April 2014's books

April 2014's books

This months books...

Books, Discover Your Ancestors


Discover Your Ancestors

The Workhouse Encyclopedia

Peter Higginbotham • £19.99
The History Press

The Workhouse Encyclopedia

This fascinating, fully illustrated volume is the definitive guide to every aspect of the workhouse and of the poor relief system in which it played a pivotal part.

Compiled by Peter Higginbotham, one of Britain’s best-known experts on the subject, this A-Z cornucopia covers everything from the 1725 publication An Account of Several Work-houses to the South African Zulu admitted to Fulham Road Workhouse in 1880.

With hundreds of fascinating anecdotes, plus priceless information for researchers including workhouse locations throughout the British Isles, useful websites and archive repository details, maps, plans, original workhouse publications and an extensive bibliography, it will delight family historians and general readers alike.

Where was my local workhouse? What records did they keep? What is gruel and is it really what inmates lived on? How did you get out of a workhouse? What famous people were once workhouse inmates? Are there any workhouse buildings I can visit? If these are the kinds of questions you’ve ever wanted to know the answer to, then this is the book for you.

Look out for an exclusive extract of this book in our next issue.

Down Amongst the Black Gang

Richard P. de Kerbrech • £14.99
The History Press

Down in the fiery belly of the luxury liners of the Titanic era, a world away from the first-class dining rooms and sedate tours of the deck, toiled the ‘black gang’. Their work was gruelling and hot, and here Richard de Kerbrech introduces the reader to the dimly lit world and workplace of Titanic’s stokers. Beginning with a journey around some of the major elements of machinery that one might encounter in the giant ship’s engine and boiler rooms, the sheer skill and strength that a man in this employ must have had is brought to the fore. The human side of working for Titanic and her contemporaries is also explored through an investigation of stokers’ duties, their environment and conditions: what it was like to be one of them. An oftignored part of Titanic’s story, the importance of the black gang and the job they performed is brought vividly to life.

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Tracing Your Coalmining Ancestors

Brian Elliott • £14.99
Pen & Sword

Family historians often have problems in researching their mining forebears. Locating the relevant records, finding the sites of the pits, and understanding the work involved can be perplexing. That is why Brian Elliott’s concise, authoritative and practical handbook will be so useful, for it guides researchers through these obstacles and opens up the broad range of sources they can go to in order to get a vivid insight into miners’ lives and experiences.

Putting Your Ancestors in their Place

Janet Few • £7.95

A one-place study involves dissecting a small, definable, geographical area, to examine the individuals, buildings, and processes of the past, in as much detail as possible (see page 8 of this issue). Ranging from how to choose your place, through locating sources, collating and interpreting your data, to publishing your findings; this book is suitable for experienced researchers as well as those new to one-place studies. Elements that a oneplace study might incorporate and sources that could be used are explained. Although sources are described, it is not primarily about sources themselves. The emphasis is on how these records might be used and more than 30 mini-projects for the one place researcher are suggested. Although the sources described apply primarily to one-place studies in England and Wales, many of the techniques and suggestions are relevant to those whose places are elsewhere.

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