3+3= Some Fun Social History Genealogy Sites, Part 1

Every once in a while, I come across an interesting website that indirectly ties into genealogical research. I’d say most of them fall under the social history and/or culture umbrella. My usual M.O. is to take a quick look at them (chasing the B.S.O.), liking what I see and then adding the site to my list of ideas for blog posts.

Well, it seems I’ve now done that about a half dozen times, so I decided to do a couple of posts sharing these lesser known site, at least to me, and hope that you’ll find them fun and interesting, too.

The first on my list is ClickAmericana, which is definitely a 20th century “vintage and retro” visit, as it describes itself.

However, don’t be fooled by the home page. Instead, click on the ERAS box on the toolbar at the top:

Time spans covered included the 1700s and 1800s, but from 1880 onward, each decade has its own category.

Here is a sample of 1700s era info:

My husband has family living in New Amsterdam in the 1600s. I’m going to check out the New York colonial days images. Other options here include learning about the Pirate Code on ships, reading newspaper ads for enslaved people and getting the scoop on George Washington’s dentures.

Train travel became common by the turn of the 20th century. I don’t think my ancestors would have had the money for a deluxe ride, but if you want to see how the other half lived, check out the vintage train cars from the 1910s:

The Victorian era was midway through its life by the 1880s and had a huge effect on home decor and social behavior. Check out the 72 (yes, 72!) rules of etiquette for men while eating dinner and examples of Victorian style homes.

The Statue of Liberty was built and presented to America by France in the same decade. Learn more about how she was built.

If these examples have whetted your appetite, visit Click Americana to see what else is on offer.

The next website to visit is Housestry, which I think is a sort of abbreviation for house story. NOTE: Website is gone.

The third, and last, website for today is geared towards those with California history – Calisphere – hosted by the University of California.

This site links to all the digital collections in the UC system:

It also partners with other California colleges, public and private libraries and museums:

The collections cover a wide range of topics. A few are science-related, such as bees in San Diego County. However, most relate to the history of California. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Chines and Japanese residents of Tulare County, the California Ethnic Communities Oral History Archive and a California citrus label collection are a few examples.

If your family passed through or lived in California, you’ll want to browse the many collections on Calisphere.

I’ll share three more lesser known websites tomorrow.



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