- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd; 1st ed. edition (31 Oct. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0709091974
- ISBN-13: 978-0709091974
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Genealogy: Essential Research Methods Hardcover – 31 Oct 2012
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"If you are just starting out on the genealogical trail, all on your ownsome, make this book your first purchase." --"lizisthelibrarian.co.uk"
About the Author
Helen Osborn is co-founder of Pharos Tutors, providers of online genealogy courses. She has worked as a professional genealogist and historical researcher since 1998 with clients worldwide and thousands of hours of research time under her belt. She is a member of AGRA and has been a consultant on the popular TV series Who Do You Think You Are? Helen has been lecturing, writing and teaching about research methods for many years and has written three previous books about public houses and brewing history. This is her first book about genealogy.
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Top Customer Reviews
Genealogy - essential research methods by Helen Osborn is indeed essential. I'm wondering which of my many genealogical and non-genealogical friends would benefit from the addition of this book to their personal library. I want to give it to all of them, regardless of their interest in the subject because although the focus is genealogy, the information handling and organisational skills described in the book apply to any subject.
The book is lucidly written and provides a structured approach to all aspects and methods of research, specifically for the genealogist but the advice provides essential guidance for all researchers. The author is honest in her approach, telling the reader she has made the mistakes she describes and detailing how to avoid making the same errors. Some of the highlights of this book include:
* Effective search techniques;
* Document analysis
* Planning your research, which is given a high profile, as is the importance of citing your sources. Let me repeat that again.
* Citing your sources. An action as important as locating the information itself.
* An invaluable chapter relating to organisation and storage of your research.
* The bibliography is excellent, suggesting eight core titles as recommended reading, followed by more extensive and supportive book/website lists. I would add a ninth title to the short core reading list, namely Helen Osborn's own book.
If you are just starting out on the genealogical trail, all on your ownsome, make this book your first purchase. Read it, refer to it but don't lend it to fellow genealogist. You will never see it again.Read more ›
This book fills a gap in the UK market by tackling research techniques rather than sources. Topics covered that I found especially useful were: effective searching, the need to understand why records are created and retained, analysing documents, planning and problem solving, citing sources, and genealogical proof.
The book is easy to read, with everything being well explained - the result, I'm sure, of Helen's tutoring experience.
Following the techniques given in this book is likely to result in more successful research, conducted to a higher standard. You may find that you save time, money, and heartache in the process.
I would not consider this a book for a complete beginner in genealogy, if that is you then try Simon Fowler's Tracing Your Ancestors. If you have some experience of the basic genealogical sources, however, and want to do more than just dabble in family history, then I recommend acquiring this book without delay. In my opinion even the most experienced genealogist is likely to find this book a thought provoking read.
Helen encourages the reader to look again at their family history project and explains how to develop essential analytical skills. Appreciate how to examine the evidence from an investigative viewpoint and learn how to weigh up positive as well as negative results to pinpoint a potential ancestor. Practical examples of recording people and sources are included, essential when conflicting evidence surfaces and backtracking is needed.
With the speed with which a family tree may be built through current online resources, this detailed guide of how to interpretate results is very welcome. Helen Osborn includes case studies from her own family, as well as clients, to illustrate how to read between the lines and when it is useful to delve into local historical facts which influence both lives and the location of source material.
Rather than the usual explanation of sources Essential Research Methods focusses on grass-root skills. It fast tracks the reader through years of practical hands-on knowledge and shares the benefit of experience and hindsight.
It's a book that is as pertinent for those starting out on researching family history as it is for those who have been researching for years. It's readable, engaging, informative.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent genealogy book, and the most useful one for beginners I have seen to date! Everything is clearly explained and each chapter helps you through research to reach your... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anna P
Readable and useful introduction to the subject. Some of the example 'went on a bit' after the point was made but would recommend it.Published 2 months ago by DC
clearly written book with additional books/ websites to consult to enable you to fully understand how to research and what is available to researchPublished 3 months ago by Monica Dalton
Excellent book; should be required reading for everyone wanting to seriously research their familyPublished 3 months ago by Viv C
If you are struggling to make sense of all of your research; if you feel that some of your early results have a "rushed" look about them; if retrieving your hard to find evidence... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dave Tonks