Books for Beginners

Whilst many of these publications date from around the year 2000, and therefore don’t take account fully of what is today available on the internet, they do still provide valuable guidance for beginners to family history research. 

The prices of all the Basic Facts series books have been reduced.




Basic Facts About Archives

£1.55

Basic Facts About Archives

(Susan B Lumas)  Before coming into Family History, you may have only a very hazy idea of what archives are all about, and perhaps regard them as a useless pile of old parchment.  When you need them, however, your attitude changes, and you are faced with a mountain of strange factors to assimilate.  There is no doubt that archives ar... [more info]

Basic Facts About Descendant Tracing

£1.55

Basic Facts About Descendant Tracing

(Tom Wood)  Most of us are familiar with our living first cousins, and some of us may know our second cousins.  But by the time we get back to more distant cousin ancestors - tracing their living descendants through ten generations can be quite a challenge.  However, it can be very rewarding as these distant cousins may have family i... [more info]

Basic Facts about Using Education Records

£1.55

Basic Facts about Using Education Records

(Colin R Chapman)  Most of our ancestors in recent centuries attended school; some went on to university.  These institutions created records which may still survive.  Those records are likely to contain much useful information on our ancestors.  Colin Chapman here tells us what records are likely to be available, where to find ... [more info]

Basic Approach to Making Contact with Relatives

£1.55

Basic Approach to Making Contact with Relatives

(Peter C Amsden)  To most people family history is about delving into the past lives of people, but by looking at the present generation more can often be learned about the past than at first may be obvious.  If the living are to be approached then tact and diplomacy will be needed.  This booklet discusses what might be achieved and ... [more info]

Basic Facts about Research in London

£1.55

Basic Facts about Research in London

(Lilian Gibbens)  The large area that most family historians now consider to be London covers parts of the old counties of Essex, Kent, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Middlesex.  However, the reader should bear in mind that until the early part of the 20th century, the outer parts of this area were entirely rural.  This booklet is intende... [more info]

Basic Facts About Using Wills after 1858 and First Avenue House

£1.55

Basic Facts About Using Wills after 1858 and First Avenue House

(Audrey Collins)  This useful booklet explains the uses of wills and administration to family historians, and gives information on District Probate Registries, indexes held elsewhere, and ordering copies by post.  There is also a section on the new search room at First Avenue House (formerly at Somerset House), showing how to get there an... [more info]

Basic Approach to Latin for Family Historians

£1.55

Basic Approach to Latin for Family Historians

(Michael Gandy)  Many early records are written in Latin, and use abbreviations for common words.  This booklet explains how Latin is structured and how word endings convey their grammatical meaning.  It does not try to teach Latin, but does provide recommendations for further reading.  It is noted that the language does not nee... [more info]

Basic Facts about English Nonconformity for Family Historians

£1.55

Basic Facts about English Nonconformity for Family Historians

(Michael Gandy)  An introduction to nonconformity with a guide to the records available for the various denominations.  Includes a bibliography for further reading.  16 pages.  Soft covers.  Over-the-counter price £1.00 - reduced price.... [more info]

Basic Facts about Family History Research in Glamorgan

£1.55

Basic Facts about Family History Research in Glamorgan

(Rosemary Davies)  Before local government reorganisation in 1974, Glamorgan was the largest of the thirteen counties in Wales, and the most densely populated.  In 1974 the original county was split into three new counties.  This booklet explains which of the current record offices holds which of the early records.  16 page... [more info]

Basic Facts about Family History Research in Lancashire

£1.55

Basic Facts about Family History Research in Lancashire

(Rita Hirst)  An explanation of where records are likely to be deposited.  Family History research within the county can be complicated as more than one repository may be involved in research into the records of a single parish.  Consideration is given to facilities in Cumbria and the portions of Cheshire which have been absorbed int... [more info]

Basic Fact about Family History Research in Yorkshire

£1.55

Basic Fact about Family History Research in Yorkshire

(Pauline Litton)  A detailed explanation of where to find records in what was the largest county in England.  Family History research within the county can be very complicated as more than one Record Office is likely to be involved in research into the records of a single parish.  16 pages.  Soft covers.  Over-the-counter p... [more info]

Basic Facts about Heraldry for Family Historians

£1.55

Basic Facts about Heraldry for Family Historians

(Iain Swinnerton)  Heraldry can be very useful to the family historian as it can show marriage alliances, descents and occupations; it has rightly been called the shorthand of history.  The booklet sets out to explain the basic principles of heraldry in as plain a language as possible.  A short bibliography for further reading is inc... [more info]

Basic Approach to Illuminating your Family History with Picture Postcards

£1.55

Basic Approach to Illuminating your Family History with Picture Postcards

(Philip J Chapman)  Apart from the few old photographs you may have already, it is difficult to describe adequately the way of life, the occupations, street scenes or churches of yesteryear.   Picture postcards are one of the best source materials both in size and availability, starting in the very early 1900s and continuing up to th... [more info]

Basic Facts about Lunatics in England and Wales for Family Historians

£1.55

Basic Facts about Lunatics in England and Wales for Family Historians

(Pamela Faithfull)  Did you once have a lunatic in your family?  Many people did.  Perhaps your missing ancestor disappeared to an asylum?  If so, there may well be records of him.  This booklet explains how people with mental illnesses were treated in past times, and describes the extensive records which survive.  16 ... [more info]

Basic Facts about Methodist Records for Family Historians

£1.55

Basic Facts about Methodist Records for Family Historians

(Richard Ratcliffe)  This booklet explains the various branches of Methodism and when they broke away from the early Methodists, and then reunified to form the modern Methodist church.  The records that were kept are detailed and the repositories detailed.  A bibliography and a list of useful addresses are included.  16 pages.&n... [more info]

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