This accessible, well-organized, easy-to-use beginners' guide to the world of family history is essential reading for anyone who wants to find their way into this fascinating subject. In a series of short, practical chapters Simon Fowler takes readers through all the first steps that will reveal the lives of their ancestors and the world they lived in. He looks at every aspect of research, from finding family papers and interviewing relatives, through exploring websites, archives, newspapers and directories, to all the other sources that can throw a light into the past. In a clear, straightforward way he explains how vital records of births, marriages and deaths can be used as the starting point in a sequence of eye-opening family detective work. Simon Fowler's introduction, which is founded on a career of genealogical research and writing, is an indispensable basic book for anyone entering in the field.