Books by Gill Blanchard
Writing Your Family History
Gill Blanchard’s practical step-by-step guide to writing a family history is designed for anyone who wants to bring their ancestors’ stories to life. She looks at ways of overcoming the particular problems family historians face when writing a family history — how to deal with gaps in knowledge, how to describe generations of people who did the same jobs or lived in the same area, how to cover the numerous births, marriages and deaths that occur, and when to stop researching and start writing.
Her book provides examples to help readers find their own writing style, deal with family stories, missing pieces of information and anomalies. It also offers advice on key aspects of composition, such as adding local and social history context and using secondary material. The focus throughout is on how to develop a story from beginning to end.
Exercises are a key feature of the text. There is guidance on the various formats a family history can take and how to choose the appropriate one, with examples of format and layout. Production and publishing are also covered — books, booklets, newsletters, websites, blogs and ebooks. The book is available from Amazon both in paperback and on Kindle.
Tracing Your East Anglian Ancestors
Gill Blanchard’s practical and informative handbook will help you to trace your ancestors in the traditional counties of East Anglia – Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex – and it will give you a fascinating insight into their lives.
As well as guiding the researcher to historical records held in all the relevant archives, she explores the wealth of other resources that add the ‘flesh to the bones’ of our ancestors’ lives. She describes how fascinating information can be discovered about the places they lived in and the important historical events they lived through, and she traces the life stories of notable people from all backgrounds who shaped the region’s development over the centuries.
Her account highlights East Anglia’s diversity but also focuses on its common features and its strong sense of identity. She starts with a general introduction to its history and geography, then goes on to focus on different aspects of its rich past. In the process she illustrates a wide array of additional research resources that will be revealing for readers who want to find out more about all aspects of life in this area of England. The book is available from Amazon both in paperback and on Kindle.
Tracing Your House History
Anyone who wants to find out about the history of their house – of their home – needs to read this compact, practical handbook. Whether you live in a manor house or on a planned estate, in a labourer’s cottage, a tied house, a Victorian terrace, a twentieth-century council house or a converted warehouse – this is the book for you. In a series of concise, information-filled chapters, Gill Blanchard shows you how to trace the history of your house or flat, how to gain an insight into the lives of the people who lived in it before you, and how to fit it into the wider history of your neighbourhood.
A wealth of historical evidence is available in libraries, archives and record offices, in books and online, and this is the ideal introduction to it. Gill Blanchard explores these resources in depth, explains their significance and directs the researcher to the most relevant, and revealing, aspects of them. She makes the research process understandable, accessible and fun, and in the process she demystifies the sometimes obscure language and layout of the documents that researchers will come up against. The book is available from Amazon both in paperback and on Kindle.