Bristol and Avon Family History Society Journal Number 156, June 2014
It a Runs in the Family - Understanding More about Your Ancestors by Ruth A. Symes
The author takes a fresh approach to understanding ancestors by deciphering the personal and historical clues contained in photos, documents and artefacts. The chapter titles give a flavour of the unusual research angles - eyes, teeth, hair, tattoos, stature, brooches, buttons and cuff links, wedding and other rings, perfumes, flowers - and dogs! All these elements of ordinary life are evidenced with examples and placed in the context of the social history of their times.
There is a bibliography for each section. Something different and fascinating.
Available from www.thehistorypress.co.uk, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.com.
Kindle edition available at www.amazon.co.uk.
‘Just when you think there are no new ways into exploring family history, someone offers a new perspective. Stepping back from the records we use to piece together the jigsaw of the family tree, Ruth A. Symes looks instead at the wider context of our ancestors’ lives, but also the little details that make people individuals. The refreshing result is a book with chapters on topics such as teeth, beards and tattoos. Why did your greatgrandfather wear a beard in old photos but his sons were cleanshaven? Why didn’t people ever seem to smile for the camera? These little nuances are explored by looking at social changes, and how they are reflected in documents, heirlooms and family albums. Other chapters in this entertaining and erudite book look at simple details, - buttons, cufflinks, perfume (and even keeping pets) – which can provide remarkable insights into our forebears. Read it for: A unique guide to the details that can bring our ancestors to life.' Andrew Chapman in Your Family Tree, February 2014.