It Runs In The Family
Staff Review by Stella Sass from the National Archives:'It runs in the family' is an easy to read, straightforward account of how we can interpret information from documents, photographs, artefacts and heirlooms to discover our ancestors' characters and social standing. Each topic is interspersed with interesting illustrations. The book covers personal appearances and what can be discovered from studying stature, eyes, teeth, hairstyles, beards, distinguishing features and tattoos. It also explores other aspects of life including pets, fashion, perfume and clothing, even down to what we can discover from buttons! Ruth A. Symes provides an insight into how life was in the past which helps us understand more about our ancestors as products of their time and how fashions and times influenced their lifestyle regardless of social class. In order to extend knowledge and understanding the author provides further reading lists and website addresses at the end of each chapter. After reading this book we realise the importance of giving prominence to those small matters previously overlooked that help to look at our family in a new light, uncovering information that was there but for the need of interpretation. If you want to get to know the ancestors in your tree as individual personalities then you should find plenty of hints and information to achieve your aim. Maybe you will discover an aspect where 'it runs in the family'.
Stella Sass, The Friends of The National Archives