�What Date?� Book 2 is in the same format as Book 1, with which you may be familiar. The genealogical timeline for all archives spans the years from 1851 back to 1650 for England and Wales. These dates overlap Book 1, because many people doing their family history research may not have had the first 'What Date?' book that deals with the records from 1800. The years between 1800-1850s saw many changes in how the records for genealogy were organized.
For ancestry in the UK, civil registration started in 1837 and census returns in 1841, and they were indexed and organized by government. We lose these wonderful indexes that are so essential for family history research at these dates, so it we must glean as much as possible from them before looking at the earlier records for genealogy. See �The Earlier Records.�
The genealogy timeline, which has the dates of the archives, are shaded in grey as in book 1. This shows at a glance when each archive begins and ends. The arrows at the end of the archive line, show which archives exist prior to 1650. See 'How to use the Charts'
This information for your family history search is useful to carry with you to the record offices, to remind you which archives to look at before returning home, thus making your visit more worthwhile. There are so many archives during the 1650-1851 period and so many more types of records in your ancestry to be covered, it is useful to have them listed in an easy to read genealogy chart. See Earlier Records.
Ancestry Search in Genealogy
The Earlier Records
When you begin to research your family�s history in the first half of the 19th century and earlier, you will be using archive material that is different from the systems of the Government�s Registrar General in Britain and Ireland. You will not have the benefit of civil registration records of births, marriages and deaths, from the different dates at which they started. Nor of the census returns taken every ten years from 1841 (except Ireland), which after 1851, provide an enormous amount of information that assists the researcher to trace the family back in time.
Unfortunately, the archives in genealogy that come before the changes in the early 19th century may not include the same amount of information as the later documentation, so there are more opportunities to get stuck in your ancestry search. It is important to gather as much accurate information as possible from the later archives that relate to your ancestor as this information, no matter how small, may lead you to earlier archives that have good genealogy. For knowledge of these earlier documents you need a source of reference to the archives that are available.
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