Do You Have Royal Blood? Find Out With Our 5 Family Tree Books

Connect with your own family history with our fascinating genealogy books. Discover who your ancestors were, where your surname comes from and how you ended up where you are by researching your own family tree. But, if mapping out your ancestors seems like a daunting task and you don't know where to start or you've reached a dead-end and still want to know more, then our top 5 family tree books are here to help.

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1. Genealogy

Helen Osborn

Professional genealogist Helen Osborn shows you how to track your family history through various methods based on the routes she's taken to research her own and her clients' family trees. Plus, she identifies common issues genealogists face and offers practical solutions, including how to find the most accurate documents. This book is perfect for both amateur and long-time genealogists looking for helpful advice from an expert in the field.

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2. A Tree Without Roots

Paul Crooks

Paul Crooks has written this brilliant book for people trying to find their Caribbean ancestors based on the struggles he had trying to map his own family tree and how he overcame them. Tracing his African slave ancestors led him on a different path to bring the stories of his long gone family members to light. In the process he uncovered records that had never been found by genealogists before. Discover the techniques used by the genealogist who refused to give up.

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3. Organize Your Genealogy

Drew Smith

This handy genealogy book takes you through all the research methods and software you need to make the most of your family tree project. Drew Smith gives you information on every part of the process, from how to plan a research trip to how to gather details from documents and archives. With checklists and worksheets to follow, this book has all the help you need to trace your family tree back for generations.

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4. Understanding Documents for Genealogy & Local History

Bruce Durie

This fascinating book is about the stage of family tree research where you think you've gone as far back as you can go and shows you that you can actually go a whole lot further. Bruce Durie's book specialises in how to make sense of old documents, even if they are in other languages like Latin or Scots. Plus, he teaches you how to understand the handwriting and spellings used in letters, records, deeds and wills of the past. Perfect for the more advanced genealogist, this book shows you can never go back too far to find your family.

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5. A Dictionary of English Surnames

PH Reaney

Explore the origins and history of 16,000 English surnames in this comprehensive dictionary which can be a great tool for tracking down the lives your ancestors would have led. Surnames have meanings related to career paths, personalities and more so this book can act as an interesting insight into your family history. Plus, Professor David Hey also advises you on how to locate where your surname originates from to give you more of an idea about your family's past.

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If you still need more help tracking your ancestors, then check out our full range of family tree and genealogy books.

    • £14.19
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    This book is the ideal companion for anybody researching their family tree. It provides advice and inspiration on methods and problem-solving and helps the amateur family historian understand what successful professionals do to get results, and why we should copy them. Over ten chapters, it examines the various themes that affect the success or failure of all genealogy research. This begins with an overview of common challenges genealogists encounter and continues with an examination of how to both search effectively and find the right documentary sources. Using examples from her own family history as well as client work, teacher and professional genealogist Helen Osborn demonstrates how to get the most from documents, analyze problems and build research plans. These subjects lead on to recording results, how to ensure relationships are correctly proved, organizing information and presenting your findings. Although the book deals mainly with research in England and Wales, the skills taught are easily transferable to research in other countries. This book will be particularly valuable to anyone who is stuck with their research, in addition to those who are keen to learn about advanced skills and methods used by genealogists.
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    Did you know that Batts, may have had stout ancestors? That Dennes could be descended from swineherds? That Herons might come from thin men with long legs? How much do you know about the origin of your own surname? This fascinating dictionary covers the origin and meaning of over 16,000 surnames, giving detailed information on early name-forms and how names have changed over the centuries. Alternative forms of names are cross-referenced to make it easy to find variants. Popular names such as Brown, Clark and Smith are all covered, alongside rarer names from Clapper to Cutterbuck, Stocking to Twitchen. An authoritative introduction sets in context the popular topic of name-studies, and guides the reader through the history of English surnames. The dictionary also includes an appendix in which the distinguished family historian, Professor David Hey (author of the Oxford Companion to Local and Family History) gives advice on how to locate the home of a family name. He explains, with examples, how to discover the current distribution of a name in the UK, and how to trace its origins. Quirky and interesting, informative and accessible, this is an excellent guide for anyone with an interest in English family names.
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    Genealogists and local historians have probably seen every birth, marriage, death and census record available, and are adept at using the internet for research. However, once they have learnt everything they can from them, the next step is reading and understanding older documents. These can be hard to find (not many are online), are often written in challenging handwriting and use legal and other unfamiliar terms. Some will be in Latin, antiquated English or Scots. Readers need to be able to understand the nature and intent of a range of documents as well as the palaeography (the handwriting) and orthography (the 'shape' of the contents). In Understanding Documents for Genealogy and Local History, Dr Bruce Durie, the celebrated author of Scottish Genealogy, details how to find and comprehend documents from 1560 to the 1860s - wills, testaments, contracts, indentures and charters, land records (retours, sasines and manorial custumals), personal letters, official records, Church papers, trust dispositions, deeds and others. Also covered are the complexities of dates, numbers, calendars, measurements and money, abbreviations, transcription conventions, letter-forms and glossaries. A Latin primer completes the tool kit the genealogist and family historian will need to further their research.
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    Get Your Research in Order! Stop struggling to manage all your genealogy facts, files, and data--make a plan of attack to maximize your progress. Organize Your Genealogy will show you how to use tried-and-true methods and the latest tech tools and genealogy software to organize your research plan, workspace, and family-history finds. In this book, you'll learn how to organize your time and resources, including how to set goals and objectives, determine workable research questions, sort paper and digital documents, keep track of physical and online correspondence, prepare for a research trip, and follow a skill-building plan. With this comprehensive guide, you'll make the most of your research time and energy and put yourself on a road to genealogy success. Organize Your Genealogy features:* Secrets to developing organized habits that will maximize your research time and progress* Hints for setting up the right physical and online workspaces* Proven, useful systems for organizing paper and electronic documents* Tips for managing genealogy projects and goals* The best tools for organizing every aspect of your ancestry research* Easy-to-use checklists and worksheets to apply the book's strategiesWhether you're a newbie seeking best practices to get started or a seasoned researcher looking for new and better ways of getting organized, this guide will help you manage every facet of your ancestry research.
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    From a man who dedicated eleven years of his life to uncovering the saga of his African slave ancestors comes a guide for others to capitalize on his informed techniques and discover just what it means to be where one is from. Offering groundbreaking insights on how to delve into one's past, this book is intended both for beginners and experienced researchers and provides inspiration to those who believe that their search may be hampered by having a mixed parentage or a history of migration through the ages. An instructive guide for British, Africans and Asians interested in finding more about their family connections with the Caribbean islands, it nevertheless offers techniques and approaches that can be applied to anyone researching their ancestors around the world.