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Tracing Your Caribbean Ancestors: A National Archives Guide Paperback – 5 Sep 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd; 3rd Revised edition edition (5 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140817569X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408175699
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.3 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 434,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

If you have ever wanted to trace your Caribbean ancestry then this could well be the book for you…this book is a must have purchase for anyone of Caribbean descent who is interested in Family History. Historians, professional and amateur alike would benefit from the knowledge Grannum shares. Those who make their living as family history researchers could only enhance their knowledge and skills by owning this book. Blackpresence.com recommends that you purchase a copy today. --Phil Gregory, Blackpresence.com

Guy Grannum of The National Archives is the leading light in the realm of Caribbean genealogy and this third edition of his authoritative book on the topic will not disappoint. Fully revised to include the latest data available online, it details a huge variety of sources, from basic BMDs to service, slave and migration records, at TNA and elsewhere. Illustrated with example documents, this new edition also includes a welcome section on DNA testing and analysis and is a must for anyone researching their Caribbean roots. --Karen Clare, Your Family Tree Magazine

About the Author

Guy Grannum has worked at The National Archives for over 20 years and has considerable experience in providing and advice and guidance to researchers. He specialises in Colonial history and Caribbean genealogy and has an excellent understanding of sources, techniques and pitfalls of research in this area. He gives talks and workshops on the researching Caribbean ancestry and contributes articles on Caribbean and slave genealogy for several genealogical magazines and websites including Family History Monthly, the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are magazine.


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Top Customer Reviews

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Gives you some good information but not for the smaller islands
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DELIVERED ON TIME, NO PROBLEM.
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Format: Paperback
A few months ago I was given the chance to review this book. I do not have any direct ancestral links to the Caribbean or West Indies, but in recent years I have established that an individual that slots into my One Place Study migrated with one of his children to Jamaica. Bearing this in mind I was interested to read the latest edition of Guy's book, and I was not disappointed.

Firstly, this is not a how do you research your ancestry type book. It is a guide which really does provide a solid foundation on which to establish your research or interest.

The book is laid out into a series of 11 chapters. Starting with how to get going, then progresses the records of the Colonial Office, Migration, Life Cycle records (Isn't that a nice way of putting Birth, Marriages and Deaths?), Land and Property records, Military Records, Slave and Slave Holder Records, Civil Servant Records. The final chapter that deals with the life in the Caribbean looks at migration from the region and then the final two chapters of the book feature each individual country of the British West Indies and records of the Non West Indies such as the influence on the region of Countries such as Cuba, Denmark and France just to name a few.

The book contains illustrations, details on where records are located, in many cases providing the classification number and then steers readers to further sources such as books, websites and societies. The final pages of the book provide a very detailed Bibliography, Name and Addresses section and a comprehensive index.

This is a great resource to those researching their Caribbean roots, and for those interested in general researching the region and for those interested in the social, and economic development of the Caribbean.
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I bought this book as a gift for a relative who is keen in geneology . Sadly ancestry websites in the UK cannot provide details further back than 1 or 2 generations for Afro Caribbean people (if any) therefore anyone interested in tracing their family line will appreciate the research that has been put together to create this useful book. I am really pleased that I bought it and even more satisfied that I was able to pay such a reasonable price for it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Useful 23 April 2014
By Wbbntsh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to trace the lineage of my family and found this to be most helpful. My family is from the BVI. The most helpful things in this book include the following:

1. The listing of the sections in which items can be found with codes, such as CO 507 or CO 315 or 316, for example. This cuts out a lot of research time. This book is great, but there is also a level work that the user has to be good with to fully put this to use. If you are not familiar with searching in archives and what not, there is specific search protocol (for the archives). The numbers are hugely helpful if you don't know what topics to search initially. At least this narrows it down to the country or area in question. I would recommend for those who do not know how to search archives to use these numbers and/or ask someone for help at the archives or libraries.

2. The website listings, addresses, and phone numbers for where to find information, such as for the National Archives in the UK or libraries or place to get information for the BVI.This narrows information down and if you cannot find what you are looking for online, you can go to the location and/or call and have someone help you.

3. Glossary is necessary as there are a lot of things that are explained in documents or literature that you might come across. If you don't understand how this information is listed, you might miss important leads that can help you to find the information that you are looking for.

