Many of us have a desire to know more about the generations that preceded us and about our roots. We may have become fascinated about where our family originated from; what it was that they did for a living and in what conditions they lived. If your forebears came from England & Wales, then you will want to know what records you can access and where to look for them.

Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist, leads you through some of the research work that you will probably need to undertake to pursue these goals in his short book How To Search For Your English and Welsh Family History. Assuming that you have a yearning to find out more about your British roots, this is a concise introduction to English & Welsh family history.

The author looks at online and offline records, including the census collections and the civil registration data. Different types of Parish Records are dealt with in one chapter including the Dade and Barrington registers. If your ancestor is missing from the church records, then he explains where to find the Bishop’s transcripts and what these copies are.

Baptismal, marriage and burial records are not the only records that were locked away in the Parish Chest and so he looks at some of the other documents that may have survived.

Researching records of a marriage and what a Clandestine marriage was are included in this short book as is an explanation why your ancestor may have had a double baptism. Nonconformist, those of a Christian denomination other than the Church of England, and parish graves are investigated as is researching records of a marriage, illegitimacy and stumbling blocks in the parish records.


Toys for Tots for Christmas 2011.

So what toy do you buy a toddler for Christmas? Need help finding the top toys for tots?

Perhaps you are a doting parent, uncle or just someone that needs to buy a gift for a young child and wondering what are the hot toys for Christmas this year?

It can be such a dilemma when it comes to finding just the right toys for children and more especially at Christmas time when we are all under so much pressure. Sure,we can take a look at the top 10 toys to see what is ranking as the top selling toys for 2011.

True, there are simply loads of children’s toys in the shops at this time. The shelves seem to be groaning under the weight of them but how do you go about choosing gifts that are safe for the child, age-appropriate, that the recipient is going to have fun with or are educational?

The first thing to remember is that different kids are going to have different interests and the toy manufacturers are aware of this and produce different toys to match the various age groups. The problem for us is that we are presented with a whole host of options and all sorts of factors to consider. This can make searching for the right toy a real problem instead of it being fun and exciting to do.


OK, so where do you go from here with toys for this age range?

Toys should be fun to play with, so bear this in mind when making your choice. Take a bit of time to really think about what type of toy it is that you want to give to the young person that you have in mind and here are Santa’s little helpers top three tips!


Tip #1: Always consider the Safety angle first.


Toys, first and foremost, have to be safe for the kids to play with. Only consider those toys that you find which are appropriate for the age group of the child.


Be aware of the health hazards that inappropriate toys may have for kids of what ever the age of the recipient is. By this we mean you should look out for any toy that have small and detachable parts or pointy bits. These can be seriously dangerous to very small children who may go and swallow the parts of the toy and go and choke on them. Pointed toys and small kids don’t mix as children have a habit of tearing around the place and pointed objects can cause serious accidents to them. A good rule to follow is that while bigger children are fine with toys made of very durable and tough materials, when it comes to tiny tots you should go for the more flexible or softer toys for this group.


Avoid any toys that may contain or have surfaces that have harmful chemicals on them. It is natural for kids to put things in their mouths and so it is a given that their toys must always be free of noxious substances. So watch out for toys that are painted in any way, check that the paint used is non-toxic.


Tip #2: What, if anything, can this toy teach the child that is going to receive it?


Look out for those toys which can show children various values such as self-reliance, working in teams and sharing with each other. Playing is an important developmental activity for kids and can be useful for developing family bonds as well. This can be better achieved if you give the child a toy that develops their knowledge, attitudes, and practices.


Try to look for toys that are going to be both entertaining and developmental at the same time. This sort of toy should help the child with their motor, mental and social skills if possible. Educational toys will aid the development of a kids’ mind as they play with them and, hopefully, make them use their minds both critically and logically. Arts and craft type toys should help youngsters to become creative and express themselves while playing with the toy. For toys that are good with developing motor skills you should look out for Toys that involve movement.


Tip #3: Look out for toys that offer value for money.


If you can find a toy that is well made then this investment in quality may pay back in many years of life for the toy. It may even get passed on to the younger children in the family as the original recipient grows out of it. You can’t go wrong by seeking quality rather than going for quantity.


Another thing to consider is will the toy hold the child’s interest? You want to chose something that will be played with often.


Remember that high price does not necessarily equate to quality. But also beware of cheap toys made of low quality materials that will come apart or break very quickly and have to be discarded when ever you are considering the best toys for toddler boys or girls this year.


Hope these tips have helped you to choose the right gift from what ever list you have been given, or that you may have seen online, or elsewhere, for the top toys for Christmas 2011.

Here are some that will no doubt become some of the best selling Christmas toys in 2011.

Check out this page here to see the latest Top Toys for Tots






Image: Suat Eman /

Welcome to those of you that are planing ahead for Christmas 2011.

Want to know what to buy your loved ones for Christmas this year? Well this site will be your guide to some of the best toys for girls, the best toys for boys and the best gifts for us all of us.