My books and publications

My first book DNA and Social Networking: A Guide to Genealogy in the Twenty-First Century was published in November 2011 by the History Press, and can be ordered from or direct from The History Press. It can also be purchased from Amazon as a Kindle edition. The book was released in North America in March 2012 and is available from Amazon and other online retailers in the US, Canada and Australia.

My second book for the History Press, The Surnames Handbook, was published in October 2012. The book is a comprehensive guide to researching a surname and covers topics such as surname mapping, DNA testing and one-name studies. The book includes extensive weblinks to all the many online resources for researching a surname. It is also available in a Kindle edition.

I also contributed a chapter entitled "The Napoleonic War Hero" to the book
A Viking in the Family and Other Family Tree Tales by Keith Gregson (The History Press, 2011, pp96-99.) This chapter is about my great-great-great grandfather David Tidbury (c.1785-1867), a veteran of the Peninsular War who also fought at the Battle of Waterloo.

I contributed a chapter on "The promises and limitations of genetic genealogy" to the book Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies edited by Debbie Parker Wayne and published in March 2019.

Papers in peer-reviewed journals
  • Q&A How to uncover my connections with second/third cousins on AncestryDNA? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, October 2022, p46.
  • Q&A How can I find my DNA link with the Farnhams? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, August 2022, issue 194, p57.
  • How to use 23andMe.  Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, Summer 2022, issue 193, pp24-25.
  • Q&A Can we find out who my late father's real father was through DNA testing? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, Summer 2022, issue 193, p57.
  • How to use Living DNA. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, June 2022, issue 191, pp32-33.
  • Make the most of FamilyTreeDNA. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, May 2022, issue 190, pp32-33.
  • Q&A Could a DNA test help me with my Curtis brickwall? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, May 2022, issue 190, p41.
  • How to use MyHeritage DNA. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, April 2022, issue 189, pp32-33.
  • DNA Painter: What is it and what are its key features? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, February 2022, issue 187,pp32-33 An edited version of this article is available online.
  • Anonymity for donors until children turn 18 – can this be maintained? Guest blog post for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, 9 September 2021.
  • Q&A Who are the Scottish ancestors AncestryDNA picked up? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine? October 2021, issue 183, p40.
  • Q&A Is Ann or Helen my 4 x great grandmother?. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine? August 2021, issue 181, 39.
  • Q&A Have I solved my DNA riddle? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine? Summer 2021, Issue 180, p40.
  • Guide to one-name studies. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine? March 2021, issue 175, pp24-28. An abbreviated version of this article is available online.
  • Get more from your Ancestry DNA test. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine?, November 2020, issue 171 pp19-24.
  • Q&A How can I narrow down relationships in my DNA test results? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine? November 2020, issue 171, p40.
  • DNA ethnicity explained. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, May 2020, pp16-21. An edited version of the article with the title "What do DNA test results mean?" is available online on the WDYTYA Magazine website.
  • Q&A My grandfather was brought up by foster parents. Can DNA help me to uncover who his biological parents were? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, May 2020, issue 164, p43.
  • Medical DNA for family historians. Family Tree Magazine, February 2020, pp16-18
  • Q&A. Can you explain why the results of my DNA test don't reflect my German ancestry? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, January 2020, issue 160, p38.
  • Q&A. Can you help me make sense of my DNA test results? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine December 2019, issue 159, p43.
  • From father to son. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, Issue 158, November 2019, pp24-29. An extract from the article can be found online here.
  • Making the most of your DNA matches. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, Issue 152, June 2019, pp17-22.
  • DNA dilemmas and delights. Family Tree Magazine, May 2019, pp56-58.
  • Talking Headlines with Debbie Kennett, Research the Headlines, 10th January 2019.
  • Guide to DNA testing. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, December 2018, pp17-23.
  • Paint your chromosomes. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, Summer 2018, pp23-26.
  • Q&A. Is it possible to calculate my late grandfather's DNA results? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, Summer 2018, p45.
  • Q&A. Am I descended from a Scottish king. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, August 2018, p43.
  • The brave new world of genetic genealogy MIT Technology Review, 28 April 2018.
  • Personal genetic testing and the implications for the donor conception community. BioNews, 26 February 2018.
  • The Big Question. Do these DNA results mean that I have Italian ancestors? Who Do You Think You Are Magazine, March 2018, p46.
  • DNA dilemma. Family Tree Magazine, January 2018, pp22-23.
  • A guide to DNA testing for genealogy. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, issue 125, May 2017, pp17-23.
  • DNA tests - why you need one. Family Tree Magazine, November 2016, Volume 33 No 1, pp56-57.
  • Harper J, Kennett D, Reisel D. How personal genomics spells the end of donor anonymity. BioNews, 3 May 2016.
  • DNA for genealogy: which test is best for you? Family Tree Magazine, Christmas 2014, pp54-55.
  • Cousins reunited: autosomal DNA demystified. Berkshire Family Historian, December 2014, volume 38, pp26-28
  • Sense about genealogical DNA testing. Sense About Science blog, 15 March 2013.
  • Exploring your ancestry through DNA testing. Celtic Guide August 2012, Volume 1, Issue 8, pp32-34. Available from:
  • Ancestral research through DNA. FIBIS – The Journal of the Families in British India Society Spring 2012, Number 27, pp44-52
  • Cousins reunited. Family History Monthly, May 2011, issue 195, pp46-48.
  • DNA testing and the Devon DNA ProjectDevon Family Historian, number 135, August 2010, pp15-18.
  • review. Family History Monthly, April 2010, issue 181, pp76-77.
  • A decade of DNA testing. The Greenwood Tree, February 2010, Volume 35, Number 1, pp11-12.
  • Social networking for family historians. Family History Monthly, February 2010, issue 179, pp36-37.
  • Devon DNA Project. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. Autumn 2009.
  • GenealogyWise: A new networking website for family historiansJournal of One-Name Studies, October-December 2009, Volume 10, number 4, pp16-17.
  • A practical guide to DNA testing. Family History Monthly, October 2009, issue 174, pp22-25.
  • Facebook for family historians. Berkshire Family Historian, Volume 32, March 2009, pp10-12.
  • Answers from your GenesBerkshire Family Historian, Volume 33, September 2008, pp14-17.
Book reviews and software reviews
  • Understanding DNA Ancestry. A review of the book by Sheldon Krimsky. BioNews 1133, 21 February 2022.
  • Tracing Your Female Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians. A review of the book by Adele Emm. Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, March 2020, pp41-42.
  • Who We Are and How We Got Here. A review of the book by David Reich. Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, June 2018.
  • Tracing your Ancestors from 1066 to 1837: A Guide for Family Historians. A review of the book by Jonathan Oates. Journal of One-Name Studies, October-December 2012, Volume 11, Number 3, p30.
  • The Berkshire Probate Index reviewed. Berkshire Family Historian Volume 36, September 2012,  pp10-11.
  • Surnames, DNA and Family History. A review of the book by George Redmonds, Turi King and David Hey. Journal of One-Name Studies January-March 2012, Volume 11, Number 1, p29.
I am a major contributor to the UCL Debunking genetic astrology website.
I am the co-founder and a major contributor to the ISOGG Wiki.

