Family First

Tracing Relationships in the Past

Ruth A Symes

Date Published :
October 2015
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
b&w plates
No associated books available.


This book is a blend of social history and family history covering the years 1800-1950. It is structured around the relationships which fascinate those interested in finding out more about their ancestors, fathers, mothers, babies, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and the elderly, friends and neighbors.

The book will examine how readers might find out more specifically about how their own ancestors functioned in these relationships – when and in what circumstances did my ancestor become a father? What records can tell us more about his role as a father? Each chapter starts with a guide on how to interpret the most common and direct of family history sources (photographs, BMD certificates and censuses).

The book then goes on to examine each relationship in its changing historical contexts – how, for example, did the role of a father differ in the Victorian period from earlier periods? What similarities and differences were there in behavior and roles between fathers of different social classes? How did fatherhood change in the context of the two world wars?

About The Author

After a career in academia and editing, freelance writer and historian Ruth A. Symes now writes for several genealogical magazines including Family Tree Magazine and the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? magazine. She lives in Manchester with her husband and young daughter. This is her fourth family history book.

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