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The Oxford Guide to Family Historyby David Hey
Synopses & Reviews
Who were your ancestors? Where did they live? How did they earn their living? At what age did they marry, and how large were their families? Throughout the ages and across the world people have had a natural curiosity about their ancestors, but only recently have amateur historians begun to trace their forebears with such fervor and delight. Written by a leading authority in the field, The Oxford Guide to Family History is a practical introduction to finding out about your family.
Much more than a guide to the mechanics of constructing a family tree, this helpful book suggests ways of broadening your own family research to look at what life was like for people of centuries past. Drawing on the oral tradition, financial records, gravestones, or census records, one may, for instance, learn how a family earned their living, what a person was like, or what religion they were. While many of the examples are based on British family histories, David Hey offers much practical advice on the basics of family research. He suggests, for example, that a family historian not start with some famous person who had the same surname back in the fifteenth century. The golden rule is to work backwards from the known to the unknown. Among basic sources for the beginner are municipal records, census records, and church registers. And Hey also points out that many surnames are intensely local in their distribution, and that as a result, tracing the geographical pattern of a surname is an important task, as it may lead towards the original home of the name.
Offering practical advice such as how to get started, where to find records, and how to decipher early styles of handwriting, The Oxford Guide to Family History is essential to learning the most about your family history. Lavishly illustrated with pictures of family groups, houses, monuments, and archive records, here is an authoritative guide to this fascinating hobby.
Book News Annotation:
Goes beyond the garden variety guide to constructing a family tree by explaining ways to discover the reality of life for ancestors. Hey (local and family history, Sheffeld U., England) speaks both to social historians and to people who want to find out about their own family but have no idea where to start, considering such aspects as the distribution of surnames, stability, and mobility. Includes many examples and illustrations.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 231-236) and indexes.
About the Author
About the Author - David Hey is Professor of Local and Family History at the University of Sheffield.
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