BOOKS & DIG­I­TAL

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - CONTENTS -

This month’s fam­ily his­tory in­spi­ra­tion

by Celia Her­itage (Pen & Sword, 208 pages, £14.99) The first edi­tion of Celia Her­itage’s pop­u­lar guide to all things post-mortem was pub­lished in 2013. Since then there have been a num­ber of changes and de­vel­op­ments in the world of death and burial records, not least on­line.

This se­cond, re­vised, edi­tion brings fam­ily his­to­ri­ans up to date while keep­ing the same over­all for­mat. As well as pro­vid­ing a thor­ough in­sight into death and burial records, Her­itage of­fers use­ful case stud­ies and clear im­ages of a wide range of sources. Copies of doc­u­ments, arte­facts and head­stones are in­cluded from the Church of Eng­land, along with records of non­con­formists, Catholics, Quak­ers, Jews and athe­ists. The book cov­ers Eng­land, Ire­land, Wales, Scot­land, the Chan­nel Is­lands and the Isle of Man in de­tail as well as touch­ing on over­seas ceme­ter­ies.

The guide in­cludes a de­tailed ex­am­i­na­tion of death cer­tifi­cates and how best to use them for ge­neal­ogy, as well as ex­plo­rations of burial records, grave­stones and mon­u­men­tal in­scrip­tions, in­quest records and wills.

Other chap­ters look at the wider con­text of death, and how it af­fects fam­ily mem­bers still liv­ing, ex­plor­ing news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines, pro­bate doc­u­ments, mis­cel­la­neous records and the reper­cus­sions of the loss on those who were left be­hind.

The ‘Mis­cel­lany’ chap­ter il­lus­trates doc­u­ments that are not pri­mar­ily con­cerned with a death, but which pro­vide fur­ther de­tails of the event or in­di­vid­ual.

Clearly re­pro­duced im­ages sup­port in­tro­duc­tions into me­mo­rial cards, fu­neral pa­pers, post-mortem pho­to­graphs, ton­tines, hatch­ments, court rolls and In­qui­si­tion post-mortems.

Al­though we may not find ex­am­ples of th­ese for each an­ces­tor in our fam­ily trees, they can be used to ex­tend our knowl­edge or pro­vide clues for fur­ther re­search, and should not be over­looked.

Celia Her­itage has up­dated her com­pre­hen­sive guide to trac­ing your fore­bears through death records

With an ex­ten­sivei iin­dex,d help­ful bib­li­og­ra­phy and in­tro­duc­tory tips, this book pro­vides a valu­able and com­pre­hen­sive overview of an oft-ne­glected area of fam­ily his­tory re­search.

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