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In Search of our Ancient Ancestors (Hardback)

From the Big Bang to Modern Britain, in Science and Myth

Ancient History Family History

By Anthony Adolph
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Pages: 246
ISBN: 9781473849211
Published: 12th October 2015


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Star Review

Our top choice! - Family Tree

Check out the short, 3 part film by Anthony Adolph to conicide with his book

- Part 1: Evolution

- Part 2: Stone Age Britain

- Part 3: Ancient Britain

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What a fine long pedigree you have given the human race. – Charles Darwin to Charles Lyell, 1863.

How is the Royal Family descended from fish? How distantly are we related to dinosaurs? How much of your DNA came from Neanderthals? How are the builders of Stonehenge connected to great-grandpa?

According to science, life first appeared on Earth about 3,500 million years ago. Every living thing is descended from that first spark, including all of us. But if we trace a direct line down from those original life forms to ourselves, what do we find? What is the full story of our family tree over the past 3,500 million years, and how are we able to trace ourselves so far back?

From single-celled organisms to sea-dwelling vertebrates; amphibians to reptiles; tiny mammals to primitive man; the first Homo sapiens to the cave painters of Ice Age Europe and the first farmers down to the Norman Conquest, this book charts not only the extraordinary story of our ancient ancestors but also our 40,000-year-long quest to discover our roots, from ancient origin myths of world-shaping mammoths and great floods down to the scientific discovery of our descent from the Genetic Adam and the Mitochondrial Eve.

This is the amazing story of our ancient ancestors, as told by one of Britain's leading genealogists.

Author featured as expert part of Jonathan Scott article in 'Best Websites' feature

WDYTYA? Magazine, May 2019

Author featured as expert part of Jonathan Scott article in 'Best Websites To Use' feature

WDYTYA? magazine, November 2018

★★★★★ An excellent survey of human ancestry and stages of cultural development, starting from the earliest beginnings to present times. The text includes enough scientific information to keep the interest of advanced genealogists, but is also entertaining and readable enough for the more general audience. The final chapter provides an introduction and guide on the use of DNA testing in tracing family ancestry. A nice resource for any genealogist or family historian.

Amazon Customer - R.Langland

★★★★ From the very start of this book, each new section brings more details than the last and with good reason. The closer we come to the present, the more we understand that part of history.

Amazon Customer - Petros Koutoupis

★★★★★ If you would like to investigate and record your family tree all the way back to the ancient past, this is the book for you...

Amazon Customer - Sandra Lakeman

★★★★ Most enlightening, especially from a genealogists point of view...

Amazon Customer - Catherine Moir

★★★★★ Great book on our ancestors, going back to the big bang. Well written and very interesting. Want to know where we really come from and how we got to be who we are today. This is as up to date as any book can be. What happened to the Neanderthal? Where'd the Cro-Mangon come from> Here it is.

Amazon Customer

In this publication, renowned genealogist, Anthony Adolph, tackles the difficult by tracing the origins of modern man through science and mythology, from as early the Big Bang. It is quite the ambitious undertaking, but I must admit that Adolph succeeded in accomplishing his goal. The research is partitioned into five separate sections, each of which focuses on a specific theme.

Read the complete review here.

Ancient Origins

Author article as featured in - exploring how teamwork across the Millennia can shed clarity on the 'great family tree of life'

Your Family History, February 2017

Author article on ancestral connections as featured in

Your Family History, January 2017

Among the best treatments I have read that puts the science of Y-DNA into a rich and readable narrative of human evolution and migration, with special emphasis on the waves of human colonization of Britain in prehistoric times.

American Genealogist

As featured in

Your Family History, December 2016

Author article as featured in

Your Family History, October 2016

As featured part of author article

Your Family History, September 2016

As featured in article

Your Family History, August 2016

If you are seeking answers about who you are and your origins then this thought-provoking book could be useful.

Essex Family Historian No.159

As featured in.

Your Family History July 2016

Overall, the book was a thoroughly engaging and interesting read, clearly not entirely suitable to everyone. A science duffer like me had to frown and count the floor tiles throughout the genetic investigations. A true believing follower of any religion will have some trouble with the pragmatism. But I think everyone will find something of interest within and I can guarantee that everyone will learn something.

Read the full review at UNRV

UNRV, SJA Turney

As featured in.

Family Tree Magazine July 2016

It is a clear desire and evidence of our enquiring minds that human beings need to understand our origins - who we are and where we come from. Without doubt, this desire is string in genealogists, explaining our efforts to provide the evidence we need to map out our ancestry from written records. This book takes the enquiring mind much further back - from ancient times and the theories of Hesiod outlining the continuous thread of the human family tree at the beginning of the world, through to the new scientific discovery of genetic testing and DNA through which our
male-line Y chromosome can be identified. The journey from Adan and Eve, to Neanderthals and the 'thinking man', i.e. Homo Sapiens, is laid out for the reader.... Given the complex nature of the subject matter in this book, particularly with reference to the author's enlightening family tree for Her Majesty The Queen, using a combination of male genetic signatures and genealogical data, going back to Homo Erectus, the narrative is easy to follow and largely compelling in its arguments...

Genealogists’ Magazine, June 2016 - Barbara Jarvis

As featured in.

Your Family History May 2016

As feature in.

Your Family History April 2016

As featured in

Your Family History - March 2016

As referenced in.

Your Family Tree Feb 2016

This is a practical read as well as a thought-provoking one.

Family Tree - Jan 2016

Anthony Adolph is a professional genealogist who has written many family history books, but I wasn't quite sure what to expect from his latest book, In Search of Our Ancient Ancestors. Having read it I'm still slightly shell-shocked by the range of topics that he covers, from the origins of the universe and life on Earth to the present day DNA analysis that aims to answer some of our questions about our past. And everything in between!

Underlying the book is the simple truth that his ancestors are also our ancestors - we all share the same ancestors, which means that the history of the human race and its predecessors is equally relevant to all of us.

This isn't a book for the average family historian - at times I felt as if I was on University Challenge - but then LostCousins members aren't average family historians. If you're looking for a book that will get you thinking - and, perhaps, challenge some of your preconceptions about who we are and where we came from - then this could be for you.


As featured in.

Family Tree Dec 15

The book charts not only the extraordinary story of our ancient ancestors, but also our 40,000-year-long quest to discover our roots, from ancient origin myths of world-shapping mammoths and great floods down to the scientific discovery of our descent from the Genetic Adam and Mitochondrial Eve. This is the amazing story of out ancient ancestors, as told by one of Britain's leading genealogists.

The Highlander Magazine

As featured in.

Family Tree, Nov 2015

A roller-coaster through human existence, which may help give a bigger picture as to why we do genealogy at all.

Your Family Tree
 Anthony Adolph

About Anthony Adolph

Anthony Adolph (www.anthonyadolph.co.uk) is a well-known genealogist who has made a special study of the history of aristocracy and of all the research resources that can be used to delve into this absorbing field. He is a regular contributor to the major genealogy magazines and websites, he has appeared as resident genealogist and co presenter of television and radio programmes for Channel 4 and Radio 4, and his books include Tracing Your Family History, Tracing Your Scottish Family History, Who Am I? and The King’s Henchman.

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