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Tracing Your Ancestors: Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk (Paperback)

A Guide For Family Historians

Local History Family History

By Gill Blanchard
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing your Ancestors
Pages: 229
ISBN: 9781473859999
Published: 16th April 2018

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Gill Blanchard's practical and informative handbook will help you to trace your ancestors in the traditional counties of East Anglia Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex and it will give you an insight into their lives. As well as guiding the researcher to historical records held in all the relevant archives, she explores the wealth of other resources that add the 'flesh to the bones' of our ancestors' lives. She describes how fascinating information can be discovered about the places they lived in and the important historical events they lived through, and she traces the life stories of notable people from all backgrounds who shaped the regions development over the centuries. Her account highlights the diversity of this part of England but also focuses on its common features and strong sense of identity. It introduces a wide array of research resources that will be revealing for readers who want to find out about their ancestors who lived here.

This is not a book to rush through but to devour slowly and, having read it, to dip into various sections again and again, each time discovering more.
Not one of the many books guiding you step-by-step through the mechanics of basic research, Gill Blanchard tells how and which records can be used to “put flesh on the bones” showing how on-line and off-line research compliment each other.
On our journey through the pages we discover many interesting snippets such as Stowbridge Fair was the largest in Europe and believed to be John Bunyon’s inspiration for Vanity Fair in Pilgrims Progress and one of the most unusual loads carried by train was when a stuffed giraffe travelled from London to Ipswich Museum in 1909. There are tantalising glimpses of smuggling, pirates, tithe wars and a tuberculosis colony at Papworth in 1921.
At the end of each chapter are excellent sections called “Finding out More” and “Bringing it to Life” .
Containing an excellent Resources Directory, Bibliography and Index this is certainly a book to be on every family historian’s bookshelf. It definitely has a place on mine.

Norfolk Family History Society
 Gill Blanchard
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