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MUCH joy tempered by bouts of shock and sadness. Such is the lot of family historians everywhere. Something I can well attest to after recent foraging in the foliage of my family tree. Anyone joining this global corps of addicts soon learns that tracking down their ancestors is a long plodding journey. One beset by more highs and lows than ever experienced by the most stubbornly loyal Man United fan. Exciting moments of discovery, and troughs of gloom when trails lead nowhere. Now, thanks to the recent long-awaited release of the 1921 Census of England and Wales, the odds of… Continue reading

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RARELY do I find a book having such a deep and personal impact as this moving and tender story. Its effect lingered long after the final word had been read; reviving cherished memories, plucking at the heartstrings. Poignant moments from earlier days were relived, reflected upon with a mixture of sadness and joy. The details are mostly well distanced from my own experiences, yet the timeline and locations mirror my own to an unsettling extent. They converge and mingle before going on their separate ways, like tramlines at a junction,  As do the over-arching themes of separation and unbridgeable distance. Continue reading