Are you focused solely on your ancestors’ lives during the 1800s and 1700s ?? Yet, you need to figure out how many of your direct ancestors were alive in the first half of the twentieth century (1900-1950)? Try this to see further: make a list of all your direct ancestors, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on, who were alive between 1900 and 1950 (do not include aunts and uncles). You will probably be surprised by how many names are on this list.
After you see how many direct ancestors you actually have, you will see that that time frame is filled with events for your ancestors. Just the many changes in attitudes and clothing styles are major over those first 50 years. Then add to it movies, personal photography, home movies, radio, airplane flights, two major wars, improvements in health care, families moving from farms to the cities, Prohibition, gangsters, automobiles, Great Depression, jazz, education, women voting, and mass immigration to America.
During this new year, it might be of great benefit not to neglect our more recent ancestors in our rush to reach further and further backward in time. Pause a while and revisit the lives of those closer to you.
A good way to start is to re-look at the list of ancestors who lived during the first half of the 20th century and circle or make another list of those you have the least amount of information about. Those ancestors need your attention, each have a story in some form. Examples include the lifestyle of an older ancestor who lived less than 10 years of the beginning of the 20th century; what was they live style, where and with whom did they live with. Cover those born in the early 20th century and lived only to their teens or twenties. Remember in the 1917-1919 time period the Spanish Flu affected many people around the globe including in the United States affecting normal healthy young adults who died from this disease.
Photos: Spanish flu – people wearing masks; the roaring 1920s and the flapper; the effects of the Great Depression-soup lines; World War 2 soldiers; and 1948 Levittown, NY-suburbs.
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