Tracing Your Ancestors’ Lives
by Barbara J. Starmans
I think I have read two or three of these Tracing Your Ancestors’ series. This one is the best I think, so far. I have three more of these books lined up to read. The information in this is very engaging and very helpful in giving the reader a visual image of certain social landscapes. As in the other books, there is a case study to demonstrate each chapter. Again, all of this information is for Britain. However, much of it is very applicable to the United States. For instance, Starmans suggests reading books that were produced during the time that you are searching through for insights into the mindset of that particular era and finding out the vernacular of the day. I have run across many of these already and never really thought about it in this sense. She has a lot of good advice on trying to find the right questions to ask . I recommend this to anyone searching out their family history!
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.