“What is Social History and Why Should a Genealogist Care?”

I attended a webinar last night from the Minnesota Genealogical Society that was FANTASTIC!

Annette Lyttle presented “What is Social History and Why Should a Genealogist Care? Her presentation was chock full of interesting information and websites that we can utilize to learn more about our ancestors’ daily lives.

We all research the big life events such as wars and immigration, but the case studies that Annette used last night were interesting in that they examined our ancestors’ lives without using what is called “presentism”. It is important that we put their lives in the context of their “present” and not our “present”, if that makes any sense.

Once of the websites she recommended was Envision the Past. I was a bit hesitant in the fact that this website focusses on the Great Lake States and with my research being mainly based in French Quebec, I didn’t think the website would really offer me much.

I was happily surprised that the above website lead me to a book that was first  published in 1852 titled “Roughing it in the Bush” by Susanna Moodie. This is an account of her life as she immigrated and settled into life in her new home in Upper Canada during the 1830’s.

I read quite a few pages before bed last night and I can’t wait to go home and read some more. I think this book will give quite a bit of insight into the trials, tribulations and hopefully successes that my ancestors had while living in the bush.

I believe the webinar is now only available to members, but check out the above website and see if maybe you can find something that can help you put the lives of your ancestors into historical context.

Thanks for reading and happy digging!





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