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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
If you’re a genealogy buff, you may find Ancestral Quest a charming look at the process of family tree discoveries in the years before so many records, newspapers, and DNA tests were digitized and searchable to the extent they are today. Within the context of a broader search about his family genealogy, author James Redman hearkens back to 1998 and efforts he made over several months to locate information about family members who lived in the 1800s. This story will resonate for many of us who have made similar journeys, visited cemeteries and libraries, followed one genealogical clue to another, paged through old newspapers, written to possible sources of family information, and encountered those who had just the missing piece of information or offered useful advice on where to find it to fit a family mystery puzzle together.
I enjoyed reading Ancestral Quest. The story of Redman’s family, from interviews with elderly grandmothers to his 1998 journey, is told in detail that future generations of his family will cherish. How I wished I still had living grandmothers when I first started my own family search. There are pieces of family lore that will never be found in public records and can only be passed on in written or spoken form between family members or close friends. Having them recorded in a book is a precious legacy Redman now leaves to others who can pick up the torch in the future. Photographs, newspaper excerpts, amusing, and sometimes shocking tales add to the vibrant heritage Redman has uncovered over the years. An informative and entertaining account of family discovery.