I came across this article this morning and thought I would share. If your family lived in the City, they would have seen these scenes. The photos are worth the time to view.
This guy used over 80,000 old photos to create a Google Street map of New York City in the 1800s
The project, called OldNYC, lets you browse 19th-century New York as easily as you would click around on Google Maps.
Click on this link to see the map - ARTICLE MAP AND PHOTOS