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Hardcover Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History Book

ISBN: 0806315415

ISBN13: 9780806315416

Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History

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Book Overview

This is the second edition of the book that has been called the Bible of British genealogy. Originally published in 1997 in association with the Society of Genealogists (London), and now revised and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

A 'must' for aspiring genealogists having to deal with British source material.

Now in a completely updated and substantially revised second edition, "Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide To British Genealogy And Family History by Mark Herber continues to be an invaluable and indispensable genealogical reference guide for novice and experienced genealogists alike whose researches require them to access the voluminous British archives of records and other published resources. Originally published in 1997 in association with the Society of Genealogists based in London, this new and expanded edition of "Ancestral Trails" provides an informed and informative guide to what records and published sources are available, how to access them, how to analyze what they archive; how to use the divers 'finding-aids' and indexes. "Ancestral Trails" also shows how to obtain and process information from living relatives, how to construct family trees, how to utilize the preserved records of birth, marriage, death, and other census data. Also covered are such sources as wills, parish records, civil and ecclesiastical court records, poll books, and property records. "Ancestral Trails" is a core addition to any professional genealogy library reference collection and a 'must' for aspiring genealogists having to deal with British source material.

Best of its kind

This is simply the best manual of English genealogy ever published. Let's hope any upcoming edition acknowledges the existance of the Internet.

Indeed I was impressed with this 674 page "encyclopedia."

"No other publication gives such comprehensive and up-to-date guidance on tracing British ancestry and researching family history. Illustrated throughout with more than ninety examples of the major types of records, and with detailed lists of further reading, Ancestral Trails will be the essential companion and guide for all family historians." Anthony Camp, Director, Society of Genealogists.This excellent publication was created in association with the prestigious Society of Genealogists, perhaps akin to the US' National Genealogical Society. The author Mark D. Herber is a solicitor who began researching his family in 1979. He has successfully traced some of his lines back to around 1580. Indeed I was impressed with this 674 page "encyclopedia." (Quotes added for emphasis!) The bibliography alone is twenty-two pages. My experience with English records has been limited to early parish records in Devon and some Court of Canterbury wills, so I was most eager to have the opinion of three friends who do extensive English, Welsh and Irish research, and indeed are successful in helping others make strong headway in their research. You can imagine the excitement at our local LDS Family History Center as they poured over the book with uncustomary enthusiasm!The consensus is that ANCESTRAL TRAILS is as definitive of British research as Ancestry's THE SOURCE is of American genealogy. Lew, a 1st generation Brit, was impressed with the chapter on military records, and made a note to order the book forthwith. Elsie, born of English immigrant parents, had been inquiring previously about manor court records and found this publication provided more than she had found in explanation elsewhere. I was impressed with the 94 illustrations, including typical certificates of vital records, representative samples of wills and the like.Also impressive is the attention given to beginning genealogists. Basics such as pedigree charts, personal recollections & memorabilia, spelling, handwriting, dates, obtaining certificates and organization of collected materials are discussed with ample illustrations. Additional chapters include: General Problems Encountered by Researchers, Civil Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths, Census Returns, Parish Registers, Churchyards and Cemeteries, Directories, Combining Sources, Archives, Libraries and Family History Societies, Wills and Administrations,Catholic, Nonconformist and Jewish Records, Marriage and Divorce, Maps, Land Registrations and Property Records, Local and Social History, Newspapers and Elections,Parish and Town Records, Records of the Army, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force, Records of Shipping and Seaman, Records of Trades, Professions and Business, Oaths, Taxation and Insurance Records Records of Civil and Ecclesiastical Courts, Records of the Criminal Courts and Criminals, Education, Peerages, the Gentry, Famous People and Heraldry, Further Property Records, Tracing Migrants and Living Relatives, Scotlan

An outstanding reference book for British genealogy.

The field of genealogical research in Great Britain is littered with literature. This scepter'd isle has a long history of excellently preserved source records, an enthusiastic community of genealogists, and a wealth of authors willing to guide the enthusiasts through the records. Given this background, it is difficult to imagine that a new work on British genealogical research could quickly become a new "standard reference". Mark Herber has made his Ancestral Trails just such a standard. Ancestral Trails, written in association with the Society of Genealogists in the United Kingdom, is 688 pages of top quality writing, organization, and completeness of coverage. It takes a textbook approach to the subject of genealogical records, leading the reader from the more basic sources such as civil registration and parish records on to the more specialized such as military and educational records. Far from being dry in style, the author uses well chosen examples from his own years of researching his ancestors to explain how the record types in question can be used by the family historian. Some authors who use examples from their own research can detract from their work by doing so. In contrast, Mark Herber has made his personal examples of real research situations enhance the text because of their relevancy to his topics. Nearly one hundred examples of significant records are included as illustrations. Researchers experienced in using British records as well as beginners will find this encyclopedic guide useful. The author covers newly-available resources such as the 1881 Census Index and provides excellent research advice and several clever shortcuts to using this new finding aid. Those researchers with Essex ancestors will be doubly blessed by this book as many of Mark Herber's examples are from research in that county. The extensive bibliography really sets this book apart as a new standard reference. Almost one thousand bibliographic references are conveniently referenced from within the book's 30 chapters. Researchers familiar with particular record types will be pleasantly surprised to find Ancestral Trails referring to an exhaustive list of other works on the topic. The author's writing style lucidly describes the important considerations when working with a record type and seamlessly refers the reader to the more specialized works of other authors for greater detail. Ancestral Trails is a thick and thorough tome and an excellent addition to the research knowledge of anyone with British ancestry.
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