A few years back I got into genealogy and, using the parts of the family tree I already had, started doing some research using the internet to fill in some of the blanks. I found some bits and pieces in various census releases. Mostly it confirmed what I already knew but I also found things like street addresses, who the unmarried sisters ended up living with and so on. At one stage I went off on a tangent and traced back someone who wasn't really even part of the family. I got really excited because I managed to trace them back to France in the 1640's but, like I said, they weren't actually part of the completely and utterly Scottish and English family I'm descended from. You get that.
The file of info sits in with my cookbooks and today while I was searching for a particular recipe my 'family file' kind of jumped out at me. Offspring #2 was having a nap after swimming lessons and I had some time on my hands so I thought I'd have a quick look. Knowing that two more lots of census information have been released since I'd last searched I was hoping I might find something new and reignite my enthusiasm.
Most of the names on the tree are fairly common, run-of-the-mill, kind of Anglo names. But there are a couple that are just unusual enough to make searching a little less needle-in-the-haystack and a little more might-actually-find-something. I popped one of them into Google and was pleased to have only a few pages come up. Opening one I checked the details I had and verified that, yes, it was the man I was looking for. I decided to try one of the other unusual names and had similar good luck. The first one was a diplomat, author and professor who had a particularly impressive obituary in the UK newspaper The Guardian while the second lot are Barons, Ladies and Honourables.
I guess I found the posh side of the family. They'd be the ones who didn't jump on a ship and head to Australia!