Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
Social history is the study of people within a given historical context and how they live their everyday lives; it is the study of who they are, what they do, and how they interact within families and within their communities, with an eye toward understanding influences and social trends.
Genealogists and family history researchers commonly practice social history, almost without thinking, in gathering the story of people's lives. Many books and web sites are available to help the researcher study specific cultures and societies. Local area histories remain one of the best resources for understanding the lives of people within a given time and place, whether or not one's ancestor is mentioned in the history.
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