Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
Historical context refers to the social setting of a particular time and place in history. Simply stated, historical context is the life and times of the people.
Where names, dates, and places uniquely identify individuals, historical context lends understanding and may provide significant clues to aid genealogy research. One of the best ways to understand historical context is to study the local history of the places in which your ancestors lived. Historical context can include geography as well as historical events. The knowledge of when a county was formed, for example, can make a difference in where to search for records. Historical context may also illuminate forces or other influences affecting the lives of individual people and families.