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on 13 April 2012
I've never been particularly interested in my family tree, but within hours of reading this book I had traced both my parents, the marriages of uncles and aunts, both sets of grandparents and my wife's maternal grandparents. I had even tracked down my grandparent's marriage, in 1911 and the maiden name of my grandmother (born 1877). That is how addictive genealogy, the search for where we come from, can be.

Ms Vincent-Northam writes in a style that is at once easy to read and entertaining, without ever losing sight of the goal; to educate you, the reader, into ways and means of tracing your roots.

And no stone is left unturned. From rooting through personal papers, to checking with the General Register Office or Parish Register, to looking into the murky pasts of ancestors who may have been transported to the colonies, this book will tell you where to look and what to look for.

Tracing your history may be a lengthy and time-consuming process, but this spritely and lively read is packed with web links, enabling you to begin building your family tree literally within minutes.

Are you distantly related to royalty? Was one of your ancestors a major player in the world of business or government? Or do you come from a long line of nobodies? Whatever the answer, if you want to learn who you really are, then Trace Your Roots is a must have.
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on 18 April 2012
I've come late to the ancestor-tracing business and so I needed to get hold of a book which would get me started. This book is great - it's beautifully laid out with clear and precise instructions, it's chatty without being patronising, and it's helpful without being bossy. I love the quote from Mark Twain - how true!

The author and publisher are to be congratulated on producing a quality product which should be in every genealogy researcher's library.
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on 9 April 2012
Maureen Vincent-Northam is my co-author on The Writer's ABC Checklist (Secrets to Success). This means two things - firstly that I knew the book would be well written and meticulously researched, secondly that Maureen's humour would shine through and make a serious subject fun to read.

And I was right on both counts! Other books I've read on genealogy have been as dry as dust, but this one makes even the boring parts of the research interesting. Anyone who is looking into their family history should buy this book - it's great. And I'm not just saying that because she's a friend - I'm saying it because it's true.
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on 10 October 2012
I bought this easy guide to understand more about tracing my ancestors. With ancestors hailing from France, Germany, Sweden and Scotland (via Ireland), I've always been intrigued by my mixed bloodline, and the reasons as to why my forebears moved.

Trace Your Roots gave me the pointers. Written in a clear, concise and easy-to-understand way (perfect for me, then!), it explains the sources very well. Amongst the wealth of detail, we also learn about:

- using county, parish, landowner or Census records
- when and how laws relating to marriage, inheritance, wills and other issues were changed
- how people might be recorded using different names, ages and dates of birth or death
- emigration and immigration
- using the web to gather details
- specific groups such as Scottish, Jewish, and Australian family history sites and societies
- illegitimacy and workhouses
- how to use general genealogy directories - and what to look out for
- deciphering Latin inscriptions

A lot of brilliant information is packed into this small guidebook, useful for anyone starting out to explore their background. The author, a family history researcher, clearly knows her subject area and conveys her knowledge in neatly explained chapters. And whilst most tips relate to researching British ancestors (including immigrated or emigrated folks), it gives you an insight into where to start, even if your roots stem from elsewhere.

Plus, a lovely side-effect was a detail I discovered about a 'new' Marriage Law coming into force in 1857 - on further research, I found it extremely helpful for the story I was writing at the time. So, not just a handy guide to tracing your ancestors, but also a fountain of information for hobby historians like me. A real gem!
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on 18 July 2012
Trace Your Roots is not only helpfully informative, but extremely interesting too. The trivia pages and other fascinating facts are very entertaining, a pleasant surprise in a research book. Everything is set out in an easy to read format with clearly defined headings, comprehensive index and handy chapter summaries.
Thoroughly recommend. Myra King.
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on 20 June 2013
Although I have done quite well with my family searches, I am stuck in a few places and now my Open University degree is done and I have time for my genealogy again, I'm hoping this book is going to be really helpful with those logjams!
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on 17 April 2015
quite good but I think it needs a simple "get started" instruction rather than trying to briefly cover everything under the sun. It says the census information is free to access but the minute you try to open up a document you are asked to subscribe.
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on 1 November 2012
very helpfull book keeps to basics.very good if you are just starting to trace your family tree.i would recormend it to anybody.
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on 15 February 2013
Really didn't give me as much as expected - in fact there was no more than is freely available on line.
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