22 May 2019

Book Review: Tracing Your Potteries Ancestors

The latest in publisher Pen and Sword's Tracing Your Ancestors series, which now has 72 titles, covers the area of North Staffordshire known as the Potteries.
The author's focus is very much on resources for the towns of Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton. If the location is a mystery there's an area map on the third page of the introduction and two others in the body of the text.
As indicated by the sub-title the book is a guide meant to be dipped into as the need arises. Information is packed into the introduction, nine chapters and two appendices. The table of contents is comprehensive spreading over four and a half pages; there is an eight-page index.
Chapter Four, Church and Politics, for example, covers church buildings, the various denominations with emphasis on Methodism and where to find the surviving records, cemeteries, Chartism and trade unions.
Michael Sharpe's 35 years experience as a family history writer, researcher and lecturer is apparent. For instance, he suggests searching for local records using the TNA Discovery catalogue rather than the deficient one from the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archives Service.
The book nicely fills the knowledge gap for the researcher familiar with basic family history research who needs to dig more deeply into the history and resources of the Potteries.

Tracing Your Potteries Ancestors (Paperback)
A Guide for Family & Local Historians
By Michael Sharpe
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Pages: 226
ISBN: 9781526701275
Published: 3rd April 2019

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