Katherine Scott Sturdevant, a special guest alumni, discusses in her book Bringing your Family History to Life Through Social History, different ways to tell your family story. Whether you plan to write a book or you just want to deepen your research, it is a must-have for all family historians.
What is social history? According to Katherine, social history Is a study of trends and how they affect the masses. Whereas general history studies highlight the event and the political aspects, social history examines the people aspects of the event. It is also more inclusive of voices from marginalized groups than traditional history.
How do you add social history to your family history research? One way is to think about the sister subjects and subfields of social history,
- If you are searching for an immigrant, while looking for the record you should also learn about immigration history during the time period with your ancestors arrived. Each time.
- If you are looking for 18th and 19th-century women while trying to find a maiden name, take a look at Women’s history during the time period.
- If you are researching ancestors who spent a long time clustered in a particular community, research to find Community histories either of your location or within the locale of your ancestral community. Often ethnic clusters overstepped municipal boundaries.
- If you are researching an ancestor during a time period of upheaval such as the Civil War reconstruction, or civil rights, look for information on protest and reform history during the time period and in your location
- If you are researching an ethnic ancestor, Learn more about their experience with ethnicity history in America during the time period they were here.
- If you are researching your ancestor’s occupation, locate text on labor history based off of your ancestor’s work.