Dave Annal is a regular contributor to Family Tree magazine where he is one of the resident experts. He is also the author of a number of popular family history books.

Easy Family History Easy Family History by David Annal


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This guide is for everyone interested in their ancestors whose research has not yet begun, or is in its early stages. It offers exactly what it says on the cover. David Annal introduces all the relevant sources of information in easy steps and most logical sequence, focusing on what you really need to know. The chapters are interwoven with practical features on issues that could crop up during research: for example different spellings of your ancestor’s surname.

Written with humour and minimum fuss, this is the most accessible guide on the market – and at a size and price to suit any pocket.

“This charming, pocket-sized guide is a beginner’s dream.” – Family History Monthly

Census The Expert GUide Census: The Family Historian’s Guide by Peter Christian & David Annal


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A compelling up to the minute guide to using the census in your family history research with tips on how to make the most of the newly released 1911 census online.

Written by a bestselling genealogy author and a National Archives expert, Census shows how to interpret intricate details of your ancestors’ lives. It explores how and why information was gathered on names, addresses, family relationships and occupations, revealing why ‘mysteries’ occur and what may be hidden between the lines. It traces the unique features of the newly released 1911 census – the first to feature our ancestor’s handwriting, investigate ‘fertility in marriage’ and be disrupted by Suffragettes – as well as the personalities and procedures that brought the early censuses to life.

Census also considers online access to the returns in detail, from free data and search techniques to the problem of transcription errors. A tour of key census websites – including information on the 1911 digitization – reveals the most useful websites and best quality images, as well as the experts’ techniques for approaching original records, microfilm, CDs and DVDs.

Complete with contemporary photographs, screenshots and intriguing case studies, Census is an invaluable guide to this unique historical resource.

“the definitive guide to what the census is, what it was meant to do when it was created and its value to family historians.” – Who Do You Think You Are Magazine

‘Sub-titled, the ‘expert guide’ – this is no idle boast considering the book’s pedigree’ – Family History Monthly

‘This is a fine book, handsomely produced with much of interest’ – Ancestors

Easy Family History Birth, Marriage and Death Records by David Annal & Audrey Collins


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Birth, marriage and death records are an essential resource for family historians, and this handbook is an authoritative introduction to them. It explains the original motives for registering these milestones in individual lives, describes how these record-keeping systems evolved, and shows how they can be explored and interpreted. Authors David Annal and Audrey Collins guide researchers through the difficulties they may encounter in understanding the documentation.

They recount the history of parish registers from their origin in Tudor times, they look at how civil registration was organized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explain how the system in England and Wales differs from those in Scotland and Ireland. The record-keeping practised by nonconformist and foreign churches, in communities overseas and in the military is also explained, as are the systems of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Other useful sources of evidence for births, marriages and deaths are explored and, of course, the authors assess the online sites that researchers can turn to for help in this crucial area of family history research.