A huge range of maps and plans can be found in local archives – from tithe maps to plans of colliery workings, as in Richard’s case. Where written documents fail to help solve a puzzle, you may be able to unravel it by interpreting the remaining visual records. Ordnance Survey maps offer scale drawings of all elements of the landscape and so are particularly useful. The coroner was responsible for inquiries into suspicious or sudden deaths and inquests themselves were often held in the local public house. Held in local archives if they survive, inquest reports can provide an amazing insight into the events surrounding an ancestor’s death. It’s worth checking newspapers if you think that an inquest may have been held, but you can’t find the report. Try britishnews papersarchive.co.uk. As Richard says, it’s worth paying a visit to the treasure trove that is your local library and archives. There are still a lot of documents that haven’t yet found their way onto the internet and you never know what you might uncover! Track down local archives at The National Archives’ new ‘Find an archive’ service at discovery. nationalarchives.gov.uk/ find-an-archive.