Tracing Your Pre-Victorian Ancestors: A Guide to Research Methods for Family Historians, published by Pen & Sword in February 2017, is aimed at readers who have some experience of using pre-1837 sources, and are now seeking further guidance on how to go about their research. Several favourable reviews have appeared, many of which are accessible from the book's product page on the Pen & Sword website. In his review in the FACHRS Newsletter in November 2017, Stuart Raymond, author of many genealogy books, commented "this is the book that I wish I had written! I have frequently read reviews describing books as ‘essential’ for the genealogist’s bookshelf. This one truly is."
Overcoming brick walls before the introduction of civil registration and without the benefit of census records often requires using a wider range of sources, not necessarily available online, together with the use of appropriate research methods. Although many books have been written describing the sources, few have been written on research methods. Over two decades ago, when my personal research was reaching back into the early nineteenth and late eighteenth centuries, I was unable to find an up-to-date book offering guidance on how to go about research in the period before civil registration. In the intervening years the availability of online resources has made it much easier to get back to the early nineteenth century, with a corresponding increase in the number of people now researching their pre-Victorian ancestors. After several years as a professional genealogist, the continuing lack of accessible guidance on research in this period motivated me to write a book myself. It is impossible to reduce genealogical research before 1837 to a set of simple instructions, but there are many ways in which researchers can improve their research techniques. As one reviewer has aptly described it: "it's not a step by step 'how to' book, more a 'how to think about it' book".
Copies of Tracing Your Pre-Victorian Ancestors can be ordered from booksellers or directly from Pen & Sword.