Welcome, fellow genealogists! My blog will teach you about U.S. land records and United Kingdom research. My family has roots in Niagara County, New York; Norfolk, England; and northeast Germany.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: Pen and Sword Books on Kindle

This post will be short because I am engrossed in a book that I have coveted for a long time. It is Tracing Your East Anglian Ancestors by Gill Blanchard. Its British publisher called Pen and Sword Books has titles in two major categories – military and family history.

I have been tempted to order an armload of their wares but was deterred by the shipping and handling costs from the UK that almost doubled the price of the books. Now they are available on www.amazon.com – some in Kindle format. I received my copy in less than one minute for $9.99 instead of over $30.00 from the publisher direct. I just love a bargain and my Kindle!

Blanchard is a trained historian who researches and teaches genealogy in Essex, Cambridge, Suffolk and Norfolk and her book is very detailed in a ‘good’ way. Her background in history adds a great deal to the content. She seems to know all the repositories big and small, and her description of these smaller libraries and museums sets the book apart. There is much here for the beginner and more seasoned researcher.

Blanchard writes very well, and the book is easy to read and understand, but I would be remiss not to mention the editing or lack thereof. The electronic version does not have all the appropriate words capitalized. I offer no explanation and have no idea if this carries over to the printed version or not. In a list of three rivers, why are only two capitalized? If it happened once, it would be a typo, but this is too pervasive and distracting.
Most of the family history books from Pen and Sword begin with the phrase, ‘Tracing Your…’ Dr. Ian Maxwell has written at least three that like Blanchard’s are specific to an area, like ‘Tracing your Northern Irish Ancestors’ and ‘Tracing Your Irish Ancestors.’ Another series uses the same phrase but is specific to an occupation, such as ‘Tracing Your Medical Ancestors.’ The prices for the Kindle versions range from about $6.00 to $13.50.

The military books from this publisher cover all wars ever fought by the UK. That is not an exaggeration. Check it out by putting “Pen and Sword Books” into the search line at www.amazon.com.

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