When you first start to delve into your family history you either know quite clearly which line to follow or you tend to dabble in each line using the facts you have at hand. If you have elderly relatives you can ask questions, if they are willing to talk – sometimes they aren’t. You can search for old photographs both of the family and the places they lived and you can visit those places and take new photographs. You can visit libraries and museums to find out about the local and social history of an area. All these things give you background information and a sense of how your ancestors lived and worked. After that you come to the actual research using things like Census returns, parish records and public records. When I first started this entailed visiting local archives and record offices but today lots of this information can be found on the internet. There are many helpful sites and this is great if you have internet access at home or can visit your local library to use their facilities.
When I started to research, in the late 1980s, I chose my father’s family first. My father died at the age of 45 when I was only 5 and for some reason I felt drawn to finding out more. Even though the family had lived for many years at Langwith Junction in Nottinghamshire they had moved there early in the 20th century from