It would be nice if our ancestors left a small chest with documents and photographs about themselves, or described their lives in diaries. But this did not happen, and there are many reasons for this.
The first reason is that some documents and archives were simply destroyed. Moving, fires, wars are those events that did not give the opportunity to save the paper.
The second reason is that people were not literate and because of their illiteracy simply could not leave us any written memories of themselves.
Until the 18th century, the only people writing in Russia were church servants or monks, as well as people who were in the public service, who served. Because it is necessary to compile state lists, revision tales, of course, this was done in order to raise taxes from citizens of the country, and not to help them. These are the two main categories of people who were required to be able to write. Also, the military, officers, too, had to be able to write.
In the 30s of the XIX century, the number of people who write grew up at lightning speed. What happened? Who are these people? Who were they?
I will say one thing, they were not peasants, peasants were often illiterate, they were raznoshintsy.
The commoner is a man of different ranks. 80 percent of the commoners were children from clergy families.
After 1850, a mass publication of literature begins, which means that there are more sources.
Also, paper shortages played a role. A peasant could live his whole life and not once in his life not see paper.
Here are a few reasons why we know so little about our ancestors. But he who seeks will always find.
The article is based on a lecture by Vitaliy Semenov, a genealogy historian.
Good luck in finding.