Ancestors Basic Skills for Survival

No matter where your ancestors grew up, even in a large city, there were decades where each individual had to have basic skills for survival. Countless chores and hard work that were common up until more recent history. These tasks were not only crucial for the survival of the family unit but also provided some semblance of efficiency and cleanliness. Some of the following skills might be seen important today if you camping in the woods with just a few basics supplies. However, just imagine, for your ancestors, many of these activities were for their survival.

There was starting a fire, in a fireplace or in a fire pit, you had to know how to do that. Before matches, there were metal fire strikers common in parts of Europe, Eurasia, and China, to be used with a flintstone and some kindling. Knowing how to chop wood was a skill. Even you had a fire going you did have to learn how to cook or even bake, especially bread.

Growing of food, whether a large field or small, it did provide a source of food. Even with some type of food market in small towns that was expensive and growing your own food was needed. Preserving one’s food was important, pickling it or salting it made it last longer. For the new settlers of Plymouth Rock in the 1620s, they depended on the making of beer rather than finding any fresh clean water.

One easy task was hauling water for the family’s daily use. Yet, providing enough water for a person to take a bath or to wash clothes was much harder.

A very important skill was learning how to sew clothes and to mend what you had.

Then playing musical instruments or the ability to sing helped entertain the family. This is before any radio or TV shows.

Be sure to include some of these basic survival skills when writing about your ancestors. It makes you appreciate their lifestyle even more.

Photos: Hauling water and chopping wood; 1880s-hand-sewing and mending clothes and Colonial pioneer clothing styles.

Related Blogs:

Oklahoma Pioneers

Foods Eaten by the Pioneers

Favorite Foods 1850-1900

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