Firstly, this exhibition highlights not the "who" or "what" of history, but the "how" of history. Using several local families as examples it shows how information about them has been collected and pieced together over the past 30 years. 

Secondly, and to my mind equally importantly, the exhibition encourages all of us to do some collecting and piecing together of our own family histories.
There are no brightly-coloured pictures or objects to catch the eye, but a series of large black-and-white wall posters tracing the members of nine Emsworth families,Families2 some in more detail than others. The researchers have used artefacts, wills, inventories, memorabilia and photographs as well as personal mementoes provided by present-day family members. The earliest evidence cannot have been easy to trace because surnames only became necessary when personal taxation (Poll Tax) was introduced. Nevertheless, the research has brought up names from as early as 1580.
Besides all this data, there is useful take-home information on how to set about compiling your own family tree.

Libby                                                Pictures John Tweddell