March General Meeting – On the Home Front: The Civilian Experience in the Civil War

March 16, 2021 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The American Civil War was composed of more than the major battles we learned about in history classes. There were more than 10,000 hostile actions across eighteen states in that four-year period. American communities were sharply divided in their support for one government or another and many of these places where our ancestors lived were affected by conflicts, violence and loss. How did our ancestors manage these years? Did they join the Home Guard? Repeatedly see their farms raided or destroyed? Move away from their community after the war? Lyn Gesch will be our guide in thinking through these connections between our families’ stories and this wartime history.  Questions to think about: Where were your families located between 1861 and 1865? Were there battles nearby? Did close family and neighbors go off to war? To what extent did their communities suffer economic losses and hardships?

Lyn Gesch, Ph.D., is a long-time member of the Ventura County Genealogical Society and frequent presenter in their educational programs. Her academic background in sociology led to teaching opportunities at California Lutheran University. In recent years she has researched stories of individuals caught up in wartime policies which were published in the Kansas History journal (2018) and the Missouri Historical Review (2015).

This will be a Zoom presentation.  A link will be provided to members. If you are a non-member and wish to attend, please send an email to ​ for an invitation.