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1. When did you first start working on your family history?

A long time ago!!

2. What was your most surprising discovery?

What has surprised me most is the sort of things that my family tried to keep hidden. They seem like small things by today’s standards but obviously caused a lot of discomfort in the past.

3. Have you done a DNA test? Were there any surprises about countries of origins?

I have tested with several DNA companies and have only the most boring of results to report: everything was as expected.

4. What is the brick wall you would most like to break down in your family history?

My biggest challenges have been tracking down the roots of two eighteenth-century ancestors: William Clarke and John Smith. I would really like to be able to crack those.

5. What is your favourite part of researching your family history?

There are a few aspects of family history research that give me a lot of pleasure. I enjoy the hunt – tracking down resources, deciphering old handwriting, exploring the places my ancestors lived, etc. And I also enjoy the discoveries that I make along the way.

Speaker Spotlight: Ellen Maki