Tracing Your Ancestors from 1066 to 1837 by Jonathan Oates

Review published on July 6, 2017.

With the ever-growing interest in genealogy and family history, Tracing Your Ancestors from 1066 to 1837 is a wonderful addition to the ever-growing literature on the subject. With the various websites where one can build a family tree, it is possible to start from yourself and go back a few generations to around the mid-nineteenth century, then people often start drawing a blank.

Unless you are a trained historian or genealogist, the average person may not know what to do next and they will find this book an excellent resource to help continue their search. This book has been written by Jonathan Oates, who is currently the Ealing Borough Archivist and the local history librarian, who over his career will have guided many people in their search to know more about their family.

What I like about this book is that is clearly written, very comprehensive and easy to use, something that you are able to dip in and out of, an important aid. This book opens up the field of research from the Norman invasion until just before the coronation of Queen Victoria. This really is a required handbook for those who are beginning their search as well as those more experienced.

He starts by explaining the administrative and religious structures as well as society from the medieval to modern period, which is important, so that you know where to start your search. He identifies other areas to use for the records search, such as manorial records alongside those of the Parish registers. He also explains how property and taxation records happen to open up new avenues to search and give you the knowledge you need.

What people must remember is that this book gives a general overview of where to look and what may prove useful sources of information. As it is so general, some may find the information a bit basic for their search, but this book will certainly help those who are new to family history.

Paul Diggett 5/3

Tracing Your Ancestors from 1066 to 1837 by Jonathan Oates
Pen & Sword Books 9781848846098 pbk Apr 2012

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