Our Library Has Added “Tracing Your London Ancestors” To Our Circulating Collection; Applicable For English Family Research

Hi Everyone!

Our library has just recently added to our circulating collection a book titled “Tracing Your London Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians“.  The author of the book is Jonathan Oates.

The book was published in 2011.  It has been added to our collection in November 2011.  The call number of the book in our collection is 929.1 OATES, J.  It is available on the 2nd floor of our library on the circulating shelves.

Here is a Book Description from Amazon.com:

London is a key site for family historians. Many researchers, seeking to trace their ancestry back through the generations, will find their trail leads to London or through it. Yet, despite the burgeoning interest in genealogy and the importance of London in so many life stories, few previous books have explored the city’s history or provided guidance on the research resources family historians can use to discover the life of a London ancestor. This is the purpose of Jonathan Oates’s invaluable handbook.

 In a series of short, information-packed chapters he describes the principal record offices, archives, libraries and other sources researchers can go to, and shows how Londoners can be tracked through censuses, registers and directories over the last 500 years. Then he explores key aspects of London’s history from a family historian’s point of view. Crime, religion and education – and the body of evidence associated with them – are covered, as is the historical trail left by taxation, health, welfare, work and business. He looks also at the military and wartime records available in the city, and at the records of immigrant communities who have had such a notable impact on the development of the capital.

A very detailed and extensive review of the book can be found at the blog site of John D. Reid that is titled “Anglo-Celtic Connections”.  You can see this lengthy review of this work at:

“Tracing Your London Ancestors” Extensive Book Review

The review includes a short description of the topic of each of the chapters in the book.

For those of you having English ancestral connections, especially to the London area, this is a book to consider to check out from our library.  The Table of Contents consists of the following 12 high-level Chapter titles.  Each chapter is divided into many more smaller descriptive segments of the contents of each chapter far too numerous to detail here:

Chapter 01     –     London
Chapter 02     –     Lists of Londoners
Chapter 03     –     Criminal London
Chapter 04     –     Ecclesiastical London
Chapter 05     –     Taxing Londoners
Chapter 06     –     Educating London
Chapter 07     –     Social and Cultural London
Chapter 08     –     Business and Working London
Chapter 09     –     Medieval London
Chapter 10     –     London Under Attack
Chapter 11     –     London’s Incomers
Chapter 12     –     House History

You can get the drift of the book’s resources by looking at the high-level chapter titles.  Each chapter is subdivided into about 5 to 10 more categories of the kinds of records you might expect to find to use in your London genealogical research.

I find that looking through a book like this can be very helpful to identify categories of records to consider that are not as obvious as Census records, Military records, Estate records etc.  How about thinking of such records as Voter records, Hearth Tax records, Apprenticeship System records, Charities and records, Orphanage records and many more that are not often considered for research.

The author provides great details on the many and varied records that the researcher should consider when researching their London ancestor.

The call number of this wonderful, current resource to help you research your London ancestor is 929.1 OATES, J.  Take a look at it on the shelves of the 2nd floor of our library in the circulating collection.  Consider checking it out after I complete looking through it.  It should be back on the shelves by December 1, 2011.

Enjoy the new material.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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