Tracing Your Ancestors in the National Archives: The Website and Beyond

Overview

The British public's hunger to meet their ancestors continues, and this unrivalled guide offers one of the best ways to explore people in the past through the holdings of The National Archives at Kew and the Family Records Centre at Islington. Aimed at researchers on all levels from family historians to academics, "Tracing Your Ancestors" fully explains the institution, the records, and how to use them most effectively. This seventh edition - the first since the Public Record Office became The National Archives -...

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Overview

The British public's hunger to meet their ancestors continues, and this unrivalled guide offers one of the best ways to explore people in the past through the holdings of The National Archives at Kew and the Family Records Centre at Islington. Aimed at researchers on all levels from family historians to academics, "Tracing Your Ancestors" fully explains the institution, the records, and how to use them most effectively. This seventh edition - the first since the Public Record Office became The National Archives - is fully revised to offer even better reference than before, including: updates throughout on topics including the census and records of inheritance, births marriages and deaths of Britons overseas, immigration, the army, merchant seamen, the poor, crime, justice and more; a new text feature showing how each record can be accessed, whether online, as documents, microfilm, etc; a new index to record series; and an additional chapter on accessing other archives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The seventh edition of Tracing your Ancestors in the National Archives was released in 2009 under a slightly different title to reflect the joining of the Public Record Office and the Historical Manuscripts Commission into one entity, the National Archives. The first edition was published in 1981 and was a huge success. Each edition increased in size and content to reflect the growing interest that has developed by family historians and genealogists. The continuing success of the television series in the United Kingdom, Who Do You Think You Are? attracted audiences of over five million people and validated the growing interest in family history. This issue of Tracing your Ancestors in the National Archives is a valuable reference for anyone who is interested in finding out more about their British ancestors.

This publication is useful for researchers at any level. It shows how to uncover the real lives of people from documents that they left behind. It covers all aspects of the holdings at the National Archives and the Family Records Centre, from the latest technology to the oldest manuscripts, census and service records to inquests and wills.

There are good research tips on how to search and browse the National Archives catalogue effectively. Only a portion of the catalogue is fully searchable at the National Archives, so browsing will be useful. On specific topics in the book, there is help in categorizing relevant series and tips on how to best access them. You will find references like SP 07 with numeric symbols after them. There is a table in the back of the book explaining these symbols; which, for example, could mean: searchable by surname; searchable by country; best searched by paper catalogue; or brief description in the catalogue.

If you are researching in the British Isles, why do you need this book? The author states that the book is the researchers’ guide. It provides detailed advice and background information about nearly 1,500 series of major interest to family historians and genealogists. I recommend this book to anyone researching family history in the British Isles.

'This is a book to read, not just to refer to...Destined to be a classic'

'excellent . . . deserves to be on the shelf of any family historian'

''If you can't find it in this book, it doesn't exist''

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781903365892
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 4/30/2006
  • Edition description: 7th Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Amanda Bevan has contributed to Tracing Your Ancestors since the fourth edition in 1990 and took on the role of sole author with the sixth edition. A senior archivist at The National Archives, she has for nearly 25 years worked as a researcher, writer and records adviser to the public. She is a member of the Ancestors board and a contributor to the magazine.

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Table of Contents

Advice on using the census and wills. Information on Briton's overseas, migration, the armed forces, merchant seamen, criminals, litigants and more. Detailed guidance on using the Archives' rapidly-developing website and catalogues. Text symbols showing how best to search each record series. An index to record series.

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