2011 has been a busy year for the Unlock the Past team. Along with organising and hosting four History & Genealogy Expos in different states, as well as organising two History & Genealogy Cruises (the 2nd of which is currently still running) – they’ve produced another 11 books this year, including two in November 2011.

It is these two new books that I wanted to let tell you about …


Cracking the Code of Old Handwriting
Author: Graham Jaunay
paperback, 36 pages
ISBN: 9780980874624
Year: 2011
Item Code: UTP0243
Price: $10.00

Sooner or later, family historians will come across a major obstacle in progressing their research – old handwriting can be difficult to resolve and this booklet is designed to overcome some of these problems.

The problem rests on the facts that most of us unknowingly read by identifying whole words by their shape rather than looking at individual letters. When we come across unfamiliar writing, we are forced to look at the individual letters in their context. The unexpected shapes of old letters and a multitude of shortcuts n writing results in considerable difficulties for modern readers, and this booklet provides some strategies to overcome this problem.

There are a number of books on this subject, but, apart from the practical advice within, a strength of this publication lies in the number of actual examples to help the researcher identify seemingly meaningless words.

Early parish registers often have some level of Latin in their content. This book contains a useful dictionary of the more common words that may be encountered in parish registers containing Latin. Click here for the full description.


Irish Family History Resources Online
thor: Chris Paton
paperback, 74 pages
ISBN: 9781921956010
Year: 2011
Item Code: UTP0282
Price: $19.50

There is a popular belief that Irish family history research is virtually impossible because ‘all the records were burned in the civil war’. But as Northern Irish born family historian Chris Paton demonstrates, the glass is most definitely half full rather than half empty when it comes to research in the Emerald Isle. Many records still exist which can help with your ancestral pursuits, and for those unable to make their way to Ireland to carry out research, the internet is finally coming to the rescue, as more and more material is increasingly finding it’s way online by the day.

This concise Unlock the Past guide explores the key repositories and records now available online, and will prove to you that if you have been put off with Irish research in the past, now is absolutely the time to take another look. Click here for the full description.


You can find all of the Unlock the Past titles on our Gould Genealogy website, as well as through other selected genealogical outlets.

I know there are a number of titles that are being planned, so keep an eye out for more great guides in 2012!