Interesting History Sites

Over the course of my research into various years for The Year Was…, I’ve run across some interesting sites that I thought I’d share with those of you who share a passion for learning more about the life and times of our ancestors. Here are a few: 

The History Box
This site includes a wealth of information on New York City–a combination of transcribed articles and links to articles online–all pertaining to the history of the city. Among them I found descriptions of Election Districts and Ward boundaries from 1869, “American Seaman’s Friend Society: Institution and Timeline 1859,” and an article on “New York City’s Places of Amusement.” These are just the tip of the iceberg. If you’ve got ancestors in “the big apple” you’re sure to enjoy this site.

Wessels Living History Farm
Ever wondered what life was like for your farming ancestors in the 1920s, ‘30s, or ‘40s?  The website for the Wessels Living History Farm provides this information in its website, geared toward educating children. Pest and weed control, transportation, emerging and available technology, farm life, and several other topics are covered through a series of interviews for each decade, including the Dust Bowl Years and Pearl Harbor. Events that Touched Our Ancestors Lives
This site is just what the title would suggest–a database of historic disasters that may have impacted our ancestors lives. Categorized by the type of disaster and cross-referenced by location, entries typically include a transcribed newspaper account of the event. Events range from  well-known disasters like the Eastland Disaster in Chicago to more obscure tragedies like the man who was fatally injured when his folding bed collapsed on him. While still in the early stages, the site is promising. They are looking for volunteers to transcribe materials that will be added to the site.

Hope you enjoy these sites as much as I did!



3 thoughts on “Interesting History Sites

  1. I love posts like this and spend as much time looking at the history of a particular era as I do searching for family members…looking at history adds context to an ancestor’s life. Sometimes this slows down my research, but it sure is fun. Thanks again for the site tips…I really like! I hadn’t seen it before.

    Tim Agazio

  2. I’m reminded of the time I plowed and worked down a field
    behind a walking plow and team of horses at the age of 10
    or 11, and barefoot yet. It sure kept me alert, for I occasionally turned up a shake (remember, I’m barefooted)
    I can’t understand how my Mother let me do it, and not
    be out to the field. That was ’36 or ’37.

  3. Indeed the GenDisasters site is very promising: U.S. history — including its tragic tales — is a subject of first importance. Wilfred M. McClay, Associate Professor, Tulane University, makes this absolutely clear: “Historical consciousness is to civilized society what memory is to individual identity. One cannot say who or what one is — one can’t say one is anyone, or anything, at all — without some selective retention of experience and source of continuity.”

    We wonder what your background is, Juliana — you are the first person that we know to describe the Eastland Disaster as “well known.” While it is Chicago’s Greatest Tragedy, many people in Chicago (let alone throughout the country) know little if anything about what happened way back in 1915. Perhaps well known by few, while little known to not known by many.

    Thank you for mentioning the Eastland Disaster, thereby perhaps making a few more people aware of it. Please pop-in sometime at your leisure and visit our web site.

    Ted Wachholz

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