YouTube as Contextualization Tool

I don’t think I need to tell anyone what YouTube is or how it works. I may not even need to say how useful it can be in building your genealogical knowledge base. But just in case I do, I’ll quickly point out that YouTube channels host tons of educational videos for organizations like FamilySearch or Ancestry and for societies like NGS and others.

Speaking of Ancestry and NGS, they recently joined forces by way of Nicka Sewell-Smith and Crista Cowan in discussion about the Freedmen’s Bureau and Freedman’s Bank Records, which Ancestry recently indexed, added to their databases, and now provides for free to everyone. That discussion was recorded and is available on NGS’s YouTube channel here.

But I digress. My purpose here is not to talk about places to look for education about record types or research methodology. Instead, I want to take a look at more offbeat channels on YouTube that explore daily life in different time periods or regions. These sources are about the kinds of historical details that may not solve our genealogical problems of identity or relationship, but that may add context to our ancestor’s lives and build a more intimate understanding of them. Here are three of my favorites.

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  1. October 14, 2021 12:40 pm
  2. October 19, 2021 1:33 pm
  3. November 6, 2021 4:16 pm

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