Nations' Memorybank

Nick Barratt introduces an ambitious new historical website.

The rise of family history has been well docu­mented. But in the last year or two, the traditional focus of research for many people has changed. It is no longer enough simply to ‘collect names’ and build a family tree; though this is a vital step, it is now an interim one. Instead, the real quest is to find out about the way our ancestors lived, and consequently a range of other disciplines are being pursued. House history is enjoying a new lease of life, as we search for ancestral homes noted in census returns or certificates; social history is all the rage as we seek back­ground information on occupations and working con­ditions from the nineteenth century; local history is also an important part of the picture, since we need to be able to imagine the community in which our relatives grew up.


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