Old Barns


The best way to learn more about our ancestors is to write about their lives, their place and their time, so this Sunday’s Social History Writing Prompt is about barns.

With the summer weather upon us, now is the time for road trips, whether for vacation or visiting family members. Watch for old barns along the way and stop and take some pictures. If only those old barns could talk, can you imagine what kind of stories they could tell?

Writing Prompts

Were your ancestors farmers?

Were they likely to have had a barn?

Was it a separate building or was it part of their house?

Was it painted or old an weathered?

Did they keep grain or animals or farm equipment in it, or all three?

Did it have a hayloft?


Write a blog post about one of your ancestors who had a barn or research an old barn in your locality and write about it.

Create your own Pinterest board like this one about old barns.


Researching the history of barns

The Preservation of Historic Barns

Why Are Barns Usually Painted Red?


A little and a little, collected together, becomes a great deal; the heap in the barn consists of single grains, and drop and drop make the inundation. ~Saadi

Barbara J Starmans is a social historian, freelance writer and obsessed genealogist living in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada and has been doing genealogical research for the past 35 years. She is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies in Toronto, Canada with professional learning certificates in General Methodology and in English Records and recently become an instructor for them with an intermediate course on Social History.

Discussion2 Comments

  1. What a great idea to write about barns. My aunt painted barns and other outbuildings in Northern California. I have a few of her paintings. I could write a short article about them or better yet, ask her son to write a guest post!

    • Glad you enjoyed. I did some pen and ink years ago and I really enjoyed the one I did of an old barn with the texture of the old wood. Seems like many of them would have stories to tell!

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