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A reminder to be prepared for surprises, especially when you least expect them

Always be prepared for the unexpected

During the week before Christmas some years ago, I was with my husband making the usual annual visit to an old neighbour of his late mother’s. We were surprised to find no one in and so we knocked on the door of the house next door, where my husband’s mother used to live, to enquire about their missing neighbour.

We were warmly invited in by Kay and informed that Maude was in hospital. We explained who we were and asked if they would kindly keep us informed of the progress of Maude and gave them our address.

What happened then was to make an unexpected change to my life. ‘Oh,’Kay cried, ‘you’re the one from Wolverhampton. We’re related!’

It seems that Kay had once taken her father to meet a relation of mine, my mother’s cousin, who – during their conversation – had asked Kay where she lived.

‘I live on Tatenhill Common but you won’t know where that is,’Kay had told her. (Tatenhill Common is in fact just a small hamlet a few miles from Burton on Trent).

‘On the contrary,’my mother’s cousin replied. ‘I do know Tatenhill Common and have visited a lady who lives there – my niece’s mother-in-law – several times!’

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About Family Tree

Kick-start your research with the January issue of Family Tree - packed with ideas to help you plan for a great year of family history and inspire you to new discoveries. Get the latest! Our crop of experts talk about upcoming and breakthrough projects they're looking forward to in 2019. Plan your research month by month! Read a genealogist's diary of the past 12 months, and decide what you want to accomplish in the year to come. Hone your research skills! Join in with part 1 in the brand new series of the Family Tree Academy. Each month through the year to come the Academy will give you the chance to get better and understanding and using those all-important family history records. Read Family Tree and become the best genealogist you can be!