Bringing Your Family History to Life Through Social History

Front Cover, Bringing Your Family History to Life Through Social History, 2000.

Front Cover, Bringing Your Family History to Life Through Social History, 2000. GGA Image ID # 15bd4370d6

Book Publication Summary

  • Author: Katherine Scott Sturdevant
  • Title: Bringing Your Family History to Life Through Social History
  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 242
  • ISBN: 1-55870-510-4
  • DCN: 929'.1'072073-dc21
  • Publisher: Betterway Books
  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Pub. Date: 2000
  • Language: English US
  • Subjects: 1. Genealogy. 2. Local history. 3. Material culture.
  • Size: 8.5" x  11"
  • Dust Jacket: No
  • List Price: US$19.99


Synopsis of Bringing Your Family History to Life:

Katherine Scott Sturdevant shows you how to use social history -- the study of "ordinary people's everyday lives" -- to add depth, detail, and drama to your family's saga.

From the Back Cover

Back Cover, Bringing Your Family History to Life Through Social History, 2000.

Back Cover, Bringing Your Family History to Life Through Social History, 2000. GGA Image ID # 15bd55c97d


Katherine Scott Sturelevant shows you how to use social history—the study of uordinary people’s everyday lives”—to add depth, detail, and drama to your family’s saga.

She’ll provide you with the instruction you need to accurately investigate your family’s unique history, including their

  • Daily lives—use the Elements of Social History as the background context of your family history
  • Family photographs—learn how to find, acquire, care for, analyze, copy, and display them
  • Oral histories—record your family’s oral traditions and folklore and learn the best methods for formulating questions that draw out the social history you’re looking for
  • Home sources and material folk culture—collect the artifacts and materials already within your family, such as heirlooms, memorabilia, and photographs


In addition, you’ll learn how to build and sharpen your research skills, including

  • Writing letters to collect historical information from hard-to-reach sources such as distant family, state institutions, or local towns
  • Easing yourself into college and university library research with confidence
  • Creating an accurate cultural context in which to understand the actions and influences of your ancestors, as well as produce a written account of historical and social value


Each chapter is packed with examples, tips, charts, and checklists to help you get the results you want. You’ll expe-rience the joy of connecting with the past as you learn how the world helped shape your family—and how your family helped shape the world.

Table of Contents At a Glance

  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack Introduction
  • 1 Social History: 'Your Ancestors’ World
  • 2 A Historian’s Approach to Home Sources: Artifacts
  • 3 Artifacts II: Culture, Citing, and Caring
  • 4 A Historian’s Approach to Family Photographs
  • 5 Relative Talk: Oral History and Oral Tradition
  • 6 Recapturing a Dying Art: Correspondence
  • 7 “Here Come the Genies”: Braving the College Library
  • 8 My Conclusion Is 'Your Beginning: Writing Family History
  • Endnotes
  • General Bibliography
  • Appendix: Forms for Family Historians
  • Index

About the Author

Katherine Scott Sturdevant is a social historian with the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. candidacy in American history. She has taught college-level American history courses for more than sixteen years, including regional, community, women’s, immigrant, and minority history.

A popular speaker for historical and genealogical organizations, Kathy is also a professional editor. As an innovator of the idea that genealogists should research and write their family histories in the context of social history, she team-teaches with Sharon Carmack college courses in family history and genealogy, as well as an online course for Writer’s Digest School. Kathy lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, Rick, who is a historian for Air Force Space Command.

Library of Congress Catologing-in-Publication Data

  • Editor: Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, CG
  • Production editor: Brad Crawford
  • Production coordinator: Emily Gross
  • Interior designer: Sandy Conopeotis Kent
  • Cover designer: Wendy Dunning
  • Icon designer: Cindy Beckmeyer
  • Cover photograph by Underwood Photo Archives/Superstock

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  • LC Control No.: 00044505
  • LCCN Permalink:
  • Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
  • Personal Name: Sturdevant, Katherine Scott.
  • Main Title: Bringing your family history to life through social history / Katherine Scott Sturdevant.
  • Edition Information: 1st ed.
  • Published/Created: Cincinnati, Ohio : Betterway Books, c2000.
  • Description: 242 p. : ill.; 28 cm.
  • ISBN: 1558705104 (pbk.)
  • Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 223-230) and index.
  • Subjects: Genealogy. Local history. Material culture.
  • LC Classification: CS16 S862 2000
  • Dewey Class No.: 929/.1/072073 21
  • Quality Code: pcc
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