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Whether you are interested in the career of an individual officer, researching medals awarded to a soldier or just want to know more about a particular battle or campaign, this book will point you in the right direction. Assuming that the reader has no prior knowledge of the British army, its history or organization, family historian Simon Fowler explains which records survive, where they can be found and how they can help you in your research.
The author also describes resources available online as well as books and campaign histories. Worked examples are included which show how the records can be used to discover the career of an individual or a specific action, and particular attention is paid to explaining the records and the reasons behind their creation - this information can be very important in understanding how these documents can help your research.
Whether you are interested in the career of an individual air-man or woman, researching medals awarded to a pilot or crew member or just want to know more about a particular squadron or operation, this book will point you in the right direction. Assuming that the reader has no prior knowledge of the air force, its history or organization, Phil Tomaselli explains which records survive, where they can be found and how they can help you in your research. He also recommends resources available online as well as books and memoirs. Each era in air force history is described, from the pioneering days of early aviation and the formation of the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War to the creation of the Royal Air Force, its operations during the Second World War and its postwar development. The author explains the evolving organization of the air force in each period. He also provides pointers and examples which should help researchers find the records of units and bases that individuals served in.
Rosemary Wenzerul's lively and informative guide to researching Jewish history will be absorbing reading for anyone who wants to find out about the life of a Jewish ancestor. In a clear and accessible way she takes readers through the entire process of research. She provides a brief social history of the Jewish presence in Britain, with descriptions of the principal communities all over the country. She gives a concise account of the history of genealogy and looks at practical issues of research - how to get started, how to organize the work, how to construct a family tree and how to use the information obtained to enlarge upon the social history of the family. She describes, in practical detail, the many sources that researchers can go to for information on their ancestors, their families and Jewish history. Vivid case studies are a feature of her book, for they show how the life stories of individuals can be reconstructed with only a small amount of initial information. Her invaluable handbook will be essential reading and reference for anyone who is trying to gain an insight into the life of an ancestor or is researching any aspect of Jewish history.
This accessible, well-organized, easy-to-use beginners’ guide to the world of family history is essential reading for anyone who wants to find their way into this fascinating subject. In a series of short, practical chapters Simon Fowler takes readers through all the first steps that will reveal the lives of their ancestors and the world they lived in.
He looks at every aspect of research, from finding family papers and interviewing relatives, through exploring websites, archives, newspapers and directories, to all the other sources that can throw a light into the past. In a clear, straightforward way he explains how vital records of births, marriages and deaths can be used as the starting point in a sequence of eye-opening family detective work.
Simon Fowler’s introduction, which is founded on a career of genealogical research and writing, is an indispensable basic book for anyone entering in the field.
London is a key site for family historians. Many researchers, seeking to trace their ancestry back through the generations, will find their trail leads to London or through it. Yet, despite the burgeoning interest in genealogy and the importance of London in so many life stories, few previous books have explored the city’s history or provided guidance on the research resources family historians can use to discover the life of a London ancestor. This is the purpose of Jonathan Oates’s invaluable handbook.
In a series of short, information-packed chapters he describes the principal record offices, archives, libraries and other sources researchers can go to, and shows how Londoners can be tracked through censuses, registers and directories over the last 500 years. Then he explores key aspects of London’s history from a family historian’s point of view. Crime, religion and education - and the body of evidence associated with them - are covered, as is the historical trail left by taxation, health, welfare, work and business. He looks also at the military and wartime records available in the city, and at the records of immigrant communities who have had such a notable impact on the development of the capital.
Each section introduces the reader to the relevant sources, indicates where they can be found, and offers essential advice on how this information can be used to piece together the lives of distant and not-so-distant relatives.
