When I was researching my family tree I discovered many things I did not know about the family. My great, great, great grandparents on my father’s side came from Devon, whilst my mother’s forebears were from Derbyshire. In those days of limited transport, how and why did the family come together? I was intrigued and began to wonder about these people who came before me. If it wasn’t for them, their problems, their heartaches, their celebrations, their lives and their loves, I wouldn’t be here now.
I did not start out with the whole story in my mind, but rather like Topsy, it grew as it went along and there were times when I agonised about the next section. Who should it include? What period should it cover? What would that person at that time be capable of? Where would they work? Where might he or she go? And I started wondering whether any of my ancestors had even left these shores. Gradually the story emerged and the people became real. I’ve heard it said that characters take over and write their story themselves, and I really didn’t believe it. But now I’m not so sure.