzFeed recently gave five people throwback makeovers to recreate old family photos. The twist? All of their ancestors were immigrants and tell amazing stories of courage, strength and perseverance.

Meet Andy. He recreates a photo of his great-great-grandfather, and the story behind it is beyond inspiring. You see, Andy’s ancestor fled Northern Iran in the face of extreme persecution. His great-great-grandfather was captured and told he would be shot if he didn’t reject his Christian faith. He refused to turn away from Christ and the shooter pulled the trigger, but the bullet didn’t fire and he escaped.


Chris’ father came to America in the ’60s. For Chris, it was always tough to be an Asian American, but today he’s proud of his heritage.

“It can take second-generation kids a little longer than other kids to develop that feeling of self-worth,” Chris says.


Jenny’s grandmother immigrated from Cuba in 1967. Her grandmother had to leave everything behind and boarded the flight with just the clothes on her back.

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When Jenny sees herself, she’s overwhelmed and identifies strongly with her grandmother—”It just feels like I’ve been through a lot,” Jenny says.


Ochi’s grandmother immigrated from Mexico in the ’50s.

“I’m so emotional right now. She’s at the end of her life and I wish I would’ve appreciated her more. … Knowing the sacrifices she made and all the things she did for her family—I just wish I had understood that and appreciated it when I was younger,” Ochi says.


Selorm’s mom came from Ghana in 1979. Her mom lost both her parents by the time she was 10.

When Serlom sees herself, she can’t help but cover her mouth from excitement. “I only know the cultural things she passed down to me, so to be able to wear this and have a connection to not only her but also my grandmother who owned this, is really nice because I don’t always get to share those things with her,” Serlom says.

Does your family have an interesting immigrant story? Share it in the comments below.

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