A lady who lives across the street kindly offered to spend a few hours in the library researching my family tree, something I have always wanted to do but found I was absolutely no good at. Having tried and failed to find my grandparents on the 1901 census, I had given up.
My maternal grandmother was called Lucy Savage. She said she was related to old pop singer Terry Dene through his wife, Edna Savage, who was also a singer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edna_Savage). Oddly enough, I spent several years vainly pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter and warbling away in obscure clubs and restaurants, so perhaps I inherited a smidge of the musical gene.
At first, my neighbour opted for the wrong Lucy Savage, but had an instinct that the details weren't correct, so now she has found the right one and, to my great joy, has unearthed an ancestor bearing the truly amazing, Dickensian name of Asquith Beedle! He was a glass-blower in Castleford, Yorkshire, and married a lady called Rose Pollett.
What I want to find out about now is my grandfather's family. I'd like to trace the Dickinson line back to see if my mum's tale of them having lived in Standish Hall, Wigan, Lancashire is true. She told us that my grandfather used to visit the family vaults in Standish every so often. However, the hall doesn't exist any more, having burned down in the 1920s and the land it stood on is now a pig farm. No reflection on my ancestors, I hope!
5 days ago