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

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Follow me on Twitter @RuthASymes

Follow me on Twitter for a daily entertaining look at family history and history more generally


Picking out the quirky, the salient, the eccentric and the typical....

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Unearthing Family Tree Mysteries Coming to the USA July 29th 2016

Unearthing Family Tree Mysteries 

by Ruth A. Symes

OUT in the USA 29th July 2016.

Preorder now :

How to find out more about your UK ancestor, including:

...the place he lived

...why his children died

...his working life

...whom he lived with

...why he emigrated/travelled

...what events he might have witnessed he died

...what he ate and drank he spoke and what he believed

Friday, 3 June 2016

Four innovative approaches to family history

4 books, 4 different approaches to family history 

by Ruth A. Symes

1. Unearthing Family Tree Mysteries, (Pen and Sword, 2016)

Shows you how to get the most out of documents about your ancestor (trade directories, birth, marriage and death certificates, censuses, newspapers, obituaries, passenger lists, passports, company newsletters, Bibles and books, diaries, songs, and recipes).


2.  It Runs In The Family: Understanding More About Your Ancestors (The History Press, 2013)

Shows you how better to understand what your ancestor looked like and his/her personal effects (eyes, teeth, hair, beards, distinguishing characteristics, stature, rings, cuff links, buttons, brooches, flowers, and dogs).


3. Family First: Tracing Relationships in the Past (Pen and Sword, 2013)

Explains your ancestor's probable relationships with others in his/her family and community (fathers, mothers, babies, young siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends, neighbours, club associates).


4. Tracing Your Ancestors Through Letters and Personal Writings, (Pen and Sword, 2016)

Shows you how better to read your ancestor's own writings (signatures, graffiti, letters, greeting cards, postcards, telegrams, appointment diaries, diaries, commonplace books, poetry)