Genealogist learning skills of yesteryear’s women

I am an enthusiastic genealogist (Out of Obscurity Genealogy Services) and author of books about my “everyday women” ancestors such as my Irish great-great grandmother, Harriet Susannah Ellis, 1863 – 1939 .

In addition, I realized several years ago that too many city dwellers have lost the self-reliance of our fore-mothers. Thus, I became a “city dweller learning country skills.” In doing so, I see that we’ve been losing something as we’ve over-commercialized the products we buy:

  • Losing a broad knowledge of how to make products ourselves – from growing food, making our own clothing and housewares, to being familiar with life’s natural rhythms.
  • Losing a sense of community that we often now have to seek more intentionally – that once came more readily through buying & selling at farmer’s markets, craft fairs, etc.
  • With a never-ending array of commercial products available, we often buy cookie-cutter duplicates of products from store shelves….rather than the individualized products with local character and often sustainably (i.e., locally produced naturally) that used to be more available.
  • Too often, products are not as healthy as they used to be.

We can change this by learning to make the items of yesteryear – items our ancestors often used to make. This activity, perhaps surprisingly, brings comfort and joy – for ourselves and for the people to whom we give these items.

One of the things I now make – as a “city dweller learning country skills” – is homemade patchwork comforters:

Learn more about Kim Burkhardt’s “out of obscurity” genealogy services and Women of Yesteryear books here.

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