Researching Your Family History
By Pam Ross
Published by The Crowood Press (www.crowood.com)
RRP GBP £14.99
During the past decade researching family history (genealogy) has become a very popular past time. One of the main issues is from where to start your research and what material is available. This publication seeks to overcome this and it introduces the reader to the world of family history research.
The book is an excellent guide to undertaking these interesting and fascinating family research projects. It starts with a nice description of where to start and then it develops on this base. There is an informative chapter on the popular certificates such as births, marriages and deaths and how these certificates came into being and their various formats. These certificates have varied over time and the author discusses the various permutations.
Then the usage of Trade Directories, Newspapers and Electoral Rolls is mentioned. These are useful sources of data once you have the basics regarding an individual and they can be used to develop the research. Wills and Letters of Administration are discussed in detail as they are valuable sources of primary data.
There are some outstanding chapters on ecclesiastical data. The records of the Church of England, Non-Conformist, Catholic and Jewish religions are varied and often provide excellent data. The records they maintained and kept are elaborated upon and the author gives them a superb treatment.
The records of fighting men are discussed in detail and the chapter covers all branches of the military including the “subsidiary” units such as the Women’s Royal Air Force etc. Also included are notes on the “operational” aspects of the forces such as (Army) Unit War Diaries and (RAF) Operational Record Books.
The book closes with a discussion on other sources of research material that are not the principal ones and suggestions for further information and reading. If you are new to family research then this book is highly recommended and even if you are an “old-hand” at this then the book discusses some of those areas that can help you develop your research. It is surprisingly informative and worthy of the price. It does deserve serious shelf space in the library of any genealogist - new or old.