The medical profession had as much influence on the lives of our ancestors as it does on our lives today. It occupied an extraordinary range of individuals - surgeons, doctors, nurses and specialists of all kinds. Yet, despite burgeoning interest in all aspects of history and ancestry, medicine has rarely been considered from the point of view of a family historian. This is the main purpose of Michelle Higgs’s accessible and authoritative introduction to the subject. rn Assuming the reader has little prior knowledge of how or where to look for such information, she traces the development of medical practice and patient care. She describes how attitudes to illnesses and disease have changed over time. In particular, she looks at the parts played in the system by doctors and nurses - at their role, training and places of work and she also looks at the patients and their experience of medicine in their day.'rn Each section identifies the archives and records that the family historian can turn to, and discusses other potential sources including the Internet. The book is an invaluable guide to all the information that can give an insight into the experience of an ancestor who worked in medicine or had a medical history.
The two world wars of the twentieth century seem so distant from us now, a lifetime ago, in a different age. Yet in London the evidence of these conflicts is around us, near at hand, in the many relics and reminders that are scattered across the fabric of the modern city. And, as Alan Brooks demonstrates in this fascinating photographic record, they can be seen and visited today. Plaques and inscriptions, graves, cemeteries and rolls of honour, stone monuments and stained glass, war-damaged buildings, pillboxes and air-raid shelters, painted signs and camouflage – these are just some of the mementoes of war, and of the experience of Londoners, during the greatest conflicts the country has known.
The mistreatment and captivity of women by the Japanese is a little known and poorly documented aspect of the Second World War. In The Real Tenko, Mark Felton, who has a fast growing reputation as an authority and author on the war in the Far East, redresses this omission with a typically well researched yet necessarily gruesome account of the plight of Allied service-women, female civilians and local women in Japanese hands.
Among the atrocities shamefully committed by the Emperor's forces were numerous massacres of nurses; that at Alexandra Hospital, Singapore being perhaps the best known. The lack of respect for their defeated enemies extended in full measure to both European and Asian women and their vulnerability was all too often shockingly exploited. Those who found themselves imprisoned fared little better and suffered appalling indignities and starvation. Also covered are the hardships of gruelling marches under extreme conditions. Whereas the sexual enslavement of so called ‘Comfort Women’ has been regarded as affecting only Asiatic women, it transpires that this horror was experienced by whites as well.
The Real Tenko is a disturbing and shocking testimony both to the callous and cruel behaviour of the Japanese and to the courage and fortitude of those who suffered at their hands.
The Second World War was the defining conflict of the twentieth century and it is one of the most popular and fascinating areas for historical research – and for family historians. More records than ever are available to researchers whose relatives served during the war. And this new book by Phil Tomaselli is the perfect guide to how to locate and understand these sources – and get the most out of them. He explains how, and from where, service records can be obtained, using real examples showing what they look like and how to interpret them. He also examines records of the military units relatives might have served in so their careers can be followed in graphic detail. The three armed services are covered, along with the merchant navy, the Home Guard, civilian services, prisoners of war, gallantry and campaign medals, casualties, women’s services and obscure wartime organizations. Also included are a glossary of service acronyms, information on useful websites, an introduction to the National Archives and details of other useful sources.
The trail that an ancestor leaves through the Victorian period and the twentieth century is relatively easy to follow – the records are plentiful, accessible and commonly used. But how do you go back further, into the centuries before the central registration of births, marriages and deaths was introduced in 1837, before the first detailed census records of 1841? How can you trace a family line back through the early modern period and perhaps into the Middle Ages? Jonathan Oates’s clearly written new handbook gives you all the background knowledge you need in order to go into this engrossing area of family history research.
He starts by describing the administrative, religious and social structures in the medieval and early modern period and shows how these relate to the family historian. Then in a sequence of accessible chapters he describes the variety of sources the researcher can turn to. Church and parish records, the records of the professions and the courts, manorial and property records, tax records, early censuses, lists of loyalty, militia lists, charity records – all these can be consulted. He even includes a short guide to the best methods of reading medieval and early modern script.
