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Grow Your Own Family Tree: The Easy Guide to Researching Your Family History Paperback – 1 May 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140515887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140515886
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 978,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

A keen researcher of family history for the last twenty-five years, Alan Stewart writes a monthly column for Practical Family History and for other family history magazines (Family History Monthly and Ancestors, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy and Everton’s Genealogical Helper). He has also written for the Financial Times, The Times, Independent and the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He was consultant editor of the fourth edition of the Hutchinson Dictionary of Computing & the Internet and his other books are How to Make it in IT and Gathering the Clans: Tracing Scottish Ancestry on the Internet.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Tip: 'Black sheep' may be lurking in your past


You'll probably find that some of your ancestors were not quite as pure as you'd like them to have been. Perhaps they had an illegitimate child - or maybe three, like my great-great-great-aunt Mary. Your great-great-grandfather may have spent some time in prison. The upside is that there may be a photograph of him somewhere, whereas if he'd never been in trouble, there wouldn't be.

Tip: Family legends are rarely completely true

There may be a story in your family about how you're descended from a famous person, such as William Shakespeare. While such family legends may turn out to be true, unfortunately, it's more often the case that they're just wishful thinking.

You may indeed have an ancestor who lived in Stratford (but maybe Stratford in East London), and someone jokingly suggested they might have been related to Shakespeare. Over time, 'possibly related to Shakespeare' becomes 'descended from Shakespeare'. Unfortunately, although William Shakespeare did have children, his line died out with his grandchildren. (Well, his legitimate line did.)

There is usually some truth in the stories, however. If the legend is that four children were born in a workhouse in Bristol, then the truth may be that two of them were born in a workhouse in Bristol.


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jpg on 17 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
This was a christmas gift for my brother who is researching our family history. Having spoken to him since, he says that it has been very useful and easy to understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Douglas A. Holt on 5 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
For those delving into their ancestry, this book is a useful addition. Well written by an expert in the subject, it takes the reader through all you need to consider in researching you family. The book is not intended to take the reader through a lot of internet sites like some books do. However, it can be of considerable help in knowing where to look for that elusive ancester.
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Format: Paperback
I initially borrowed this book from the public library, but found it so helpful I decided to purchase my own copy. It is written clearly and great to use as a reference book.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent book for the new or experienced Genealogist. I would recomend this book to anyone either just starting out or who is experienced.
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