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The very latest news from the world of genealogy



Latest reading - Ancestors in the Attic

An interesting book we've recently read which is a good practical read and full of interesting historical points,  is the Karen Foy book - 'Ancestors in the Attic- Making family memorabilia into history'. With the main emphasis these days on the convenience of finding family history records quickly online, Karen looks instead at the valuable treasures we can find in lofts and cupboards or heirlooms left by our ancestors which can throw significant light on how they lived and what life was like. Karen carefully examines many aspects from journals kept, old tickets, the newspapers they read, mementoes kept, military medals , ration books and fashions that were popular at that time. The book advises what to look for and the clues we can find from many different types of memorabilia and the history behind many of the artifacts we come across. It's well worth a read, currently available at the sale price of £11.95 from the S&N Genealogy Supplies website.

Ancestors in the Attic

Ancestors in the Attic- new book available from Karen Foy

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New Irish books well worth a read...

For those family historians with Irish ancestry, there's a couple of new books now available from Flyleaf Press which may be of interest. They form part of the 'Tracing your...' series looking at specific counties in Ireland and offer excellent guidance on how best to go about finding records and generally how to discover more about your Irish ancestors. The 2 latest books I have discovered are 'Tracing Your Cork Ancestors' by Tony McCarthy and Tim Cadogan and 'Tracing Your Roscommon Ancestors' by John Hamrock. Cork is the largest Irish county with a diverse social history and equally diverse sets of records available. Roscommon is one of the smallest Irish counties with a history based primarily around agriculture that suffered greatly in the famine. If you need some advice and guidance on researching your Irish history for either of these counties or the other Irish counties for that matter, this series of books will definitely be of interest. They can be ordered at S&N Genealogy Supplies at http://www.genealogysupplies.com/product_search.php?search=Irish&titlebar=true Have you read any of the series? Let us know!

Tracing Your Cork Ancestors

New Irish county books available at S&N Genealogy

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Weekly book review- Family History for beginners

Our weekly book review takes a look at Family History for beginners by Karen Foy. This book is a perfect introduction to looking into your family tree. For the beginner, it has some ideal tips on the best way to go about researching your family history. Looking firstly at how to get the most information from living relatives, to working your way through the large amount of census data to the ideal ways to store the data you collect, the book is the ideal companion those embarking on the fascinating hobby of family history research. The book concludes by looking at the next level of research, beyond birth, marriages and deaths and the census records, illustrating what other records are available to get access to. Looking at areas such as occupations, emigration and military records, the book gives the beginner the knowledge to start their research in the most effective way. The book is available from S&N Genealogy Supplies priced £14.99 from their website.  

Karen Foy book

Family History for beginners by Karen Foy

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Weekly book review- 'Bound for Australia'

Written by experienced family historian, David T Hawkins, to commemorate the 225th anniversary in 2012 of the sailing of the eleven vessels of the First Fleet from England, bound for Australia, this book is a must read for all those with any Australian ancestors. From the arrival of the first 778 convicts in 1788, to the end of transportation in 1868, a staggering 165,000 criminals were sent to Australia for a range of crimes.In addition to those transported, hundreds of thousands of free persons emigrated from Britain and Ireland to colonies in Australia. With the vast distance involved, few people returned and many now have descendants living in Australia. Tracing those descendants can be a huge task and that's were this book is so useful. First of all it looks at convict records - what to search for, the types of records that can be located and the actual court record proceedings with some actual examples.There's also admiralty records of the 'hulks' the prisoners were stored upon and then the ships they were transported upon. The book looks at the voyage to Australia, giving a fascinating insight into the tough journey. Aside from convicts there is a look into other early settlers, records of officials and examples of those people who returned to Britain. The book is a recommended useful guidebook for those people looking to trace Australian ancestry or who may have discovered a relative who was convicted and transported in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It's very thorough and provides useful pointers for what you can find and where to search to find those all important records. The book is available priced £20 from S&N Genealogy Supplies at the S&N Genealogy website.

Bound for Australia new book

Bound for Australia by David T Hawkins

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Weekly book review- Tracing your Galway Ancestors

For those family historians with Irish ancestry, or for those people interested in Irish history, the book we've looked at this week could prove of great interest. Entitled 'Tracing your Galway Ancestors' by Peadar O'Dowd, it looks at all aspects of life in the second largest county in Ireland. The book starts off with a look at the history of the county, dating back to the 13th century Norman adventurers. It then gives some handy tips on how to go about researching your Galway ancestry. The author looks at the types of records available to the family historian which can help you find out more about your relatives- looking at Irish census records, census substitute records, church records, land records, grave inscriptions and more. The book is a comprehensive research tool for those looking into this widely diverse population, giving you the ideas on what records are available and how best to use them. The book is published by Flyleaf Press and is available from S&N Genealogy Supplies priced £11.55 at http://www.genealogysupplies.com/product_display.php?prodid=6224

New Book

Tracing Your Galway Ancestors by Peadar O'Dowd

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Project to digitise Vatican Library manuscript collection commences

News from the Vatican Library is the major project to digitise 82,000 valuable manuscripts from their collection is finally underway. The project, finally up and running a year after its announcement, uses an armada of equipment to capture the vast range of pages amassed by the Vatican over five or six centuries into one of the world’s most valuable collection of books and manuscripts.

Vatican library

Vatican manuscripts to go online

They include the Vatican’s 8,900 incunabula (books printed before 1501): the Sifra, a Hebrew manuscript written a millennia ago, a 4th century manuscript of the Greek Bible and the De Europa of Pope Pius II, printed around 1491. More information on the project is available here
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Weekly book review- the Penguin Dictionary of British Surnames

Family History Social will be taking a weekly look at some of the popular books available for family historians which I hope are of interest to you. This week we've taken a look at the 'Penguin Dictionary of British Surnames' by John Titford. The book describes itself as 'the definitive guide to surnames and their meanings' and is certainly very comprehensive. The author looks at the history of British surnames, regional variations and offers in one section, a humourous take on surnames from various parts of the British Isles.

British Surnames

The Penguin Dictionary of British Surnames

The book is very meticulous, analysing the history and thought-processes behind the use of surnames. There's also a section devoted to how genealogists can approach the whole surname issue and its significance in our research. The book also gives a comprehensive list of further sources of research (both offline and online) to discover more about surnames. Finally, the majority of the book (as per the title) gives an A to Z of surnames and their origin and meaning. The book contains over 10,000 surnames and includes how names have developed and varied over the years. It's available from S&N Genealogy Supplies priced £14.99. There's more details on their website.
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