Nick Barratt’s Beginners Guide to Your ancestors’ Lives

Nick Barratt, (Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2010), Hardback 24 x 16cm 282pp

This book written by this well known and respected genealogist and television presenter, takes you on a unique journey back in time, looking back at the houses, streets and communities that have shaped the world around us. For those wishing to trace their ancestors, this guide will explain how and where to find information and how to organise their findings. It begins with clear steps on where to begin your detective work, from the personal accounts of living relatives to the census, civil registration, parish registers and more. Explanations of the terminology of Family History Research, is given along with the relationships within a family for example cousins, second cousins, etc., and a glossary of abbreviations. Some of the most popular genealogy software is also discussed as one of these will prove very useful when you have started to gather your information. There is a comprehensive section on the major archives which includes website addresses and what may be found there. Using basic sources, shows how much information may be found from birth, marriage and death certificates, and how copies may be ordered using the relevant website. An explanation of the census and the enumerator’s records shows what may be obtained by viewing the records and where to find them. All of these sources are important to your research but most people will find that to flesh out the family tree you will need to use the many other sources available, such as records of the military, occupations, Immigration and Emigration. The website location of these records is also included. Maps and Plans are also useful, many are held at the TNA, the class mark for the various types of map and enclosures are given. Ownership of land and property, manorial courts and title deeds are all covered in the section on tracing the ancestral home. Again these records may be found at the TNA, but not exclusively. With sections on education, religious life and much more this is an easy to follow comprehensive guide for the beginner. Illustrated and indexed.

Mary Smith

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