The past ten to fifteen years have seen a revolution in our understanding of the nature of family life in the past. The recent tenth anniversary of the Journal of Family History marked one signpost of this revolution. Research in historical family change has compelled historians, sociologists, and other scholars to re-examine their notions of family life in the past, and their understanding of the relationships between large-scale social change and family life. In this article, I will explain a little about how scholars carry out such research. I use New Bedford as a case study of research in historical family change.

Note on the Author

Walter F. Carroll is Assistant Professor of Sociology.