Creating your own social history

About a year ago my sister suggested I put together a little photo book about my daily life and send it out to my nieces and nephews for Christmas. I live in the Boston area and aspects of my life such as taking a commuter train and subway, walking through Boston and taking elevators at home and work is so different from the lives that my nieces and nephews experience. Recently my mom was visiting one of my sisters and the book came out. My niece especially loved looking at some of the pictures.

While Bridging The Past usually focuses on learning about social history in order to better understand our ancestors, it is important for us to share our social history with our descendants. Blog posts and photo books are one way to do this. Journals and scrapbooks are other ways.  What are some ways you have found to create your own social history for those that will come after you?

Here is the post I created on my personal blog for your enjoyment:
I take the commuter train into Boston. Here it comes!

Everyone getting on

I feel like I’m in a herd of animals as we all get off the train and cram onto the platform

If it’s nice I will sometimes walk over Beacon Hill

and through the Boston Common

I pass the Frog Pond. In the winter it is a skating rink (see the Zamboni) and in the summer it is a wading pool.

The frogs keeping watch

The Tadpole Playground just across from the Frog Pond. It’s fun to watch all the kids at play when it’s warm.

If it’s cold or rainy I’ll take the subway from where the commuter train lets me out to where I work

I spend much of my time in my office. I am a statistician and work in medical research. I work on a variety of projects with people across the hospital, the university and affiliated hospitals. I love the variety in my work (and having my own office!)

View of my office from the doorway

View of my office from behind the desk

View out of the window

One of the most important places in my office is the filing cabinet that displays the artwork of my nieces and nephews

I love coming home to my condo.

A view of my condo building from the pretty side, with a duck pond and Japanese gardens. Every condo has a balcony overlooking the pond and gardens.

The elevator in my condo building. I bet my nieces and nephews think it’s weird that I take an elevator to get home.

The sun coming through the colored windows in the hallway makes me happy

The living room is where I spend most of my time when I am home. One of the great parts of being a homeowner is that I can paint the walls and add color. I love my red accent wall. I painted the kitchen cabinets white a couple of years ago and it really brightened up the place. The other walls in the living room are beige.

At the same time I painted my bathroom walls. They are blue, not gray (a little lighter than the blue on the shower curtain). Love it!

This squirrel likes to come visit me sometimes on my balcony

I am working on the Master’s in History through the Harvard Extension School. I have finished all my classwork and am now doing pre-thesis research.

Gates to Harvard

This is the building where I had many of my classes.

This is the Widener library at Harvard, where I do some of my research.

I also have a genealogy speaking business. I recently started two blogs in addition to speaking (see bridgingthepast.com). Work, school, genealogy and church responsibilities keep me pretty busy. But when I have time to spare I love to create. I make jewelry, photo cards and paper cards. This is one of my favorite beading stores–in Harvard Square. They have a huge selection of fun beads and findings.

I also love to travel. I keep a shelf in my living room with souvenirs from each place that I visit. Can you guess where these are from?

Being a Mormon is an important part of who I am (and who most of my family is). They requested a picture of the temple that I attend. We meet in a regular church building for Sunday worship. The temple is a special place that we go to during the week to worship and make sacred promises with our Heavenly Father. The temple I attend is in Belmont.

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About bridgingthepast

Welcome to Bridging the Past. We help genealogists connect to their colonial New England ancestors by sharing with them information about the lives of their ancestors. What did they eat? What did they wear? What was a typical day like? Did my ancestor fight in a war? What was life like for that ancestor, and for the loved ones he left at home? Why did they move? Was it part of a larger movement? By answering these questions, and many more, you can bring your ancestors to life and feel closer to them. We design lectures to answer these questions and give genealogists the tools and resources to personally connect with their ancestors by fleshing out the lives of their ancestors so they are more than names, dates and places on a piece of paper.
This entry was posted in Getting Started in Social History, Material history. Bookmark the permalink.

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