Here Are 11 Skills Your Great-Grandparents Had That You Don’t

Ronald E. Yates is an author of award-winning historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy.
Those of us who write historical fiction are always striving to make sure our characters are part of the period in which our novels are set. A farmer in 19th Century Kansas, for example, had to know how to hunt and fish, how to forage and how to butcher livestock, pluck chickens, and shoe a horse, etc.
There were no supermarkets, no computers or online shopping, no clothing stores or malls. Yes, there were Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs where women could order ready-made dresses and men could order pants and shirts, but ordering from them was considered an infrequent luxury.
I recently received an e-mail from, the online genealogy service that asked:
“How old school are you? Do you think you’ve got what it takes to live in your great-grandparents’ era?”
I was intrigued by this question, having just completed the second book in a trilogy of novels, the first of which is set in the late 19th Century American West. As someone who spent time on a farm, who hunted and fished and cleaned hundreds of chickens, rabbits, and squirrels, I figured I would be OK if I were suddenly transported to my great-grandparents’ time.
But there was more to living back then than hunting and fishing. Life was much, much harder, and so were the people.
Take a look at what had to say:
Our parents and grandparents may shake their heads every time we grab our smart phones to get turn-by-turn directions or calculate the tip. But when it comes to life skills, our great-grandparents have us all beat. Here are some skills our great-grandparents had 90 years ago that most of us don’t.
1. Courting
While your parents and grandparents didn’t have the option to