Researching my family tree occupies much of my time, but I love it. Finding a new family member is so exciting. All my father’s family came from Cumberland – now known as Cumbria – and, usually, whenever we go on holiday to the Lake District – my favourite place, by the way – we go to the Archives Department in the Records Office and troll through pages and pages of vicars’ handwriting – sometimes, almost illegible – and try to make sense of all the names we find. Having an unusual surname helps, but there are still times when I come across two people with the same Christian name and surname, born in the same year, and I have to decide which one can be my ancestor. Also finding fourth and fifth cousins on the Internet helps, especially when one of them used to work in a records office and has researched back to a John Raven in 1520.
My husband and I will be going to London soon and will look up some of my mother’s family. She was a cockney and thought she only had one cousin, but I have found six or seven. I wish I had started this genealogy lark before she died. She would have been so excited and interested.