For a couple of years I’ved been tinkering with my family history, never really getting that much further than my grandparents. During the past few weeks I have made some real breakthroughs via Genesreunited and Ancestry. Neither of the services is free but they both offer different membership levels depending on how interested you are.
I had gotten to the point where I was spending time and money at the National Archives, that access to all the census records from 1851 to 1901 in a searchable format seemed more cost effective.
It’s paying off: contrary to what I had thought my great great grandfather came from Croydon in Surrey. It’s likely that he originally went to Liverpool as a merchant seaman and met and married his first wife there and decided to stay. I’ve also joined the Liverpool and South West Lancs Family History Society, and who knows I might even take a trip up there again, one of these days: there’s an intrigue I would like to research!