If you think that one of your ancestors may have worked for the Civil Service, try searching at findmypast.co.uk. Christa’s ancestor had to prove his age when he applied for a job, but his birth wasn’t registered, so his mother had to sign a sworn testament. Christa used William Dargue’s A History of Birmingham Places and Placenames, which is online at billdargue.jimdo.com. At the Birmingham NEC show, Christa attended workshops and an ‘Ask the Experts’ session, which helped her to think laterally about her research. She found all the exhibitors extremely knowledgeable, offering information on historic boundaries and advice on where to look next.