My Family Tree
Every family has its own story and an increasing number of us are taking the time to search out these histories and record them for this and future generations. My Family Tree is a beautifully designed book to record your unique family story, with space for family and individual records, census records, ancestry charts, family traditions and achievements, events and photographs. It offers helpful tips and advice, useful sections to guide your ancestral research, and allows you to gather all the information from both sides of your family in one place.
My Family Tree: A family history, ancestry and genealogy record book
By Jo Foster
Published by White Lion Publishing, 2018
This is an ideal record for anyone beginning to research their family history and also for those who have already begun and who are discovering documents and information that they want to bring together in a coherent way.
It can be used either as a purely personal record or as a means of collecting material with a view to putting together your family story for a wider audience. The information collected will often come to light in a haphazard way and can be entered in this book as and when you discover it. You will gradually see the whole coming together with certain trends appearing - it may be a trend of location, occupation or circumstances that gives you an unexpected perspective on your ancestral history.
The ancestor charts may seem difficult to relate to each other as you fill them in but they should all come together when you have enough information to draw out your full family tree on the extended sheet on pages 133 to 140 of the record. It is a pity, however, that this tree - which should be the happy culmination of your toils - will not be easy to draw up. The pages can't be opened on a flat surface which makes them difficult to write in and to read. It would have been better to have had them inside the back cover, or even as a separate sheet stored in a pocket at the back.
That said, the advice on where to search for information is good and - if you do come up against a brick wall - there are contacts for professional researchers who should be able to help you get back on track. These, together with helpful sections on military service, wills and migration, combine to provide the amateur genealogist with a solid template on which to base his or her researches.
Review by Susan Littledale
Friends of the National Archives