The Family Tree Detective: Tracing Your Ancestors in England and Wales by Colin D. Rogers. Published by Manchester University Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, Room 400, New York NY 10010. 1983, 3rd ed. 1997. 289 pp. Illustrations, index. Softcover.

This book is different. It is organized around the need to solve problems rather than around sources. There are three basic problems in genealogy resulting in the searching of records for parents, marriages and deaths. These three concerns are discussed in detail.

Each section begins with a description of the normal processes, using civil registration and parish records. This is followed by suggestions on what to do if something is not located as expected. For example, the section dealing with deaths present options on what to do when a death entry is not found, or when multiple options are found first in the civil registration death indexes and then in church burial records. Recommendations on alternative sources are provided. A similar format of problem solution is followed for the parent and marriage searches.

This is a very practical book. The text has been updated well from the 1983 version with the highlighting of new resources, research tools and web-sites. When you have a problem this is a great book to turn to for ideas on how to get around those brick walls.

Reviewed by Paul Milner.
BIGWILL v.5 no.6, 1998