I started researching my family tree nearly 20 years ago when we found my Grandmother's old family bible with details of her siblings and grandparents written inside the front cover. I still have the torn back of an envelope with these details on and it is amazing to think that these few sketchy details have led to the family tree I have researched today. Some family lines go back 18 generations but so far I have managed to get back about 5 or 6 generations for most family lines and I am still researching and probably will be for some time.
For me the joy has not just been about finding that my family goes back to the 15th century and wondering where my family fortune has gone or if I am related to royalty, but about trying to find out about the sorts of lives that my ancestors lived, most of them lived in various parts of rural Sussex, not far from where I currently live. Most of them, Agricultural Labourers and Farmers, a hard but honest living and most of the others worked in some capacity connected with the landscape such as wood fellers and brickmakers. The stories of some of these characters can be found on my website, Sussex Genealogist. (see Useful Links)
My family tree includes the surnames of Baldwin, Harmer, Pilbeam, Terry, Payne, Winchester, Funnell, Simmons, Rusbridge, Roffey, Vigar, Vincent, Message, Oliver and many more and covers a geographical area of Sussex, Surrey, Lincolnshire, Middlesex and Ireland.