Tracing Your Ancestors’ Lives: A Guide to Social History for Family Historians

By Barbara J Starmans

Published by Pen & Sword

Who doesn’t wish that they could travel back in time and meet their ancestors?

Tracing Your Ancestors’ Lives is not a comprehensive study of social history but instead an exploration of the various aspects of social history of particular interest to the family historian. It has been written to help researchers to go beyond the names, dates and places in their pedigree back to the time when their ancestors lived. Through the research advice, resources and case studies in the book, researchers can learn about their ancestors, their families and the society they lived in and record their stories for generations to come.

Each chapter highlights an important general area of study. Topics covered include the family and society; domestic life; birth life and death; work, wages and economy; community, religion and government. Barbara J. Starmans’ handbook encourages family historians to immerse themselves more deeply in their ancestors time and place. Her work will give researchers a fascinating insight into what their ancestors lives were like.

Most instructional books written for genealogists focus on discovering names, dates and places and extending the ancestral line. Instead, this book provides the family historian with a guide to researching beyond the life events of their ancestors and encourage them to immerse themselves in the time and place of their research. In this way they will be able to truly know what their ancestor’s lives were like, almost as though they could draw up a chair by the ancestral hearth and enjoy a chat and a cup of tea.

By learning about the social history of their forbears, family historians can move beyond the who, when and where to uncover the how and the why of their family story, leading to a much richer ancestral tapestry. For it is the stories and the context of family history that absolutely capture our imagination in a way that a pedigree chart never could.

Tracing Your Ancestors Lives