Genealogical Research in England's Public Record Office: A Guide for North Americans

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Genealogical Pub., 1996 - Reference - 148 pages
This inexpensive and clearly written guide will save Americans who travel to England for genealogical research many hours of frustration. It constantly emphasizes the need for preparation before visiting and warns about the delays that may be experienced in the delivery of documents. After extolling the vast quantities of material to be found, it bluntly states that, 'However, the PRO is not the place to begin a genealogical enquiry.' What is the PRO? It is a collection, somewhat similar to our National Archives, of all documentation resulting from legal, marital, civil, military, religious, and other decisions that have affected the lives of British citizens. The book starts with helpful details on how to reach the new building in Kew by Underground, bus, or private car and adds details about getting a reader's ticket, photocopying, and the like. It then offers a list of document codes, such as the AO group (Exchecquer and Audit), the PROB group (Prerogative Court of Canterbury), and so on. There is also a list of guides (some of them only leaflets) that should be read before arrival. The bulk of the text is made up of general descriptions of the various kinds of documents within each grouping--emigration, censuses, births, deaths and marriages, army, prisoners, wills, etc. There are also maps of the counties, both before and after the boundary changes of 1974. An appendix lists addresses, by county, of local record offices. An extensive bibliography gives full data for all titles cited in the text as useful guides. Finally there is an index to all the records in the PRO, arranged by code letter and number. The author advises her fellow Americans that much of their work in pedigree hunting has been done for them by the Mormons and published in the Family History Library series by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). She urges them to make use of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and the Ancestral File, both of which cover all of England and are on microfiche or CD-ROM at Family History Centers throughout the U.S. Appropriate use of these should be made before attempting the masses of PRO documents in England. The book is still very useful, particularly for the specialist who has exhausted the LDS sources in the States, or for whom perhaps a date in the IGI is suspect--too young, or too old--or two persons with the same name. A military record, an emigration roster, or the probated will in the PRO may solve the problem.-

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Genealogical research in England's Public Record Office: a guide for North Americans

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Library of Congress reference librarian and LJ reviewer Reid provides a thorough guide for North Americans wishing to investigate genealogical or historical information in the Public Record Office ... Read full review



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