Tracing Your Yorkshire Ancestors : A Guide For Family Historians 2nd Edition
This fully revised second edition of Rachel Bellerby's best-selling guide is essential reading if you want to find out about your Yorkshire ancestors. As well as tracing when your ancestors were born, married and died, she shows you how can explore how they lived, worked and spent their leisure time. She introduces readers to the many sources that hold a wealth of information about Yorkshire's past, and describes the records you can find in archives and online which will bring your research to life.
Whatever you would like to discover more about, from fairground travellers to Romany gypsies, from working deep underground in a mine to making a living from the North Sea, there is so much to learn. The many different archives that welcome family history researchers are explored here and explained. A new chapter covering the growing number of Yorkshire family history websites has been added along with a range of new illustrations.
The contact details of the sources listed in the first edition of the book have been revised and new sources and relevant organizations have been added. Dozens of places, from tiny museum archives to large research centres, are open for your research, and a wealth of information is now accessible through the internet. Tracing your Yorkshire ancestors has never been more exciting.
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This second edition of Tracing Your Yorkshire Ancestors has much to recommend it to the family historian. The book provides a wealth of historical background to Yorkshire such as the industries, occupations and religious occupations of past Yorkshire men and women. In this respect the book is not a list of Yorkshire sources; if you want lists of people who worked on the railways it will not tell you which archives holds them and what record series you need to look in when you get there - but this is not really a criticism; you would need more room than a book can provide.
What it does do is build upon short sharp historical narratives around subjects such as such as shipbuilding, mining or railways and then flesh out this narrative by referring to a specific archival document or a newspaper to indicate where such an account can be/was sourced. In this respect the book makes the reader think about how a general historical account might fit into the lives of their ancestor and how this could be turned into some kind of research plan.
For me the real strengths of the book are the scatted references to websites, and directory of archive repositories and family history societies, and the online resources for Yorkshire. The key one for me (and yes I would say this as an archivist but it is still true) is the directory of archive repositories. There is a plethora of county, city, town and university archives, local studies and museum archives spread liberally across the county. This can cause immense confusion and so bringing these together in a simple to digest way is a boon to those interested in any aspect (family or otherwise) of Yorkshire history.
Friends of The National Archives.