Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Occupations of Our Ancestors

 - Should we consider exactly how we view them with 21st century eyes.

This blog post was triggered by a comment Jill Ball made on Google+ about a fellow cruiser’s comment about social media.
She said that a blog post had reminded her of this comment. This post deals with the reactions of individuals to changes.
Although we all have to cope with changes in our lives many of us adapt to change better than others and some of us actually relish change as a challenge.

I am not going to discuss the management of change so much as how change has influenced our lives and those of our ancestors.

My son has grown up in a world where technology particularly computers are commonplace. Whilst this may not be the norm everywhere most “westernised” and many asian countries are similar. Trying to explain to his generation that we did not have such technology when we were growing up can be difficult. If so much has changed in one generation how can we ever truly put ourselves in the shoes of our ancestors and think and feel as they might have done. To be able to visualize their lives we need to know exactly how they lived and what affected their lives.

Museums, reenactments and newspapers can all play a part in piecing together their story, but can we ever truly see things as they would. Were they the ones who took the changes on board or did they dig their heels in and try to resist change. After all changes are not always for the better.

My husband and I both have family members who worked with animals such as horses, they would have been important in a society without automotive transport (cars, trains). Many of the trades associated with horses are dying out or practically non existent today. How can we even picture such a society ?

Today we worry about pollution from various sources contributing to “Global Warming” but would knowing about such possibilities have made any difference to our ancestors, many of whom would have been unable to read or write and would have been struggling to survive.

Knowing what someone did can be important when fleshing out our family histories, but understanding how that impacted on their standing in the community could be more important in explaining how they were and why they did what they did. If we truly wish to understand what makes us who we are today we need to study the history of the village, town and even the county or country.

However you carry out your research do not forget the Friends, Acquaintances and Neighbours.
In other words look out for the FAN club.

1 comment:

TRICIA said...

One of the things I vividly remember as a childw as my grandmother's reaction to television. She wasn't able to keep up with what she saw and seemed not to really catch what was going on. I always wondered if it was because she didn't grow up with it. Even movies were probably few and far between for her since she was from a farming community in the Midwestern US.

Now I find it almost dizzying to watch my grandson play Mindcraft. I am my grandmother now.

Can you even imagine what people from even the late 1800's would think of our life today? So, how can we really know what there life and thoughts were like.