Drawing on survey data and oral history interviews undertaken with family historians in Australia, England, and Canada this article will explore how family historians construct memories using diverse sources in their research. It will show how they utilize oral history, archival documents, material culture, and explorations of space to construct and reconstruct family stories and to make meaning of the past, inserting their familial microhistories into global macrohistories. It will ask whether they undertake critical readings of these sources when piecing together their families’ stories and reveal the impact of that work on individual subjectivities, the construction of historical consciousness, and the broader social value of family history scholarship. How might family historians join with social historians of the family to reshape our scholarly and “everyday” knowledge of the history of the family in the twenty-first century?
- family history
- historical consciousness