By Penn Smith
Last updated 2011-02-17
It's weird how you sort of feel connected to them somehow. I mean people you never heard of before. I don't know what it is but you sort of think, 'Well, they are all part of me, if they hadn't existed then I wouldn't'.
But yes, you sort of feel ownership of them as well. Particularly when you've researched them yourself. I mean ... I got a lot of stuff from a very distant relative in Canada, and it was stuff he'd researched, and in a funny way I didn't feel the same ownership or link to them as the ones that I had actually researched and found out about myself.
And the other thing is that ... a lot of it has to be name collecting because you can't find anymore, but then when you do find out something different about them - that really makes it worth while. I mean ... there was one, I just knew he had married somebody in Ashton-under-Lyme - way back in the early 18th century this was. And then I was looking through various records and found out that he had actually been the Rector of the parish church. And suddenly he becomes somebody real, rather than just a name.