My ancestor was an agricultural labourer

Ian H Waller (Society of Genealogists, 2008), A5, 136pp, indexed, ISBN 978-1-903462-98-0

This excellent book says on page 1: “How many times have you read in a record that your ancestor was an ag lab, and thought that there was little else to find out about him? How wrong you are.” The subsequent well-written text details what and where you can discover about the ag lab lifestyle and records relating to their work, using sources such as estate records and farmers’ diaries, vaccination and court records, photographs, and many more in local and national record offices and other archives. Those of us who live in Berkshire will appreciate that the Museum of English Rural Life, one of many locations mentioned, is on our doorstep in Reading. There are so many interesting and useful pointers in this publication that you will definitely be tempted to raise your hardworking and often downtrodden ancestors to their rightful position of importance in creating the landscape of our country as we know it today. So, for all who have ag labs in the family this is a highly recommended and “must-have” book, which will certainly be on my bookshelf.

Jean Debney

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