09 October 2006

Smart Family History - Mini Book Review

Earlier I wrote about "Smart Family History", a newly published intermediate level book for the person researching family history in England and Wales. It is another of the selections by Diana Hall, genealogy specialist at the Ottawa Public Library, to be purchased for their collection by way of a donation from the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.

I've now had a chance to read it. I was a bit surprised at the samll format, easily graspable in one hand. Your Family Tree reviewed it as ... "a useful, concise and informative book to keep at your side."

It is arranged by the stages of life, and the records to be expected for each of them. The writing is not overly technical, but neither is it particularly inspired. The publisher obviously made the choice not to include examples, which would have improved the reader friendliness, but at the expense of making it longer. For me that's a misjudgement and I am hard pressed to recommend Smart Family History over one of the more comprehensive treatments, such as Mark Heber's landmark Ancestral Trails.