Combining Family History with Social History

In 2000 I made a spiral-bound book on the Taylor family to distribute to family members. It contained two pages for each family. The first page included the vital statistics: first, middle, and last name; birth date; place of birth; country of birth, and date of death for each family member. Because I started with my grandparents going forward in time to the present, the second page included a picture of each family member.

Between 2000 and the present, I have researched past Taylor families including several generations in Newfoundland. Again, I would like to create a book to send to family members. However, I do not believe sending vital statistics and a few photographs will catch their interest. What I would like to do is find out more information about the kind of lives past relatives lived. What were their daily lives like? What were their concerns? What hardships did they have to overcome? The problem was where do I find this information?

Then I found the solution in the book titled, “Bringing Your Family History to Life through Social History,” by Katherine Scott Sturdevant. [See book reference at end of page.] The author explains how using the ideas, methods, and sources for building historical context around genealogical information, and where to find it. By adding depth, detail, and drama to your relative’s lives, it makes them more interesting.

Sturdevant, Katherine Scott, Bringing Your Family History to Life through Social History, Betterway Books, Cincinnati, OH, 2000. ISBN # 1-55870-510-4.