Time Traveller’s Handbook


Do you know how long it took to sail across the Atlantic Ocean? Was it faster from east to west or west to east? Imagine sailing to India, a five-month trip around the Cape of Good Hope! No wonder late Victorians valued the steamship and the Suez Canal. What difference did the inventions of the telephone or steam engine make to our ancestors lives? Do you know what a rod or a chain is and what they measured?

Time Travellers Handbook considers documents and how to look at papers and artifacts that have survived over the years, as well as those family legends and mythinformation handed down by word of mouth. This sort of information can be found on the Internet somewhere but the researcher can waste a lot of time hunting for it. In an entertaining yet useful manner, Time Travellers Handbook brings together for family historians a lot of facts our ancestors once knew, took for granted, and used regularly.


I enjoyed delving into the Time Traveller's Handbook. It finds its target "family historians working in Canada whose ancestors originated somewhere else" and will find a place on my bookshelf.

Anglo-Celtic Connections

While written for the Canadian researcher, the book is invaluable to U.S. researchers because much of the information presented applies to U.S. ancestry as well.


an excellent addition to the reference library of both genealogists and historians.

The Forest City

Douglas succeeds in packing a ton of information on numerous subjects into one soft-cover guide. The Time Travellers Handbook is a handy tool for assisting genealogists in understanding their ancestors everyday lives.

The We Tree Genealogy Blog (May, 2011)

an invaluable addition to any historian or genealogist bookshelf.

Olive Tree Genealogy (May, 2011)

...well-written, sourced where appropriate, and makes for an easy read.

GenBlog (May, 2011)

...a great book for not only genealogists, but also historical fiction readers, Jane Austen fans, writers, and anyone else interested in history.

More Than Books (June, 2011)

Recommended for genealogists, whether novice or veteran.

Generations (Manitoba Genealogical Society newsletter) (July, 2011)

The book is designed to help historians and genealogists, but it will also help to settle debates about trivia and family memories. If nothing else, it can help the grandkids figure out just what you're talking about.

The Victoria Times-Colonist (August, 2011)

Recommended for genealogists, whether novice or veteran.

Generations (October, 2011)

This is an entertaining book that covers the past as well as customs and traditions we now consider quaint or may dimiss as waste of time.

Tri-City News (November, 2011)

About the Author

Althea Douglas

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Althea Douglas

Althea Douglas was the author of numerous articles on genealogy, Canadian local history, and heritage conservation. Her books include Tools of the Trade for Canadian Genealogists, Help! I've Inherited an Attic Full of History, and Here Be Dragons: Navigational Hazards for the Canadian Family Researcher