Use social history resources to learn more about your ancestors’ daily lives.
Your ancestor was not an island; he did not live in isolation. He had a family (sons, daughters, siblings, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and so on). He interacted with the people around him and the environment in which he lived. How was his daily life different from yours?
The websites presented here are just a sampling of what can be found on the Internet to help you learn about your ancestors’ family and home life. Use these website examples as a guide to customize searches for your specific research goal.
Family Life 1780 – 1820: During this period after the American Revolution, towns grew while new and existing cities experienced unprecedented growth. Men and women redefined their roles to meet the social, economic and political demands of a new government and society.
The Authentic History Center: Images of artifacts and historic sounds from American popular culture from the American Revolution era to present day.
Farm Life in the 18th Century: This article by Eugene Scheel, historian and mapmaker, talks about farm life in early Virginia.
Courtship and Marriage in the Eighteenth Century: Courtship, engagement, and marriage rituals.
Farm Wife, 1900: A description of farm life written at the turn of the twentieth century by an anonymous woman who had secret aspirations to be a writer.
How large was their family?
How many sons? Daughters?
How far apart in age were the children?
Were there extended family members living with them?
How old were they when they got married?
How did they choose the names for their children?
What chores did the children have?
Were there special stories handed down by grandparents?
Did the family have pets? What were their names?
Did the family keep in touch with relatives, near and far?
Who was the oldest relative you remember as a child?
Did more than one generation live together?
What were the courtship practices?
Updated July 2017