Something Lex said in a previous post has brought genealogy to mind. I've always been interested in my own and have helped many others as an avocation for years. The especially difficult family histories to trace, I find, are the Irish immigrants to Boston during the mid-19th century. That difficulty is second only to the Italian migration to these shores in the early 20th century. The trail often stops upon arrival to American shores. Lordpendragon has spoken to me of his interest in genealogy and I wonder if anyone else has "caught the bug". Searching census records and old cemeteries is "high sleuthing" and can yield a wealth of information which can give one a wholly new take on his placement (in many case) in this American society. Certainly Canadians and Australians will find the task as daunting as many here in the States since often immigration records are so difficult to find and access. One recent discovery was a "find" for my high school girlfriend one line of whose family came to Boston in 1851 from County Mayo. It's her only concrete link to her Irish past and it's given her a sense of connection to her history that has spurned more work in finding out as much about her background as she can. Helping my boyfriend with his brought us to Scotland. The joy on his face as he investigated tombstones in a country churchyard was one of the highlights of foreign travel for us. Speaking to elderly family relatives and asking about previous generations is key to securing much-needed information and I encourage anyone interested to "strike while the iron's hot" while you still have older family members with you. I'm interested to learn of others keen on genealogy.