Jonathan Oates’s handbook is an essential introduction for anyone who is keen to take their family history research back into the more distant past.
While there are popular and academic books on servants and domestic service, as well as television dramas and documentaries, little attention has been paid to the sources family historians can use to explore the lives and careers of their servant ancestors. Michelle Higgs’s accessible and authoritative handbook has been written to serve just this purpose.
Covering the period from the eighteenth century through to the Second World War, her survey gives a fascinating insight into the conditions of domestic service and the experience of those who worked within it. She quotes examples from the sources to show exactly how they can be used to trace individuals. Chapters cover the historical background of domestic service; the employers; the social hierarchy within the servant class; and the recruitment and responsibilities of servants.
A comprehensive account of the available sources – the census, wills, directories, household accounts, tax and union records, diaries and online sources - provides readers with all the information they need to do their own research. This short, vivid overview will be invaluable to anyone keen to gain a practical understanding of the realities of servants’ lives.
Birth, marriage and death records are an essential resource for family historians, and this handbook is an authoritative introduction to them. It explains the original motives for registering these milestones in individual lives, describes how these record-keeping systems evolved, and shows how they can be explored and interpreted.
Authors David Annal and Audrey Collins guide researchers through the difficulties they may encounter in understanding the documentation. They recount the history of parish registers from their origin in Tudor times, they look at how civil registration was organized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explain how the system in England and Wales differs from those in Scotland and Ireland.
The record-keeping practised by nonconformist and foreign churches, in communities overseas and in the military is also explained, as are the systems of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Other useful sources of evidence for births, marriages and deaths are explored and, of course, the authors assess the online sites that researchers can turn to for help in this crucial area of family history research.
What are wills, and how can they be used for family and local history research? How can you interpret them and get as much insight from them as possible? They are key documents for exploring the lives of our ancestors, their circumstances, and the world they knew. This practical handbook is the essential guide to understanding them.
Wills expert Stuart Raymond traces the history and purpose of probate records and guides readers through the many pitfalls and possibilities these fascinating documents present. He describes the process of probate, gives a detailed account of the content of the various different types of record, and advises readers on how they can be used to throw light into the past. They offer factual evidence that no genealogist or local historian can afford to ignore.
In a series of concise, fact-filled chapters he explains how wills came into being, who made them and how they were made, how the probate system operates, how wills and inventories can be found, and how much can be learned from them. In addition to covering probate records in England and Wales, he includes the Channel Islands, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland.
This introduction is aimed primarily at family historians who are interested in the wills of particular individuals – who are seeking proof of descent – and local historians who are interested in the wealth of local historical information that can be gathered from them.
As the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War approaches there is a huge surge of interest in the men and women who took part in it. This book is a timely guide if you are researching the soldiers, sailors or airmen. It is an accessible, up-to-date and expert introduction to get you on your way and to answer those questions that might crop up during your researches. In a straightforward, easy-to-follow style it introduces readers to the multitude of sources they can use to explore the history of the war for themselves.
Anyone who is eager to piece together the wartime career and likely experiences of an ancestor who was involved in any aspect the conflict, at home or overseas, will find his book to be an indispensable source of information and advice. In a series of short, instructive chapters Simon Fowler takes the reader through the process of researching ancestors who served in the armed forces, providing short cuts and background information as required.
Do you believe you are descended from the aristocracy, or even from royalty? Or do you have a line of descent from a blue-blooded family, but want to know more? How far back do noble and royal lines go? How do coats of arms work, and how can heraldic records tell you more? How can genetics help you find your aristocratic origins?
In Tracing Your Aristocratic Ancestors leading British genealogist Anthony Adolph explains how to decode family stories, to find the truth and prove your descent from blue-blooded forebears. His book shows you how to expand your aristocratic pedigree sideways and backwards, incorporating heraldic records and printed pedigrees such as those in Burke’s Peerage.
