BOOKS & DIGITAL
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.