• Family History Books

    This page gives some ideas for books, both fiction and non-fiction, and specialist magazines that may be interesting for your research.

    National Index of Parish Registers


    Genuki and other sites are invaluable for providing information about parishes, but occasionally they suggest a situation far simpler than it actually is.

    The National Index of Parish Registers series of books, published by the Society of Genealogists, is not perfect, but does provide a good working guide to the complexities of the situation on a county basis.

    Editors of individual volumes decide the criteria for arrangement and inclusion. Generally, information is listed by ancient parish, starting with the oldest church, ie the Parish Church, then all the later parishes and chapelries. The starting dates are given for the registers, their location and the existence and location of any copies. Where new parishes are formed out of older ones, this is noted, to give an idea of where an event might have taken place at any particular date.

    This information is fairly standard (and of course churches continue to be created, renamed, made redundant, deconsecrated etc, while records still with an incumbent ten years ago may well now have been deposited.)
    What is so useful about these volumes is that they try to include any place where vital events may have been noted. So you may find Lying in Hospitals, Cemeteries, Barracks, besides places of worship for Methodists, Baptists, Jews, Quakers, Roman Catholics, Congregationalists etc.

    Many nonconformists deposited their registers at the time civil registration started (and these are to be found in RG4 at the National Archives.) Not all did, however, and records post 1837 may still be held in chapels, if they exist. Some of the chapels listed have only been identified by entries in directories as they no longer exist.

    Even if you don't own a copy, these books are well worth browsing through, to give you an idea of the multiplicity of places where a vital event may have been recorded in the victorian period.


    Women in England 1760-1914 A Social History Susie Steinbach ISBN 0-75381-989-9

    Victorian London The Life of a City 1840-1870 Liza Picard ISBN 0-7538-2090-0

    Women of Victorian Sussex Helena Wojtczak ISBN 1-904-109-05-5

    Female Line Researching your female ancestors Author: Margaret Wood. ISBN 1853068187

    The Victorian Domestic Servant - Trevor May

    The Victorian House - Judith Flanders

    Useful links



    Book reviews



    Some honest reviews, submitted by members of Family Tree Forum can be found on the following pages:

    Should you wish to add a review then please leave the details on the Book Review thread in our Family History Research forum.

    Family History Publications

    Family history publications cover a wealth and breadth of information of interest to the genealogist. Some are published monthly and some quarterly. Each publication is different, and although you may want to purchase each one, every month, this can prove costly.

    Take a look at the website hosted by the various publications and have a taste of what each offers - or indeed glean some of the information it contains without purchasing at all.

    Family Tree Magazine & Practical Family History

    Two magazines that share the same website are Family Tree Magazine & Practical Family History magazines. Unfortunately Practical Family History ceased publication at the end of 2010 although copies of back issues can still be ordered online, click here. On the website, information can be found relating to what is in current issue of the Family Tree Magazine as well as a genealogy forum and searchable magazine index.

    Family History Monthly

    From the homepage of Family History Monthly magazine: Family History Monthly offers a unique blend of authoritative and friendly advice, with something for beginners and experts alike. Every issue contains eight pages of problem solving with expert genealogist Paul Blake, Online: everything the family historian needs to know about computers and the internet, free CD featuring fully searchable archived books for your research, real readers' stories and free reader contact service, to help you overcome those brick walls.

    Your Family Tree Magazine

    Your Family Tree Magazine is published monthly and is available on subscription or to buy from shops. It contains articles, case studies and expert advice on family history research, as well as a cover CD. The website has its own forum, as well as articles from the magazine.[/h]

    BBC Who Do You Think You Are?

    As the website says, The BBC Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine looks behind the stories uncovered by the series and will take you on a step by step journey to uncover your own roots.
    As well as advice on how to piece together your family’s history, you can find out what life was like in the past and discover how your ancestors used to live.
    There is also advice on how to explore the history of your area, from your house and street to towns and villages.

    Your Family History

    Your Family History is a monthly publication which features a range of topics linking personal research with local and national heritage and in doing so aims to guide its readers into the rich local and social history that brings context to the lives of their ancestors.


    If you have any recommendations, please add them to the box below and we will add them to the page.


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