Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the name of this blog has changed – from ‘Martin Robb’s Family History Blog’ to ‘Past Lives’. This is partly because the former title was always intended as a place-holder until I could think of something better, and partly to reflect the fact that the focus of the blog has expanded beyond my Robb ancestors to embrace the many and divergent branches of my family tree.

The title is also an attempt to capture my interest in the lived experience of my ancestors, and to tell the story of their lives, however apparently unremarkable. As I say on the updated ‘About this blog’ page:

My main aim, to adapt the words of E P Thompson, is to rescue from obscurity the domestic servants, shoemakers, farm labourers, laundresses and law clerks whose interwoven lives created the conditions for my own.