4. The surname topic is very useful. Ive only now become to realize where my surname came from and by understanding that this information changed over time and how not to look at your name in a vacuum is helpful. My surname as it is today is different than in the past, so when I was searching previously I did not find any results or limited result. Ironically I came to realize that my Surname was given to my family from Quakers that owned plantations in the BVI that eventually manumitted their slaves and I found evidence through historical documents, even the name spellings, which differed of the same people at different times in history. This takes patience and time. Then you need to research those people to get other clues, so for me, I would then research those quakers to understand the historical setting at the time and what was going on and why.

5. Clues about specific documents - life cycle records, if you can date your relatives or departures or entries into the country in question, you might be able to conclude that that person you are inquiring about is in fact the right, George Thomas for example. Plantation maps are great, tells a lot. Every document found is a clue to another document and this can help you to narrow your search for the next leg of your investigation.

In short, there are no short cuts to the actual research that goes into genealogy, but the ground work that has been laid enables the reader to use shortcuts that would take a lot of lessons learned and time wasted to find. This is a great compilation of resources and efforts that the author has put forth. Ive been looking into my family's information for a while now, and in this book, I learned a lot of these lessons already but I found other ways in which I could proceed. I would have much rather found this book and started here than to just do broad searching, as I spent countless hours and money on subscriptions looking for information that I can find without the same hassle.

My most important find to date is a plantation map that showed the slaves manumitted off a plantation in the BVI, which included my great great great great grandfather as well as other information. My family already had a family tree built and this allowed me to better know what I was looking for because I had dates and times to go by. In my opinion, those who are trying to build a family tree need to start with the basics of talking to their family and knowing where the family may have originated for their first clue before trying to find all the answers in a document.

People who are doing research, have to take ownership of becoming an investigator into their family history and documenting their attempts at what worked and what didn't. Realize that the majority of information will not be found online. You have to do the leg work. And this book is a huge compilation of that - to enable to reader to have an easier experience. You have to know or learn the history of where your family is from and who some of the family are. That means understanding the island your family is from and the process in which that brought or took your family from that place. If you are starting from scratch then this book is even more awesome, as I wish I came across this when I first started, I would have saved a lot of time. But, I am still digesting this and chipping along. This is not a one time read and then you know about your family, you have to use the techniques in here. When I get "stuck" I refer back to this book. Some things I read previously make more sense later as it applies to my situation. Hope this review helps.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There are other reference books that have proved much better. 30 April 2015
By barbara schubart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No is did not answer my questions. If I were to go to Barbados myself it might help for it gave some places I might use to look up some things. I would never buy it again. There are other reference books that have proved much better.
2.0 out of 5 stars Specific vs. generalized information; too much condensation 12 Feb. 2013
By Maribette Sifford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Obviously when doing research, very specific facts & infomation are needed, i.e. dates and addresses with titles of addressees at least. I found that the information that I needed was vague and very general.

Also, buyer should have been alerted that the shipping was originating in the UK, which produced a long waiting time.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 12 Feb. 2015
By Terrell B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good book great reading, Thanks
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tracing Your Caribbean Ancestors by Guy Grannum 14 Dec. 2012
By Anglers Rest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A few months ago I was given the chance to review this book. I do not have any direct ancestral links to the Caribbean or West Indies, but in recent years I have established that an individual that slots into my One Place Study migrated with one of his children to Jamaica. Bearing this in mind I was interested to read the latest edition of Guy's book, and I was not disappointed.

Firstly, this is not a how do you research your ancestry type book. It is a guide which really does provide a solid foundation on which to establish your research or interest.

The book is laid out into a series of 11 chapters. Starting with how to get going, then progresses the records of the Colonial Office, Migration, Life Cycle records (Isn't that a nice way of putting Birth, Marriages and Deaths?), Land and Property records, Military Records, Slave and Slave Holder Records, Civil Servant Records. The final chapter that deals with the life in the Caribbean looks at migration from the region and then the final two chapters of the book feature each individual country of the British West Indies and records of the Non West Indies such as the influence on the region of Countries such as Cuba, Denmark and France just to name a few.

The book contains illustrations, details on where records are located, in many cases providing the classification number and then steers readers to further sources such as books, websites and societies. The final pages of the book provide a very detailed Bibliography, Name and Addresses section and a comprehensive index.

This is a great resource to those researching their Caribbean roots, and for those interested in general researching the region and for those interested in the social, and economic development of the Caribbean.

This is a revised edition and takes into account recent changes in access to documents and research in the region.

Disclaimer - I was provided with a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher - National Archives Guide, Bloomsbury Press
ISBN - 9781408175699
Publication - September 2012, (3rd Edition) 208 pages
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