Pocket book series.
The 'What Date?' pocket-books 1 and 2 provide Genealogical Timetables for all the archives that can be found in British record offices, showing which archives are available for the date you are researching and which are not. The timetables in the first two books together, span from the present day back to 1650.
Further books will be added at a later date, covering the archives of
Scotland and Ireland. What Date? book 1 and What Date? book 2 were born of
an idea from one of my tutorials, and developed with my students to make
sure that they are what is needed and are genuinely useful.
When researching our ancestors it is frequently necessary to know which records are available for the period being researched and where to find them. The number of archives available can seem overwhelming at first. So I have endeavoured to simplify this problem with the archive timelines.
A key part of my teaching in Family History Research classes and workshops is helping to resolve impasses in students' research. The first question I ask is at "What Date?" their research has stalled. Once I know the year, I can refer the student to the records available for that year. If you know the time span for which a record was kept, you can pinpoint which records are likely to be helpful for a particular problem in a given year. Identify a source, and you may find that vital clue.
The 'What Date?' pocket books have the available archives in the timeline charts shaded in grey, to tell you at a glance when that particular record starts and ends. The timeline span is at the top of the chart with the archives listed on the left-hand side of the page with a reference as to where to find the archive and a page number which will give you just some 'Helpful Hints' to move you on. See 'How to use the Charts'
The 'What Date?' books are different from any other reference books as they encourage the researcher to think laterally about genealogical research. Sometimes you get stuck, or wish to move on to other types of archives, during your day's research at the record offices. Many people are unsure about where these archives are or whether they can see that archive at the point they are stuck! It can be difficult to decide which resources or documents to study next. The chart may suggest a new area of research.
Book 1: Book 2:
Another pocket book, like the 'What Date?' series has also been developed from my lectures, but with a different format. It forms the base of question and answer techniques in which all areas of research are covered with the student, thus ensuring that every possible route to the ancestor has been considered.
Advice in your pocket
These series of pocket books are not intended as basic instruction books on all areas of family history research. There are plenty of textbooks on the main sources of historical data. The idea of the pocket books is to have help when and where it is needed - whilst out at the record offices. Beginners and seasoned researchers, use the books as 'Aide memores'. Carry them in your pocket or handbag - you'll never know when you'll need them.
Old Photographs and your Family's History
Photographic Index-Surname Index taken from Old Photographs 1860-1950.
The Family Photographic Index is a MicroSoft Access computer database containing the information written on a collection of thousands of photographs dating from about 1860 onwards, some being from the twentieth century. They are principally from all over Britain and Ireland although there are a number from other countries. In some cases the surname of the sitter is all the information we have. In most instances, however, there is more. Sometimes a date is written on the photograph. If not, I date the photograph from other indications - the type of photograph itself and the sitter's attire.
For just £5 sterling, we search the database for the occurrence of up to five surnames you specify to see if the collection includes pictures of people who might form part of your family history. We do not sell the original photographs, but we can provide copies of the pictures and the information on them.
Photographic Index - The Surname Index on CD rom
9657 Surnames on a CD-ROM, from £5.00p per CD-ROM, plus 80p P & P for one CD-ROM. 2003 Edition.
I have often been asked if I could offer the entire Index of Surnames from my collection of photographs. I decided that I would first put the Index on CDrom to be read in a PDF file, Acrobat reader, under the following four headings. All the categories will contain full names, inscription if any, ages, date and place of photo if known.
'What Photographs could tell you'
Your photographs can enhance your family tree, but is essential that you should retrieve, as much information from the photo as it will offer. Over the years I have been asked many questions about old photographs, and especially those in a family collection. I have therefore decided to produce a small guidebook which will show how to date photographs and what further information might be gleaned.