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Beautifully illustrated family history books with a difference by a frequent contributor to the UK family history press. I write for Family Tree Magazine UK https://www.family-tree.co.uk/); Discover Your Ancestors Online Periodical and Bookazine (http://www.discoveryourancestors.co.uk/); Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine (http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/). The publishers of my family history books are Pen and Sword Books (http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/) and The History Press (http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/). 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Nelly Weeton Society

Just set up the Nelly Weeton Society on Facebook to celebrate the life of this remarkable writer....


#ellenweeton #nellyweeton #nellyweetonsociety #ellenweetonsociety #regencywriters #governesses #womenwriters #letterwriters

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Learn to analyse your ancestors' personal writing

Diaries -

Are the entries made out of habit or only when inspiration strikes?

Is the diary factual or opinionated?

Is it scientifically precise or somewhat literary in style?



Tuesday, 7 March 2017

When analysing your ancestors' letters...

.... consider the balance they have achieved between

SENTIMENT:  'I must reveal to you my feelings and my hopes'


RESTRAINT : 'You must forgive me for presuming to write to you'



Monday, 6 March 2017

Communication by postcard ...

...was at first considered too open, too immediate, too brash and impolite'...


#familyhistory #ancestry #ancestors #familytree #personalwriting #familyhistorybooks #genealogy #genealogists #letters

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Search My Ancestry: A Family History Valentine's Gift

Search My Ancestry: A Family History Valentine's Gift: A Family History Valentine Kiss curls, sweetheart brooches, wedding and engagement rings, tattoos - find out more about your ance...

Friday, 17 February 2017

Tracing Ancestors Through Letters and Personal Writings - Available in the USA

Available in the USA from Amazon.com from 14th April 2017 (Available to pre-order now)
Kindle versions available now

Out in the UK -  Buy through Amazon.co.uk or Pen and Sword Books

Could your ancestors write their own names or did they mark official documents with a cross? Why did great-grandfather write so cryptically on a postcard home during the First World War? Why did great-grandmother copy all the letters she wrote into letter-books? How unusual was it that great-uncle sat down and wrote a poem, or a memoir?

Click here for more on books by Ruth A. Symes (UK)
          Click here for more on books by Ruth A. Symes (USA)

Tracing Ancestors Through Letters and Personal Writings looks at the kinds of (mainly unpublished) writing that could turn up amongst family papers from the Victorian period onwards - a time during which writing became crucial for holding families together and managing their collective affairs.

With industrialization, improved education, and far more geographical mobility, British people of all classes were writing for new purposes, with new implements, in new styles, using new modes of expression and new methods of communication (e.g. telegrams and postcards). Our ancestors had an itch for scribbling from the most basic marks (initials, signatures and graffiti on objects as varied as trees, rafters and window ledges), through more emotionally charged kinds of writing such as letters and diaries, to more creative works such as poetry and even fiction.

This book shows family historians how to get the most out of documents written by their ancestors and, therefore, how better to understand the people behind the words.

#ruthasymes #ww1 #ancestors #ancestry #familyhistory #familytree #genealogy #ancestryhour #letters #autobiography #memoir #selfhistory #telegrams #postcards #traveljournals #signatures #graffiti #annotations #marginalia #cookbooks #poetry #poems #commonplacebooks #diaries #appointment diaries