For many years I'd wondered about my father who'd died when I was 4 years old. Everyone who knew him had said what a lovely man he was, which is all well and good but doesn't really draw much of a picture. When my mother died I invested in a halfways decent laptop and an internet connection and started trying to track down information about him but without much luck.
But I did find that I enjoyed genealogy (gene-allergy as Mrs Riverdale has it), so, with the proviso that I wasn't going to spend any money on my hobby, I started to look at my father's ancestry only to find that once I'd got a couple of generations back all the work had been done by Black Country Connections.
I started to look at my maternal grandfather's family. My cousin had already done quite a lot of work there, and there's a brickwall when we get to the Channel Islands that neither love nor money can breach.
I turned to my maternal grandmother's family, the Hillmans, and was able to track back as far as William & Elizabeth Illman in the mid 18th century, but this wasn't enough for me, my appetite for genealogy wasn't sated, I needed more... and so was born my project to map the descendants of William & Elizabeth Illman - if only I knew which Elizabeth it was, was it, as most internet genealogists have it, Elizabeth Dolman, or was it that little known, and little reported, Elizabeth Whiskey? The best part of five thousand people later I still don't know the answer to that one, but there are a lot more questions answered in the following pages.