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Tracing Your Ancestors' Lives (Paperback)

A Guide to Social History for Family Historians

Family History Social History

By Barbara J. Starmans
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Pages: 204
ISBN: 9781473879713
Published: 5th April 2017

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Tracing Your Ancestors’ Lives is not a comprehensive study of social history but instead an exploration of the various aspects of social history of particular interest to the family historian. It has been written to help researchers to go beyond the names, dates and places in their pedigree back to the time when their ancestors lived. Through the research advice, resources and case studies in the book, researchers can learn about their ancestors, their families and the society they lived in and record their stories for generations to come. Each chapter highlights an important general area of study. Topics covered include the family and society; domestic life; birth life and death; work, wages and economy; community, religion and government. Barbara J. Starmans’s handbook encourages family historians to immerse themselves more deeply in their ancestors’ time and place. Her work will give researchers a fascinating insight into what their ancestors’ lives were like.

★★★★★
Tracing Your Ancestors' Lives is not a comprehensive study of social history but instead an exploration of the various aspects of social history of particular interest to the family historian. It has been written to help researchers to go beyond the names, dates and places in their pedigree back to the time when their ancestors lived. Through the research advice, resources and case studies in the book, researchers can learn about their ancestors, their families and the society they lived in and record their stories for generations to come. Each chapter highlights an important general area of study. Topics covered include the family and society; domestic life; birth life and death; work, wages and economy; community, religion and government. Barbara J. Starmans's handbook encourages family historians to immerse themselves more deeply in their ancestors' time and place. Her work will give researchers a fascinating insight into what their ancestors' lives were like.

Michelle McMenamin, GoodReads

Designed to guide you through the process of studying your family's social history. The book is well written and researched, and it's easy to dip in and out of. This makes it very accessible, giving it a broad appeal. It will be invaluable to the beginner thinking about social history for the first time, and it also offers numerous ideas for further research to those who are more experienced.

A key strength of the book is the series of 30 case studies the author has written using a variety of records. They tell the stories of real people affected by topics such as the Industrial Revolution, the Sheffield Flood, baby farmers, public health and child labor.

WDYTYA? Magazine – July 2017 reviewed by Michelle Higgs

Author interview and book review

The book is packed with case studies and offers fascinating, useful information about a diverse range of subjects, from the clothes our forebears wore to what they ate and drank, from the medicines they took to how they spent their leisure time. The result is a valuable overview.

Read it for: a rich exploration of social history aimed specifically at family historians

Your Family History, June 2017

Packed with case studies, and ideas and suggestions for investigations that you can make into your own research, this is a very practical and thought-provoking read - one that is sure to improve your genealogy skills and help you get even more enjoyment out of your family history.

Family Tree, July 2017 – reviewed by Helen Tovey

This book takes a step back and offers practical and sensible advice for anyone starting out on the richly rewarding road to tracing your ancestors. I find these books incredibly useful, and they often come up with suggestions for further research that would not occur to an amateur like me.

Books Monthy, June 2017 - reviewed by Paul Norman

As featured in the books 'In brief' section

Family Tree, June 2017

'This is a masterly and well written book, which holds an abundance of information for those ancestry sleuths who would wish to take their findings one or more steps further, not just in time, but in depth and understanding of the lives of those who came before us and without whom we would not exist.'

On Yorkshire Magazine

About Barbara J. Starmans

For more than twenty-five years, Barbara J. Starmans, PLCGS has been researching her own family history and doing research for clients. She is an instructor at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies in Toronto, Canada, and contributes regularly to such publications as Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, Family Tree Magazine and Discover Your Ancestors. Visit her online at thesocialhistorian.com, a longform story website featuring social history themed articles from across the centuries and around the world.

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