In a series of concise, fact-filled chapters he explains how to find out about and prove aristocratic ancestry, defines who is blue-blooded, and describes all the sources that researchers can use to explore this fascinating subject.
Under Adolph’s guidance, you will travel back into the distant past, using cutting-edge DNA technology and arcane genealogies, back to the evolution of the human race, and the point where real ancestors fade into mythical ones – Adam and Eve, the heroes of old and, ultimately, the very gods themselves.
Anyone who wants to find out about the history of their house – of their home – needs to read this compact, practical handbook. Whether you live in a manor house or on a planned estate, in a labourer's cottage, a tied house, a Victorian terrace, a twentieth-century council house or a converted warehouse – this is the book for you. In a series of concise, information-filled chapters, Gill Blanchard shows you how to trace the history of your house or flat, how to gain an insight into the lives of the people who lived in it before you, and how to fit it into the wider history of your neighbourhood.
A wealth of historical evidence is available in libraries, archives and record offices, in books and online, and this is the ideal introduction to it. Gill Blanchard explores these resources in depth, explains their significance and directs the researcher to the most relevant, and revealing, aspects of them. She makes the research process understandable, accessible and fun, and in the process she demystifies the sometimes obscure language and layout of the documents that researchers will come up against.
This book is an essential handbook for those researching their ancestry in the counties of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset and the city of Bristol. It begins with an introduction to the identity of ‘The West Country’, its geography and history over the centuries. It then guides family historians through the wealth of historical records available both online and in archives and libraries in order to add the ‘flesh to the bones’ of the names of ancestors on their family trees.
West Country expert Kirsty Gray highlights fascinating details that can be uncovered about the places where our ancestors lived, their occupations and the distinctive features, identity and character of the West Country itself. She provides case studies of some notable individuals from the counties as well as records of those individuals who never hit the headlines.
This practical and informative guide is a ‘must have’ for readers wishing to find out more about all aspects of life in this area of England.
What were the principal causes of death in the past? Could your ancestor have been affected? How was disease investigated and treated, and what did our ancestors think about the illnesses and the accidents that might befall them? Simon Wills’s fascinating survey of the diseases that had an impact on their lives seeks to answer these questions. His graphic, detailed account offers an unusual and informative view of the threats that our ancestors lived with and died of.
He describes the common causes of death - cancer, cholera, dysentery, influenza, malaria, scurvy, smallpox, stroke, tuberculosis, typhus, yellow fever, venereal disease and the afflictions of old age. Alcoholism is included, as are childbirth and childhood infections, heart disease, mental illness and dementia. Accidents feature prominently – road and rail accidents, accidents at work – and death through addiction and abuse is covered as well as death through violence and war.
Simon Wills’s work gives a vivid picture of the hazards our ancestors faced and their understanding of them. It also reveals how life and death have changed over the centuries, how medical science has advanced so that some once-mortal illnesses are now curable while others are just as deadly now as they were then.
In addition to describing causes of death and setting them in the context of the times, his book shows readers how to find and interpret patient records, death certificates and other documents in order to gain an accurate impression of how their ancestors died.
Ireland has probably experienced more tragedy when it comes to the preservation of resources for family historians than any other region of the British Isles. Many of the nation’s primary records were lost during the civil war in 1922 and through other equally tragic means. But in this new book Chris Paton, the Northern-Irish-born author of the best-selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet, shows that not only has a great deal of information survived, it is also increasingly being made available online.
Thanks to the pioneering efforts of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, organizations such as FindmyPast Ireland, Ancestry.co.uk and RootsIreland, and the massive volunteer genealogical community, more and more of Ireland’s historical resources are accessible from afar.
As well as exploring the various categories of records that the family historian can turn to, Chris Paton illustrates their use with fascinating case studies. He fully explores the online records available from both the north and the south from the earliest times to the present day. Many overseas collections are also included, and he looks at social networking in an Irish context where many exciting projects are currently underway.