Tracing Your Army Ancestors : A Guide for Family Historians 3rd Edition
'This well-known author has produced yet another excellent guide for researching ancestors who have served in the Army. The book is an ideal text for reference when investigating army personnel.' Military Archive Research.com. 'A splendid publication with a great deal of valuable information.' Michael Brooker, Guild of Battlefield Guides.
Whether you are interested in the career of an individual officer, researching medals awarded to a soldier, or just want to know more about a particular battle or campaign, this book will point you in the right direction. Assuming the reader has no prior knowledge of the British Army, its history or organization, Simon Fowler explains what records survive, where they are to be found and how they can help you in your research. He shows how to make the best use of the increasing number of related resources to be found online, and he pays particular attention to explaining the records and the reasons behind their creation, as this information can be very important in understanding how these documents can help your research.
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Simon Fowler, Tracing Your Army Ancestors: a guide for family historians, third edition
Published by Pen & Sword, 2017
Simon Fowler is a professional researcher, writer and tutor specializing in military history and the two world wars. This interest dates from the time when he worked at The National Archives.
This is the third edition of Tracing Your Army Ancestors and it is a mine of information. The back-cover states that this has been 'revised, updated and expanded to include the latest online resources'. The author not only lists the helpful sources for the family historian but also gives the pros and cons for each source and the type of detail that might be found there.
Chapters cover many of the different aspects of a soldier's life and career, and include the background to the origin and organisation of the army through different periods, conditions and campaigns. Starting with a chapter entitled 'Getting started', the book then continues with the history and changes to the army from the 17th through to the 20th century. With the expected references to the two world wars and the Dominion and Colonial forces, there is also a chapter on the Army in Peacetime.
The book is suitable for family historians with a wide range of experience although the reader new to subject of military family history may find the amount of information included a little daunting. References for further reading and information are included at the end of the relevant chapters. There is an index and four appendices at the back of the book. Three of the appendices are guides to Army Service Numbers, Problem Solving and Regimental Organization. The fourth is headed Fowler's Laws of Military Genealogy, which are 10 laws the author has put together from his own experience of tracing family history.
This 192 page paperback book is a very informative, well written and useful aid for the family historian.
Friends of the National Archives