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Look in family bibles, photograph albums, national health and employment insurance cards, tax returns, leases, receipts, school reports, forces' call up or discharge papers - anything which will provide a name or date will help. Their registers are a mine of information, and so are their gravestones - which may accurately record details of several generations of a family and include wives' maiden names.

Until the second quarter of the 19th century there were no central registers of births, marriages and deaths.

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An appendix on genealogical style covers alternate spellings of names, when and how to use lineage lines, how to include adopted children and stepchildren, aspects of double dating, and other issues faced by genealogical writers.The new Gregorian calendar dropped ten days from the month of October for the first year only, to get back in sync with the solar cycle.It also retained the leap year every four years, Of primary importance to genealogists, is that the Gregorian calendar was not adopted by many protestant countries until much later than 1592 (meaning they also had to drop a varying number of days to get back in sync).The calendar in common use today, known as the Gregorian calendar, was created in 1582 to replace the previously used Julian calendar. Even with the extra day added every fourth year, the Julian calendar was still slightly longer than the solar year (by about eleven minutes per year), so by the time the year 1500 rolled around, the calendar was ten days out of sync with the sun.To remedy the deficiencies in the Julian calendar, Pope Gregory XIII replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar (named after himself) in 1582.