I’ve recently rejoined the Cumbria Family History Society, and posted some of the data on my genealogy page there. I’m amazed at the knowledge and enthusiasm of some of the members. Post a query, and several people will answer you immediately, They’ll search sometimes quite obscure records for you, and discuss your problem amongst themselves until they come up with the best answer. What I love about family history is the alternative picture of the past you get, instead of the politics and kings and queens of the school subject. You discover your own relatives being sent to work in factories when they are ten or eleven years old, moving around the country in search of jobs, being forced to emigrate because of poverty. You find girls working as servants seduced by their employers, and glimpse the great gulf between the gentry and the rest of society. All the major movements in social and economic history are reflected in the life of your own family in a fascinating way, and it may even affect how you see the problems of today.