Granny Was a Brothel Keeper: 50 Family History Traps

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 136 pages
Author: K. Broad & T. Beobard
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9781906280383
Other: sketches
Publisher: Family History Partnership

So you thought your grandmother was an upright lady of strict Victorian morals? Would you be surprised to find out that she had been five months pregnant when she married your grandfather? Or that she earned her living pimping out young servant girls to drunken sailors?

'Granny was a Brothel Keeper' is an entertaining collection of true stories which illustrate the fascinating and sometimes bizarre world of family history research.

A fun read in its own right, this book also outlines many of the traps which lie in wait for the family historian. It will help both newbies and old hands become more effective in their research. Who knows, you too may discover lying brides, exploding sheds and bath chairs, shipwreck survivors, serial bigamists and more ...

Section 1: Lies, damn lies and family recollections
Trap 1. You start with unrealistic expectations
Trap 2. You just didn't get around to it in time
Trap 3. Family memories are muddled
Trap 4. Family recollections lead you astray
Trap 5. You don't maximise family information
Trap 6. What they don't want you to know
Trap 7. Families make assumptions about what you know
Trap 8. Relatives sanitise their recollections
Trap 9. Taking it at face value
Trap 10. You neglect recent family recollections

Section 2: Chaos is not just a theory
Trap 11. Your workspace doesn't work for you
Trap 12. Your findings are disorganised
Trap 13. You don't have the right kit
Trap 14. You don't use your tools properly
Trap 15. You fail to be kind to yourself
Trap 16. You don't record as you go along
Trap 17. You don't know enough about the subject
Trap 18. You don't have a back up
Trap 19. If you don't ask you don't get
Trap 20. You duplicate someone's research
Trap 21. You try to follow more than one line at a time

Section 3: What's in a name?
Trap 22. Your relatives go by different given names
Trap 23. You have fixed views about your surname
Trap 24. Believing the surname dictionary is right
Trap 25. Being proud of the family crest
Trap 26. You trust that old family tree
Trap 27. Your family changed their surname
Trap 28. Collecting every instance of your surname
Trap 29. Adoption - surname research ends here?
Trap 30. Same surname, not necessarily connected

Section 4: The Man Who Never Was
Trap 31. Not understanding the Registration process
Trap 32. You didn't make best use of the registration indexes
Trap 33. I got the wrong certificate
Trap 34. Which John Smith?
Trap 35. He never seems to have been born
Trap 36. They can't have married
Trap 37. They vanish off the face of the earth
Trap 38. Right certificate, details not as expected
Trap 39. Not using every scrap of information
Trap 40. You ignore deaths

Section 5: Census of Humour
Trap 41. The census wasn't just for family history
Trap 42. The census enumerator got it wrong
Trap 43. Believing the census index is right
Trap 44. Your census searches are ineffective
Trap 45. The family disappears
Trap 46. The single person conundrum
Trap 47. Your relatives were economical with the truth
Trap 48. You can't read what you have found
Trap 49. You dismiss an entry that's not quite right
Trap 50. The potential of the census is not realised

"It's not often that I open an envelope and laugh out loud at the contents! I have continued laughing and nodding my head for the last hour, dipping into the book and also admiring its great cartoons. - Maureen Selley, Chairman, Devon FHS

Related Title:
Grandad Did a Dastardly Deed: 50 More Family History Traps

1 Review
  • Very interesting

    Posted by Unknown on 26th Jun 2019

    Makes the readers aware of pitfalls in researching family history

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Granny Was a Brothel Keeper: 50 Family History Traps


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