If you’ve been researching your family tree for long, you’ve discovered that you can’t be a genealogist without becoming a historian. Our ancestors lived through war, famine, great migrations and political debates that changed the face of a nation. They were young when America was young, and the country’s course was shaped by their hands.
To flesh out our ancestors’ lives—to understand the why’s—we need to be familiar with their world. By knowing something about social customs, politics, language, food, work conditions and wages, we’ll be that much closer to walking a mile in their shoes. We’ll never join in their conversation over dinner, but we can know what they ate and the current topics they may have discussed.
Thanks to the Internet, we can explore our ancestors’ history more easily than at any time in the past.
To begin your historical journey, visit these sites:
• Selected Civil War Photographs
• Encyclopedia of British History, 1700-1950
• The History Net
• American History
• Godey’s Lady’s Book
• American Memory