January 2014's books

January 2014's books

This months books...

Books, Discover Your Ancestors


Discover Your Ancestors

Crypts of London

Malcolm Johnson • £16.99

Crypts of London

After the devastation of 1666, the Church of England in the City of London was given 51 new buildings in addition to the 24 that had survived the Great Fire. During the next hundred years others were built in the two cities of London and Westminster, most with a crypt as spacious as the church above.

This book relates the amazing stories of these spaces, revealing an often surprising side to life – and death – inside the churches of historic London.

The story of these crypts really began when, against the wishes of architects such as Wren and Vanbrugh, the clergy, churchwardens and vestries decided to earn some money by interring wealthy parishioners in their crypts. By 1800 there were 79 church crypts in London, filled with the last remains of Londoners both illustrious and ordinary. Interments in inner London ended in the 1850s; since then, 52 crypts have been cleared, and five partially cleared – in each case resulting in the gruesome business of moving human remains. Today, many crypts have a new life as chapels, restaurants, medical centres and museums. With rare illustrations throughout, this fascinating study reveals the incredible history hidden beneath the churches of our capital.

Malcolm Johnson is a retired priest, and has a PhD from King’s College, London.

A Tommy in the Family

Keith Gregson • £12.99

Genealogist and historian Keith Gregson takes the reader on a whistle-stop tour of World War One family stories, from the heart-warming to the tearjerking. The entries tell the story behind each discovery and then offer an insight into how the researcher found and followed up their leads. They reveal a range of chance encounters and detective qualities required of a family historian.

Full of unexpected twists and turns, A Tommy in the Family will fascinate anyone with an interest in the war, and help them to find out more about their ancestors who participated in one of the most troubled conflicts in the history of mankind.

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Look out for an exclusive extract of A Tommy in the Family in Issue 3 of the Discover Your Ancestors bookazine, out in late February.

Defending Cambridgeshire

Mike Osborne • £18.99

For thousands of years Cambridgeshire has figured significantly in conflicts that have shaped a nation. Boudicca’s Iceni defended Britain from the Roman Legions; The Danelaw separated the warring Saxons and Vikings while Cambridge’s role in the English Civil War was that of a fortified barrier between Royalists and the Parliamentarians. Here archaeological finds are supplemented with written records to produce a ground-breaking text which examines, for the first time, the full military landscape of the county.

Militia Lists & Musters / Bishops’ Transcripts & Marriage Licences

Jeremy Gibson and Mervyn Medlycott • £4.95 each

Here are two updated editions of classic ‘Gibson Guides’, now available from The Family History Partnership. With both, the primary aim is to provide precise information on the survival and location on comprehensive or extensive lists of personal names which may be of use in family historical research.

The records listed in the first are of the reconstructed militia from 1757 on, and various others engendered by the Napoleonic Wars between 1797 and 1815. The second details records connected with the issue of marriage licences (see our feature starting on page 3). It also describes any abstracts, calendars and indexes to the latter, published or unpublished, and, when these are lacking, gives an indication of the arrangement of the surviving originals.

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