Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Genealogy Books

Tracing your family tree can be tricky at times, and I have always made use of many different resources to make the work easier. This was especially true when I first started my genealogical research, and was wanting to learn how to carry it out properly. As I stated in this earlier post, I learnt a lot from watching genealogy programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are?

In order to learn more I decided to purchase some genealogy books. I now have several in my collection, but the purpose of this post is to highlight a few of the ones that I have found most useful. The first book that I would like to mention is the one accompanying the programme previously mentioned, Who Do You Think You Are? It was first published in 2008 by the BBC, and written by the renowned genealogist Nick Barratt.

The book contains a huge amount of information, and as such it is extremely useful for genealogists regardless of their level of experience. It covers the basics such as vital records, but also has dedicated sections on areas of research such as military records, immigration, and criminality.

In addition to offering specific research advice, Who Do You Think You Are Encyclopedia Of Genealogy also provides fascinating historical information to put the research into context. In addition, the book caters to fans of the show by including case studies of the more interesting celebrity stories. Some of my favourites include Bill Oddie, Jeremy Clarkson, and Matthew Pinsent.

Another book which I have used extensively is Tracing Your Scottish Family History, written by Anthony Adolph and published by Collins in 2008. I found this book to be particularly useful to me due to the fact that a large part of my family tree involves Scottish ancestors. As with the WDYTYA book, this book provides information for beginners, specifically on the records which constitute the basics of family history research. Interestingly, the author devotes a section to the clear religious division in Scotland, and the relevant records to consult depending on whether your ancestors were Catholic or Protestant. There is also a section on emigration, which is useful due to the large number of people who have left Scotland over the years.

The final book that I would like to mention is The Genealogist's Internet by Peter Christian. The fourth edition was published in 2009. This book is so useful because it is a comprehensive volume of websites devoted to various aspects of genealogy. It includes websites which it would be very difficult to find otherwise. The amount of information which can be gained from using the resources in this book cannot be overstated. The nature of the book means that it can become outdated fairly quickly, so a new updated edition is due to be published in June 2012.

These are just some of the books that I have used to develop my genealogy research skills. Aside from being useful in this regard, they are also very interesting to read in terms of describing historical conditions. Genealogy is so popular that there are literally hundreds of books to choose from, and each will have something to offer you in researching your family history.

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