Happy weekend everyone! This week’s #FridayReads selections will help you delve into your own personal history. Whether you’re new to genealogy and thinking of looking into it for the first time, or a veteran of family history studies, you’ll find useful, practical, and entertaining information within these books to help guide your search.
Tracing Your Ancestors through Family Photographs
Jayne Shrimpton’s complete guide to dating, analyzing and understanding family photographs is essential reading and reference for anyone undertaking genealogical and local history research. Using over 150 old photographs as examples, she shows how such images can give a direct insight into the past and into the lives of the individuals who are portrayed in them.
Almost every family and local historian works with photographs, but often the fascinating historical and personal information that can be gained from them is not fully understood. They are one of the most vivid and memorable ways into the past.
This concise but comprehensive guide describes the various types of photograph and explains how they can be dated. It analyses what the clothes and style of dress can tell us about the people in the photographs, their circumstances and background.
Sections look at photographs of special occasions – baptisms, weddings, funerals – and at photographs taken in wartime, on holiday and at work. There is advice on how to identify the individuals shown and how to find more family photographs through personal connections, archives and the internet – and how to preserve them for future generations.
Jayne Shrimpton’s handbook is an authoritative, accessible guide to old photographs that no family or local historian can be without.
Unearthing Family Tree Mysteries
The intriguing characters in these real family history mysteries include an agricultural laborer who left secrets behind in Somerset when he migrated to Manchester, a working-class woman who bafflingly lost ten of her fourteen children in infancy, a miner who purportedly went to ‘live with the Red Indians’ and a merchant prince of the Empire who was rumored to have two wives.
This book shows how a variety of sources including birth, marriage and death certificates, censuses, newspaper reports, passports, recipe books, trade directories, diaries and passenger lists were all used to uncover more, and how much can be detected by setting the characters from your family tree in their proper historical backgrounds.
Tracing Your Army Ancestors
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 the reader has no prior knowledge of the British Army, its history or organization, Simon Fowler explains what records survive, where they are to be found and how they can help you in your research. He shows how to make the best use of the increasing number of related resources to be found online, and he pays particular attention to explaining the records and the reasons behind their creation, as this information can be very important in understanding how these documents can help your research.
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Tracing Your Ancestors Through Letters and Personal Writings
Could your ancestors write their own names or did they mark official documents with a cross? Why did great-grandfather write so cryptically on a postcard home during the First World War? Why did great-grandmother copy all the letters she wrote into letter-books? How unusual was it that great-uncle sat down and wrote a poem, or a memoir?
Researching Family History Through Ancestors’ Personal Writings looks at the kinds of (mainly unpublished) writing that could turn up amongst family papers from the Victorian period onwards – a time during which writing became crucial for holding families together and managing their collective affairs.
With industrialization, improved education, and far more geographical mobility, British people of all classes were writing for new purposes, with new implements, in new styles, using new modes of expression and new methods of communication (e.g. telegrams and postcards). Our ancestors had an itch for scribbling from the most basic marks (initials, signatures and graffiti on objects as varied as trees, rafters and window ledges), through more emotionally charged kinds of writing such as letters and diaries, to more creative works such as poetry and even fiction.
This book shows family historians how to get the most out of documents written by their ancestors and, therefore, how better to understand the people behind the words.