I have an acquaintance who some years ago decided to dig into her ancestry. As most parishes in this neck of the woods have kept detailed tabs on people since the early 17th century, it isn’t that difficult to construct a family tree, and most of these old records are available on line – a treat for the amateur genealogist.
Thing is, my acquaintance presumed she’d only find interesting (as in fun and exciting) things up her family tree. As one of my English colleagues now and then says, ’interesting’ is not always a positive – and in her case, the things she dug up were definitely interesting but not all that much fun. After all, finding out your great-great-grandmother was hanged for three murders is not exactly something one wants to brag about. Or maybe one does.
Sometimes, the same thing happens when you’re reading about…
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