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24 October 2019

Our Library Collections: Great Britain

A sampling of introductory books for Great
One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the CGS Library in Oakland.  For a fuller listing of books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.

The books for Great Britain begin with an assortment of introductory how-to books. They include titles such as: Tracing Your Family Tree, Tracing Your Ancestors, In Search of Ancestry, Genealogical Research in England and Wales, Genealogical Gleanings in England, British Research, The Genealogist’s Internet, English Genealogy, Family Tree Detective, the Oxford Guide to Family History, and it goes on.

Within this section we have a four-volume set published by Cambridge University Press in 1994. Volume One is From Family Tree to Family History, followed by From Family History to Community History. Volume Three covers Communities and Families and Volume Four is Sources and Methods: A Handbook. Apparently this set of books was written as part of a university course series. They appear to be excellent, well researched references.
This four-volume set was written as part of a class curriculum

Next on our shelves are an odd couple – Records and Record Searching: A Guide to the Genealogist and Topographer by Walter Rye (published 1888), and Instant Information on the Internet: A Genealogist’s No-Frills Guide to the British Isles (1999). Written 111 years apart, these two offer a classic perspective on how genealogical researched has evolved.
An odd couple, written 111 years apart

We have five shelves of books on royalty and peerage, many of which are massive tomes with ornate, gilded covers. There are five volumes of The Blood Royal of Britain. These are devoted to the descendants of Kings Henry and Edward of England and James III, King of Scotland.

We have four volumes of Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage – a genealogical and heraldic history. Our copies include volumes published in 1906, 1923, 1935 and 1957. These are some of the largest books in our library – the 1923 volume has 2790 pages of very fine print and nice illustrations of family heraldry symbols. Sadly, my English family name does not appear anywhere in the set.
Our shelves offer a number of books
on blue blood and peerage
I was surprised to find the books on peerage followed by a large collection of Avotayne: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy. I checked with library volunteer Phil Hoehn, and after some discussion, he found the journals had been misfiled. The library committee soon rectified the situation. Just a reminder that even the most careful volunteers can go astray–and that there's a reason we request you leave the reshelving to our experts!

An assortment of vital statistics books comes next, with books on marriages, wills, censuses and such things. Among these is The Yorkshire West Riding Poll Book 1835 – a gift of Dorothy Fowler, which provides the names of individuals eligible to vote and in some cases a few more facts on these early voters.

If you claim royalty or have British ancestors you won’t be disappointed with our offerings. 

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