Tracing Your Twentieth-Century Ancestors

A Guide for Family Historians

Karen Bali

* Practical handbook for family historians researching twentieth-century forebears

* Identifies and explains the key documentary and online sources

* Sections on the census, directories, service records, trade associations, property records, wills and much more

* Advice on tracing living relatives

* An essential introduction to the field
Date Published :
March 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Series :
Tracing your Ancestors
Illustration :
40 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781783831036

Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 176
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The recent past is so often neglected when people research their family history, yet it can be one of the most rewarding periods to explore, and so much fascinating evidence is available. The rush of events over the last century and the rapid changes that have taken place in every aspect of life have been dramatic, and the lives of family members of only a generation or two ago may already appear remote. That is why Karen Bali’s informative and accessible guide to investigating your immediate ancestors is essential reading, and a handy reference for anyone who is trying to trace them or discover the background to their lives.

In a sequence of concise, fact-filled chapters she looks back over the key events of the twentieth century and identifies the sources that can give researchers an insight into the personal stories of individuals who lived through it. She explains census and civil records, particularly those of the early twentieth century, and advises readers on the best way to get relevant information from directories and registers as well as wills and other personal documents.

Chapters also cover newspapers – which often provide personal details and offer a vivid impression of the world of the time – professional and property records and records of migration and naturalization. This practical handbook is rounded off with sections on tracing living relatives and likely future developments in the field.

About The Author

Karen Bali is an expert genealogist who specializes in family history research of the recent past. She provides adoption research and tracing services for the legal profession through her research service ( Karen also runs online courses and evening classes in genealogy. Her books include The People Finder: A Self-help Handbook for Finding Relatives, New Cousins: How to Trace Living Descendants of Your Ancestors and Researching Adoption: An Essential Guide to Tracing Birth Relatives and Ancestors.


"Perfect for those exploring the lives of more recent relations. Genealogy expert Karen Bali, who specializes in researching adopted and living relatives, identifies and explains the key records and online sources to aid you on your journey, including the census and directories, civil service and employment records, wills, electoral registers and a brief introduction to the 1939 Register. Packed with case studies and practical advice, this is an easily accessible read with lots of leads and sensible tips of tracing more recent family, including how to approach long-lost living relatives and what the digital future may hold for family historians."

- Family Tree, February 2017

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