Thursday, 3 June 2010

New - Your Family History Magazine

With Nick Barratt, best known as a lead genealogist in the UK's "Who Do You Think You Are", as Editor-in-Chief we would expect the new Your Family History to provide a high standard of content. The question is: does it live up to expectations?

Priced at a reasonable £3.99 (I do hate 1p change!) contains 74 pages, excluding the cover, about 25 pages less than comparable magazines, and is printed on a heavier paper. The presentation is attractive, but what about the content?


After two issues the pattern is beginning to settle. There are twelve pages of advertising, two pages for the content and another two on news items. A feature I have not noticed elsewhere is a page devoted to media reviews and another four reviewing books, CDs and multimedia. Apart from his editorial Nick Barratt has an opinion page, and there is the usual couple of pages for readers to "Ask the Experts".


Your Family History does not seem to be affiliated to any software or service provider, so I would expect the content to be free and impartial in its presentation. I am less than sure that this is always the case. In the first edition there was a two page article on arcalite on-line storage, and in the second a similar article about using My Heritage Family Tree Builder software, accompanied by a free disk. It is not clear as to whether these are advertorials, or not; specifically, it was the article on the latter which made me wonder, as it played down the necessity to pay the premium to get anything remotely useful. In fairness, later in the publication Peter Christian gives a "warts an' all" comparison of the Premium Account with Family Tree Maker. It would be helpful if the publisher would clarify this.

Some six pages in the first two issues have been devoted to beginners which should prove useful to them (although I did again notice emphasis on My Heritage in the second edition). Whilst it is too early to judge, the section on Local Archives detailed those available in south of England counties (Sussex and Kent). Since the publishers are in the north, perhaps we may hope for more balance in the future. The sections on Casebook, Social History, History Mysteries and The People's Archive provide interesting, and useful, social commentary on past lives or events, as well as giving information on the more unusual reference sources.

Finally, The "How To..." articles covered tracing shipwrecks and the aristocracy (I'm rather glad that they got the latter over with early!) and gave ample references for sources available to enable one to follow up leads in one's own research.


I enjoyed reading the first two issues and hope that Your Family History will continue to provide more specialist information, as in the "How To.." articles, in the future. In general it has a nice balance between content for the beginner, the more experienced, and for general interest. As to whether I will take out a subscription, or just purchase when something interests me, I will withhold judgement for a few more issues.


I have no connection with this magazine, nor any other, nor have I any connection with the software mentioned nor the competitors, although I am a voluntary tester for Legacy.

© Ron Ferguson 2010

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