Nick Barratt introduces an ambitious new historical website.
The rise of family history has been well documented. But in the last year or two, the traditional focus of research for many people has changed. It is no longer enough simply to ‘collect names’ and build a family tree; though this is a vital step, it is now an interim one. Instead, the real quest is to find out about the way our ancestors lived, and consequently a range of other disciplines are being pursued. House history is enjoying a new lease of life, as we search for ancestral homes noted in census returns or certificates; social history is all the rage as we seek background information on occupations and working conditions from the nineteenth century; local history is also an important part of the picture, since we need to be able to imagine the community in which our relatives grew up.