GENUKI recommended genealogy books for beginners

Anyone just starting out in British genealogical research will quickly come across the GENUKI website. GENUKI (derived from “GENealogy of the UK and Ireland”) is a genealogy web portal providing a virtual reference library of genealogical information especially relevant to the UK and Ireland. The Good Web Guide describe it as the most complete and user-friendly general genealogy site for British users.

For beginners looking for genealogy book recommendations on their site good starting points are: Getting Started in Genealogy and Family History; and Newbies’ Guide to Genealogy & Family History.

Getting Started in Genealogy and Family History, UK and Ireland

The GENUKI guide to Getting Started in Genealogy and Family History, UK and Ireland is consistently one of the highest-ranking search results for genealogy beginners and provides an excellent starting point for anyone taking their first steps in genealogy research. It contains a useful article and a bibliography for those researching family history for the first time.

Despite being primarily an online reference source, GENUKI emphasise the importance of genealogy books in your search.

“…these notes of guidance should not be regarded as a substitute for good old-fashioned books. Especially if you are a beginner you are strongly advised to start by visiting your local library and doing some reading on genealogy. There are many useful introductory books on genealogy and family history which will provide you with more complete and coherent guidance as to how to get started than you will get here“.

The article concludes with a bibliography of genealogy books for beginners for further reading*:

Stella Colwell, Teach Yourself Tracing Your Family History. Check prices GBP £ | USD $

Terrick FitzHugh and Henry FitzHugh, How to Write Your Family History: Using Your Home Computer.  GBP £ | USD $

Terrick V.H. Fitzhugh and Brian Christmas,  The Dictionary of Genealogy.  GBP £ | USD $

David Hey, The Oxford Companion to Family and Local History.  GBP £ | USD $

Mark Herber, Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History.  GBP £ | USD $

Colin D. Rogers, The family tree detective: A manual for tracing your ancestors in England and Wales. GBP £ | USD $

Noel C. Stevenson, Genealogical Evidence: A Guide to the Standard of Proof Relating to Pedigrees, Ancestry, Heirship and Family History. GBP £ | USD $

Andrew A. Todd, Basic Sources for Family History: Back to the Early 1800s Bk.1. GBP £ | USD $

Dr. Harry Alder, Tracking Down Your Ancestors: Discover the story behind your ancestors and bring your family history to life. GBP £ | USD $

Newbies’ Guide to Genealogy & Family History

Although it was originally intended as a guide for Yorkshire researchers, the Newbies’ Guide to Genealogy & Family History by Roy Stockdill nevertheless provides useful advice for researchers of genealogy pertinent to all parts of the UK.

Starting with some General and Practical advice for the newcomer, this article goes on to cover sources such as: Civil registration and censuses; Parish registers and bishop’s transcripts; Other sources; and Understanding the International Genealogical Index (IGI).

Mr. Stockdill’s first and foremost piece of practical advice is to begin by reading at least one good book on tracing your family history, in order to master the fundamentals of research.

“In my honest opinion, everyone should read at least one good book on how to trace your family history before asking questions here.”

He recommends beginning with anything by Stella Colwell (although especially Teach Yourself Tracing Your Family History, echoing the recommendation above. Check prices GBP £ | USD $)

For further reading, recommended books are*:

Jean Cole and John Titford, Tracing Your Family Tree. GBP £ | USD $
Michael Gandy, Short Cuts in Family History. GBP £ | USD $
Eve McLaughlin, First Steps in Family History. GBP £ | USD $
Pauline Saul, The Family Historian’s Enquire Within. GBP £ | USD $
Colin D Rogers, The Family Tree Detective.  GBP £ | USD $
Angus Baxter, In Search of Your British and Irish Roots. GBP £ | USD $

*It should be noted that some of these titles are no longer in print. The most recent edition of any publication is shown.

Posted in Genealogy Books.