Online publications
Transcriptions of wills published on Genuki Devon
  • The Will of John Ackelande Esquire of Landkey (1538)
  • The Will of John Ackland Esquire of Ackland (1553)
  • The Will of John Cruse of Morchard Cruse (1577)
  • The Will of Anne Cruse of Moretonhampstead, Cruwys Morchard and Rackenford (1586)
  • The Will of George Westcott yeoman of North Molton (28th February 1593)
  • The Will of George Westcott of Bishops Tawton (1st July 1595)
  • The Will of Alexander Cruse of Cruwys Morchard (1648)
  • The Will of Susann Cruse of Winkleigh (1648)
  • The Will of Francis Colman, gentleman of Tiverton (1650)
  • The Will of  Mary Cruse, wife of Winkleigh (1655)
  • The Will of John Cruwys of Cruwys Morchard (1656-1711)
  • The Will of Susanna Cruwys relict of Samuel Cruwys Esquire (1756)
  • The Will of Dorothy Cruwys, spinster of Westminster (1757)
  • The Will of Henry Cruwys of Hillersdon, Cullompton (1760)
  • The Will of Jane Cruwys Widow of Hillersdon, Cullompton (1765)
  • The Will of Thomas Augustus Cruwys of New Inn, Middlesex (1770)
  • The Will of the Reverend John Cruwys, clerk of Cruwys Morchard (1715-1791)
  • The Will of Bridget Cruwys, spinster of Westminster (1794)
  • Estate Duty Office Will of Dorothy Dillon, widow, of Burrington (1812)
  • Estate Duty Office Will of John Dillon, druggist, of Burrington (1798-1853)
  • The Will of the Reverend Henry Shortrudge Cruwys (1805)
  • The Last Will and Testament of William Cruwys (1821-1873)
Transcriptions of newspaper articles published on Genuki Devon
  • Ashreigney Ploughing Match
  • Ashreigney: A Day at the Races
  • A Singular and Fatal Accident in Burrington
  • John Cruwys and the Stolen Cow
  • The Sanitary Condition of Chulmleigh
  • William Cruwys and Maria Westacott and the Stolen Blankets
  • The tragic death of Herbert Cruwys of Witheridge
  • A Letter from the Reverend John Tossell Johnson (1790)
  • A trifling offence in St Giles
  • Memorial to the fallen heroes of St Giles in the Wood
  • Extracts from 18th and 19th century newspapers relating to Cruwys Morchard
  • Cruwys Morchard Ploughing Matches
  • Transcription of a tripartite indenture dated 12th October 1770 between John Cruwys of Cruwys Morchard, Thomas Putt and Samuel Newte of the first part, Charles Evelyn of Totnes and Philippa his wife of the second part and William Mann yeoman of Broadhempston of the third part
  • Transcription of a tripartite indenture between John Callard, Mary Short, Nicholas Hole and John Dillon dated 1st July 1760
Miscellaneous transcriptions
  • The Tracy Deed
  • Transcription of various deeds from John Tingey’s Calendar of Deeds Enrolled Within the County of Devon 1536-1673:
  • Cheriton Fitzpaine deed
  • Rackenford deed
  • Winkleigh deeds
  • Letter from George Sharland Cruwys to Frederick Stockdale dated 2nd January 1841
  • Cruwys Morchard wills and inventories
© 2012-2023 Debbie Kennett


Charlotte James said...

Nice to find this when having a quiet Google!
I am Elizabeth Hickling's Great Great Grand-daughter. The Kingsley Christening Shawl which is now in my possession, is currently on loan to the Kingsley Museum, Clovelly

Debbie Kennett said...

It's good to know that the christening shawl is still in existence. How exciting that it is now on display in the museum. If you send me a photo of the shawl I could share it with readers of the blog.

Hthrkenyon said...

Hi Debbie. I found this link while cleaning up old files on my computer. I am descended from a Cruse family in Devon. Anne Cruse married a William Ellis. Basically all their children had Cruse as a middle name. They belonged to the Bible Christian Church and most moved to Australia. My email is Regards
Heather Kenyon

Debbie Kennett said...

Heather, Sorry for the delay in replying. I've only just spotted this. I have sent you an e-mail.