Genealogy Reviews
Family History Articles from the Leading Magazines



Ancestors magazine was published by Wharncliffe Publishing Limited and The National Archives. It has now ceased publication.

Business matters

For those who have discovered that their ancestors were businessmen, The Directory of Directors 1936 (£17.95) may prove useful. It contains an alphabetical listing of directors of joint stock companies known to the Stock Exchange, with their home address and all the companies of which they were directors.

White's Derbyshire 1857 Directory (£14.95) is a standard Victorian Trade Directory, but also contains a directory for Sheffield just across the border in Yorkshire. S&N has recently issued a number of other trade directories. White's 1878 Directory of Hampshire, including the Isle of Wight (10.95) and Littlebury's Herefordshire 1876-7 Directory (£14.95) are standard publications, giving topographical information on towns, villages and parishes, plus the socially important residents and major tradesmen. Kelly's Gloucestershire 1935 Directory (£17.95) has the usual information and also lists private residents with their telephone numbers, whilst Kelly's Henley-on-Thames & Neighbourhood 1938 Directory (£17.45) has the additional feature of a street directory, listing all residents of the area. As always, the advertisements are a great source of interest.

Poll book

Westminster 1818 Poll Book (£10.95) lists, parish by parish, the electors and how they cast their votes in this particular poll for two MPs. As it gives both addresses and occupations, it's a treasure trove both for genealogists trying to track down tradesmen ancestors, and historians interested in voting patterns across social classes in the early 19th century.

Parish Registers

Rushton, Northamptonshire, Parish Registers 1538-1827 (£17.45). Originally published in 1930, this transcript of parish registers is just that. There is no history of the village - the only additional material is a list of the rectors - but it will nevertheless be useful for those researching ancestry in the area.

The Parish Register of St Mary Stockport 1584-1619 was first published in 1889, Now S&N have issued it on disc (£12.45). There is a brief history and description of the church in addition to the entries in the register.

Not so ordinary people

Those hoping for information about ordinary ancestors may be disappointed by History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland (£17.95). When John Burke compiled the four volumes that make up this set in the 1880s he simply meant those with serious money but without titles. Some four hundred families, many of whom he traced back to the Middle Ages, are included here.

Although it needs to be treated with a degree of caution as some genealogists provide wealthy people with a pedigree that disguised truly common antecedents, it is still a valuable resource. There must be many people today descended especially from those younger sons and daughters or black sheep, whose family fortunes declined and whose once prosperous origins have been forgotten.

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