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A Dictionary of Family History (Paperback)

The Genealogists' ABC

Family History

By Jonathan Scott
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Pages: 247
ISBN: 9781473892521
Published: 13th February 2017


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Part encyclopedia, part dictionary, part almanac Jonathan Scotts Dictionary of Family History doesnt claim to be exhaustive, but it is practical, easy to use, entertaining and genuinely informative. It is the kind of book you can dip into or use as a starting point for deeper study, and it is the essential companion for experienced family historians and for anyone who is approaching this fascinating subject for the first time.
Thousands of A to Z entries are full of intriguing facts. There are definitions, timelines and terminologies, details of archives and websites as well as advice on research methods and explanations of genealogical peculiarities and puzzles that would test the knowledge of even veteran researchers. Longer entries explaining the mechanics of the first census and other major sources and records rub shoulders with simple one-line definitions of obscure terms, useful addresses and signposts to little-known but rewarding corners of family, local and social history.
This concise, clear and wide-ranging compendium of helpful, sometimes surprising information is a valuable reference tool for everyone in the field.

When you see a title like this, there is the inevitable thought: "not another book covering the same old stuff". In many ways so this is, but in many ways it is not and the latter triumphs. This is certainly a book worth investing in...

... If you don't want to reply on Google, Wikipedia and the like for your information, this is undoubtedly a worthy addition to the bookshelf.

WDYTYA? Magazine, May 2017 - reviewed by Paul Blake.

There are many terms and terminologies to be encountered whilst researching your ancestors - this book lists them all and explains their usage and meaning - again, an essential addition to your genealogy library.

Books Monthly

This is exactly as it says, a dictionary. However, it covers a bit more than a normal dictionary would. In some of the entries there are tips and clues of how to navigate the looked up entry. For example, if you look up German Lutheran Church, it gives a description and then steps outlines on how to go about your search. Some entries have this and some don't. It also addresses a lot of historical colloquialisms. What the heck is a fish-fag or a moonraker? This is great for someone first starting out looking for Ancestors in the United Kingdom that does not live there.

Goodreads, Michelle McMenamin

The preface states "this book is part encyclopedia, part dictionary, part almanac, part directory", and continues "The idea was to create a work of reference where definitions of obsolete terms rubbed shoulders with facts, dates, tips, advice, websites and little-known sources."

If this gives you the impression that the book is a bit of hotch-potch then you're right - it isn't by any means comprehensive, and yet every time I opened the book at random I came across something useful or interesting that I didn't know before.

Read the full review here.

Lost Cousins

A really interesting book, full of lots of useful tips.

Read the full review here.

GoodReads, Kristin Davison
 Jonathan Scott

About Jonathan Scott

Jonathan Scott is a freelance writer specializing in family history. He is a former deputy editor of Family History Monthly and has penned the ‘Best Websites’ column for Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine since 2007. He also writes the magazine’s monthly ‘Around Britain’ feature and compiles the end-of-year look-ahead at developments online. In addition to his work in family history, he has compiled Collecting Children’s Books and Rare Book Price Guide

Perfect Partner

Tracing Your Ancestors Through Local History Records A Guide for Family Historians (Paperback)

Family history should reveal more than facts and dates, lists of names and places – it should bring ancestors alive in the context of their times and the surroundings they knew – and research into local history records is one of the most rewarding ways of gaining this kind of insight into their world. That is why Jonathan Oates’s detailed introduction to these records is such a useful tool for anyone who is trying to piece together a portrait of family members from the past. In a series of concise and informative chapters he looks at the origins and importance of local history from the sixteenth…

By Dr Jonathan Oates

Click here to buy both titles for £20.98
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