Local History Course - College: One Credit

Length of course: One Quarter

Appropriate grade level(s): 11 & 12

Prerequisite: B (83) or better in previous social studies courses


This course is designed to familiarize students with their local heritage focusing on Amesbury, Salisbury, Merrimac, and the Newburys. We will continually reference the broader context of national and international events beginning with colonial and state history and geography. In this way we will attempt to achieve a greater understanding of U.S. and World History through personal investment in and connection to the past. Through various exercises such as interviews and research we will encourage the exploration, documentation and dissemination of personal family history/genealogy and/or the study of local people and events of the past. This course will look at the various economic, social and political influences that have shaped this region into the unique area of the present. We will specifically attempt to identify various local individuals from the past and their contributions to the community, state and the nation. Students will be expected to research, write and present projects that increase understanding of and connection to our common regional history.

"Local Connections", an AHS social studies elective that focuses on local heritage and historical research methods is now going into its sixth year. The instructor of this course, P.J. Jancewicz, has always been interested in local history and genealogical research and he has been thrilled with the response and involvement of pupils at AHS.

Students study genealogical research methods in order to associate with events, people, and places of the past. Pupils are also required to interview elders in an oral history project and to explore historical preservation; they do primary resource research and choose a history research project that is relevant to the region and, hopefully, to their own heritage. These edited projects were the first AHS student work to be posted online - for public reference at a web site formerly entitled: "Local Connections". We hope to again make these files available online in the near future.