With our group of family historians we are learning about genealogical methods and thinking about new ways to do research into our families’ pasts. We are attending a series of training events, including at the Local and Family History library in Leeds Central Library, the University of Leeds Special Collections, the West Yorkshire Archives, and with expert family historian Jackie Depelle. Through our research we want to find out about the conditions of everyday life for our ancestors and one way of doing that is by learning more about the wider social history of the time and place that they lived. And as well as discovering information in libraries and archives, we are thinking about how we can learn about our past through objects, stories and memories held within the family.
We are exploring different ways of presenting our family histories, including family tree diagrams, blogs, autobiographies and even fictional accounts.
As a group we are considering why family history is important, what it means to us, and what we can learn from it. And we’ll think about how family history is defined – who do we include in our ‘family’ and would our ancestors have felt the same way? What motivates us to bring to life ancestors who are long deceased?
You can read blog posts about our activities here.
We are also putting together a list of resources for family historians which you can view and suggest additions to here.