If you don’t know anything about most of your ancestors the Internet is a good place to start. After a trip to England during which I learned that the area around Westminster Cathedral was called the Isle of Thorns, and knowing that I had English connections on my father’s side, I went online to see where the name Thornburg came from. Through an interlibrary loan I was lucky enough to find a book written by a man who had traced my family all the way back to before the Norman Conquest in eleventh century England and all the way forward to my grandfather’s brother.
I didn’t find any connection with the Isle of Thorns but there was a town with a lot of thorn bushes where the earliest Thornburgs originated. One of the first was known as William of Thorn. I could now brag that I traced my relatives all the way back to Anglo Saxon England and it took minimal effort on my part. Now that’s the kind of genealogical research that I like. The kind that someone else does.