I can't remember when I first became interested in my family history. It certainly wasn't when I was young - all those tales of old used to bore me stupid. How I wish now that I had actually paid some attention, maybe even written some of those stories down!
I think it began when I was given some old family photos. My journalistic instincts made me want to know more - who were these people, what did they do, what were their stories? And so about eight years ago I started some reseach. But time was short, and online resources weren't what they are now, so the project was shelved.
Now it has been well and truly dusted off, and I am having a great time tracing my ancestors back through the years. Most of them were purely working class - factory workers, miners, general labourers. They were certainly a fecund lot - I have a LOT of ancestors to investigate! And fortunately for me, most of them seem to have lived a long time.
Last week, I stumbled upon this blog http://www.nostorytoosmall.com/, which challenges family historians to write about one ancestor a week for 52 weeks. I am somewhat late to the party, but hopefully I am fashionably late and can still make a contribution to the fun.
So, from Monday onwards, the plan is to write about one of my ancestors each week. However ordinary their lives were, they almost certainly still did extraodinary things, whether it was coping with the premature deaths of most of their children, living through the plague or emigrating to Canada - and yes, those are stories I plan to include. Watch this space!