Essential Reading

'I have been a family historian for more than 40 years, and a professional historian for over 30, but as I read it, I was constantly encountering new ways of looking at my family history....Essential reading I would say!' Alan Crosby, WDYTYA Magazine

Saturday, 31 October 2015

What really made 'em tick? 
Family First
Out Now
Free delivery
#genealogy #familytree #ancestors #christmaspresents


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Author Photo - Family First

Family First: Tracing Relationships in the Past 
By Ruth A. Symes
  • Understand family photos better
  • Learn more about the size and shape of your family in the past and how they might have interacted
  • Enjoy great tips for solving family history mysteries - Who was the father? Could mothers limit the size of their families? Why were children given those names? Did pecking order matter? Why didn't father marry aunty? Was great-grandmother really as old as she said she was? Who were the family's neighbours and friends? ..... And much more....

Monday, 19 October 2015

National Archives Staff Review of 'It Runs in the Family'

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

The Bronte Cabinet

This is a really great read:

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Jostling for Space

Jostling for space? 
Family First
Out October 30th.
Preorder now for Christmas!

Husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents – these are the relationships that structure the family tree and fascinate the family historian. But how much do we really know about how our ancestors lived out these multiple roles?  Buffeted this way and that by economic developments, legal changes, medical advances,  Two World Wars, the rise of the Welfare State, women’s emancipation and many other factors, relationships between members of our family in the past were subtly different to those of today and continually transforming.
This book is both a social history of the period 1800-1950 and a practical guide on how to set about tracing and better understanding the relationships between members of your own family. What did it mean to be a father in this period, but also, how might you discover the father of an ancestor if his name is not mentioned on the birth certificate? What common ideas were held about the role of wives and mothers, but also, how were multiple births, stillbirths, abortions and infanticides dealt with in the records? What factors might have influenced the size of your ancestor’s family, but also why were its children named as they were? Did pecking order in a family matter, but also, was it legal to marry a cousin, or the sister of a deceased wife? How long could people expect to live, but also what records can tell you more about the circumstances of your ancestors’  last years?  A final chapter considers relationships with neighbours, friends and club associates.


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Raising the family!
Family First.
Out October 30th.
Preorder now.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Patchwork and Family History

See my article on Patchwork and Family History in this month's edition  of Discover Your Ancestors Periodical  online: 

October 2015. Out now! 

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