By Penn Smith
Last updated 2011-02-17
Visiting the places is part of the fun of family history, it really is. It opens up your eyes to new aspects of the place and it certainly makes you realise that there is more to your family history than just collecting their names, births and deaths and marriages. You need to visit the places and ... to try and get a sense of what your ancestor felt, what environment they were actually brought up in.
And a lot of the places haven't changed that much. My grandmother's father was born in a little place called East Dean, in West Sussex. And it's a sleepy little village - it has a shop in it, which is also a post office, and it still closes in the lunchtime. I mean ... it's just wonderful, it really is. So I arrive there and there was no one around to talk to because, you know ... it had closed. So I had to wait. And just finding things like that is absolutely fantastic, it really is.