Social History invites you to take a peek into the everyday life of your ancestors and reveals their interactions with their friends and their families. No one lives in a vacuum. We take on many, many roles during our lifetime. It was no different for your female ancestors. They fulfilled many roles, especially as Grandmothers, Mothers and Daughters within their family units. They were also cooks, teachers, housewives, event planners and chauffeurs – and that’s only in the home! Occupations will vary depending on their residence and the time period they lived in. Some common occupations include: seamstress, servant, domestic, bookkeeper, teacher, nurse, and so many more.
They belonged to organizations, such as church guilds and charities. The potential list is endless. They participated in community life and they made contributions that may or may not be recorded. Resources may not be in the usual places. We need to think outside of the usual documents and search for clues related to their interests and local commitments within their communities. They may be behind the scenes, but don’t let their involvement be forgotten.
Create a list of possible sources to include in your Research Plan. Do you know what her interests were? Do you have an occupation for her on her marriage record or a census record? Have you searched community newspaper articles to find activities she participated in? These are just a few suggestions to get you thinking. Where will you look?
Further information on researching your female ancestors can be found in the National Institutes for Genealogical Studies course: Research: Grandmothers, Mothers & Daughters – Tracing Women