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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 17 January 2001
If you're interested in genealogy - this is the book you've been waiting for. It's clear, concise and very informative, written in an easy style which makes it easy and enjoyable to read. After reading several books on Genealogy, including many older ones from the library, this made a refreshing change, particularly as it is bang up to date with information on CD Roms, computer packages and internet sites. Herber manages to level the book in a way that it doesn't matter if you're a beginner or already someway into your research - this book will definitely be of help. Excellent!!
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on 11 March 2004
Having been involved in family history research for thirty years, and being completely self-taught by trial and error, I have sometimes been tempted to invest in expensive reference books, but found many of them cumbersome, badly organised, or rapidly outdated. Genealogy is constantly developing but even so this book, in any edition, is an absolutely invaluable longterm reference. It is written in a hugely informative way, exciting and never patronising, and the sheer quantity and quality of information in it is breathtaking. You couldn't make a better investment if you're researching your family history (especially with the superb Amazon discount!) Can't fault it! BRILLIANT!!!
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on 25 February 2004
This is quite simply the best reference work for United Kingdom Genealogy that I have come across. I have been waiting for publication of the second edition for some time and am not disappointed at all. Everything I can imagine I might want to know is in it. I have been interested in Genealogy for many years and wish this volume had been available sooner. It's worth twice the price!
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VINE VOICEon 12 March 2007
Whilst echoing all the comments already made, this phenomenal tome is and is likely to always be the definitive reference. Despite the extensive movement towards Internet sources, this book has the insight into 'why' you move through certain classes of records whereas the (also essential) Internet guides tell you where these are.

Beyond that the illustration with examples from the authors research, the many examples of why you need to double check every assumption, and the wealth of ideas for gleaning more insight into the lives of ancestors are frankly astonishing, and it astounds me that one person could both know so much, find so much and still have time to update this masterpiece.

If you haven't bought it, you're not serious about family history.
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on 6 July 1999
A comprehensive study of most of the sources available to people researching their family history in England. Examples from the authors' own research help to illustrate the information available and the use that can be made of it. There are many illustrations of the different types of documents discussed. Perhaps less suitable as the first, or only book, for absolute beginners due to the depth of coverage which can appear a little daunting. One of the two most useful (and reread) genealogy books that I have bought, the other being "The Family Tree Detective" by Colin Rogers.
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on 10 October 2003
Mr Herber has achieved, within this finely crafted opus, something that few others have been able - His fluid style serves to demystify the Genealogical Jungle that has often proven to be inpenetrable for the beginner, such as I.
I cannot recommend this work too highly and am delighted that it has been accepted as the definitive text for those embarking upon their quest to discover their roots and branches
Well done Herber!!
Dward Heath
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on 9 February 2008
As a fairly recent - but rapidly becoming obsessed - family historian I have either acquired or borrowed a fair number of the leading books on Family History available at the moment. However Ancestral Trails outshines them all. Whilst being very readable in its own right it gives a wealth of background information on sources and advice on how you might make progress if you hit a brick wall, and has the most comprehensive coverage I have found. This and The Genealogist's Internet by Peter Christian have become my two bibles. I run two Family History Groups and I would strongly recommend both of these books to any serious amateur family historian.
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on 17 January 2001
If you're interested in genealogy - this is the book you've been waiting for. It's clear, concise and very informative, written in an easy style which makes it easy and enjoyable to read. After reading several books on Genealogy, including many older ones from the library, this made a refreshing change, particularly as it is bang up to date with information on CD Roms, computer packages and internet sites. Herber manages to level the book in a way that it doesn't matter if you're a beginner or already someway into your research - this book will definitely be of help. Excellent!!
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on 5 July 2010
This book is absolutely brilliant, and well worth every single penny. As an archivist, this book is invaluable for answering those awkward questions about obscure areas of research, and as a family historian this book covers everything you could ever need to know and more. It is highly recommended by all archivists and family historians I know who have a copy, and use it regularly.

It is well written, clearly laid out and easy to use - if you buy only one book on family history, make sure it is this one. Herber answers everything in a concise but astonishingly informative manner, provides excellent examples of the records in question, and information for accessing them, including addresses and websites. This book is FABULOUS!
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on 21 March 2009
I found the book very useful not only for geneology but also just for the insights in social hisory
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