Many family historians will come across direct links to ancestors who lived and worked in the countryside as farmers, labourers, landowners, village tradesmen and professionals - for most of us have rural ancestors. Yet despite the burgeoning interest in genealogy, these people have rarely been written about with the family historian in mind. No previous book has provided a guide to the documents and records, from medieval times to the twentieth century, that researchers can use to find out about their rural ancestors and the world in which they lived. That is why this accessible and informative introduction by rural historian Jonathan Brown is so important. He describes the make-up of country and village society - the farmers, large and small, the farm-workers, the landowners and estate-owners, and the local business people, the tradesmen and merchants. At the same time he identifies and discusses the relevant national and local records, indicates where they can be found, and offers essential advice on how this information can be used to piece together the lives of distant and not so distant relatives.Tracing Your Rural Ancestors is essential reading for anyone who is looking for an insight into the history of rural life, work and society.