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Social History

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Social History

Postby farnbarns » Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:56 pm

Having cast my family tree back to 1602 (Wells, Somerset) I need to know what the social climate was. Such as clothing, food and diets in the years 1600 - 1800, leisure, wars, work, etc.
Can someone do a series of articles to cover these years in the magazine.
Last edited by farnbarns on Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Social History

Postby Tilliduff » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:45 am

I would second this! I have traced my Brown family back to the Truro region of Cornwall (St. Erme) in about 1650, as farmers, and it would be so interesting to hear about Cornish life in those times. Whether they would have been Cornish speakers, what were communications like, what would they have known of happenings around the country, were they involved in the politics of the time? It would be so interesting to know something of the times.
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Re: Social History

Postby Editor » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:39 am

Having run out of census years, we have replaced that feature in our social history section with one on industries. However, it sounds like you would like us to continue with a chronological history. We could run something similar to our census years series but going back in time. Perhaps in 50 year blocks rather than 10 year blocks. How do other readers feel?

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Re: Social History

Postby ksouthall » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:08 am

That sounds a good idea although some 50 year blocks will see more changes than others.
Could the blocks cover an era rather than a set number of years? e.g. The English Civil War might be something to cover separately rather than as part of a 50 year block.
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Re: Social History

Postby paulberyl » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:23 pm

What to include, and/or how to include it, in a magazine is one of those areas where you will never be able to please all readers and everyone will have their own view of what should, and how it should, be included. We must also remember that WDYTYA magazine is a commercial business and does therefore need to include subjects which are of interest and appeal to the widest possible readership.

Having got that off my chest what would I like seeing included? I have been interested in social history for a number of years and the difficulty in trying to cover this in a chronological order is that this cannot do justice to the diversity that exists in our country. Not only do we have the difference between rural and urban life, geographical differences but also the difference between classes. Living, and working, conditions between the working, middle and upper classes were very different. Therefore how I would like to see social history covered is by theme, very much as it currently is. Some suggested themes could be housing, food and drink, fashions, wars, health and fitness, development of medical care, dialects and accents as well as the current series on industry (bearing in mind that agriculture is an industry). Depending on the period being covered (I would suggest 1600 as a purely arbitrary start date up until the present) the themes could be spread over 2 to 3 issues. Also I think it is important to ensure that the industries and occupations covered do pick up different parts of the country each month so that overall national interest is maintained.

Is there any mileage in carrying out a readership survey to see what people would like to see in the magazine?

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Re: Social History

Postby ksouthall » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:34 am

Good suggestions Paul. All yuor ideas would be of interest to most readers. It is good to cover history from regional, national and international aspects, looking at all areas of our ancestors lives.
Plus, if people are researching several branches of their family tree like I am, they may not realise at the time an article is first published, that it may be relevant. I often find out new information and go back to old issues and find articles have suddenly become relevant.
The Civil War was the first example I could think of and possibly not the best example of an era to cover.
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Re: Social History

Postby callbrian » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:20 pm

I believe that Paul is totally correct in his thoughts on what could be part of the social history series. I would like to suggest, a series on the types of work that were carried out at home. For instance in my research I have found lots of the women were 'glovers' especially in the Dorset area. Also I think I saw an article about nail makers working from home.
How about fletchers and people who made arrow heads, they must have required millions of arrows to fight some battles. Or am I too far in the past with that one?
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