About the book
The Rattle Families (including those with the surname Ratel, Rattel and Ratelle) Genealogy and History - Of interest to every living descendent and their posterity
Thomas produced his book to help finance his large research costs of Atlantic travelling. It is very comprehensive in scope and breaks the family down into a number of branches that have many number of people listed. It has to be said that some people in the family apparently wanted nothing to do with him, so there are a some understandable omissions. However, others were much more helpful. Therefore the book's coverage can be somewhat variable and there are mistakes due to the unavailability of records which are available nowadays. Overall, the work was a major achievement given the circumstances of the day.
In his preface to the book, Thomas says that his interest in genealogy started in 1945 when he began to wonder where his ancestors had lived in England before they emigrated to Canada around eighty five years earlier. The trail led him back to Suffolk, and in particular a small village called Otley near Ipswich. From that point on, the history of the Rattle families became a lifelong task. Thomas was also the author of another genealogy book 'The Watson Family' being his mother's family and this was apparently published in 1965, although no public copy of that book has been found so far.
The resulting book was entitled 'The Rattle Families' and subtitled '(including those with the surname Ratel, Rattel and Ratelle) Genealogy and History - Of interest to every living descendent and their posterity' and ran to 153 pages. It was clearly a 'work in progress' and there are a number of out of order additions due to the nature of the production of the book before the age of the word processor. It was finally published by Thomas in Toronto in 1968 and at that time he was living at 2567 Lakeshore Boulevard West, Toronto.
The book details the family branches in the following order; Suffolk (pages 2-59), Somerset (pages 60-101), Yorkshire (pages 102-114), London (pages 115-128), Quebec (pages 129-134), France (pages 135-140) and Franconia (pages 141-144).
A number of copies of The Rattle Families are known to be in private ownership. Publicly accessible copies are at the following locations;
Canada: McMaster University in Hamilton, the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto Robarts Library (CS39 .R3 1968) and the University of Ontario.
England: The London Guildhall Library, the library of the Society of Genealogists (London) and the Suffolk Record Office (Ipswich).
The United States: Allen County Library (Fort Wayne), the Detroit Public Library, the Library of Congress (Washington), the Library of Michigan, New York Historical Society, the New York Library, the Newberry Library (Chicago), Seattle Library and the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Australia: The state libraries of Queensland (Brisbane) and Victoria (Melbourne).