Genealogy staff member Charles Bartlett reviews this week’s selection of new books.

Family history research in South Australia by Graham Jaunay (2011)
This is a comprehensive guide to identifying and locating records useful for pursuing your South Australian ancestors.  It is also, incidentally, a catalogue of the development of governmental record keeping practices, and of the history of settlement in that State.

The book is in two parts, covering records, and depositories. The first part is arranged by type of record, such as Birth, Death and Marriage, Electoral, Military or School, while the second covers Archives, Libraries, Churches, Societies, and so on.  It is helpfully illustrated with examples of records, and includes detailed tables of coverage of official records and directories.

This compact work is well worth consulting, both in preparation for commencing family history research, and periodically as your research continues.

Selected birth, death, marriage, celebration and legal entries relating to Boorowa District 1939-1999 compiled by Cowra Family History Group Inc (2009).  Vol. 1
The title of this large work is self-explanatory: commencing in 2001 with the discovery of a collection of newspapers, the members of the Group meticulously recorded and cross-referenced over 7500 entries of articles covering events in the lives of the people of Boorowa.

Articles and notices are reproduced in full, and the book is organised as a single alphabetical list of names, without further commentary.  Although unpaginated, it runs to about 200 pages.

Tracing your London ancestors: a guide for family historians by Jonathan Oates (2011)
London has been a major city since it was founded by the Romans, and has been the capital of England since the eleventh century, with a population of up to one-fifth of that of the nation.  Thus it is a place with its own peculiar history, customs, and records, and the author aims to explore those records which relate primarily or exclusively to that city.

The chapters are organised by type of record, such as Lists (census, telephone, electoral), Criminal (courts, police), Taxing (Hearth, Window Poll), Educating, Working, etc.  There are also chapters on records from Medieval London, London under Attack (mainly First and Second World War records) and Incomers.  This last chapter covers records relating to people arriving in London, whether Huguenots in the 16th century, European refugees from the upheavals of the 19th century, or 20th century Irish, Jewish, Polish, Black and Asian immigrants.

All chapters begin with a brief history of the subject covered, and the final chapter advises on how to research the history of houses.  The principal sources of records covered are The National Archives (TNA) and the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA).  Finally there is an extensive bibliography, consisting mainly of the addresses and websites of record offices and historical societies, and an index.

A guide to tracing your Cork ancestors by Tony McCarthy and Tim Cadogan (2011, 2nd edition)
This book is one of a series covering the counties of Ireland.  Cork is the largest of the Irish counties, and, while the authors acknowledge that it is not possible to deal with one county in isolation, they point out that there is a deal of local variation and history which is relevant to family history research.

The authors point out that a genealogist’s sources of information have not changed significantly since the first edition, but that the internet has radically changed the method of accessing these records.  Nevertheless, an understanding of census returns, civil records, church registers, wills and graves is still vital to the task, and this book takes the reader through these sources systematically.

The final three chapters cover places where research may be undertaken in Cork and in Dublin.  There is also a comprehensive index.

All books are available to view in the Genealogy Centre.

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