Taking off to nineteenth century Europe with NaNo

I had a great writing day yesterday with the NaNo challenge, trying to write 50,000 words of a novel in November. The characters are in search of their family roots and have come across two clues, a man called Radwinter in the village of the same name in Essex in 1841, and another man call Radwinski in the Polish Refugee Hospital in Portsmouth in the same year. Various clues and research seems to show that these two men are brothers, who had come to Britain via Gdansk, with a company of Polish soldiers who had been in an uprising in Warsaw against the Tsarist regime of Russia in 1831.

My ability to research this is limited, but I am following a genealogical trail as anyone looking for family might, so apart from getting the main details of what happened in Poland, I am really going to concentrate on the brothers’ lives in England from 1841 onwards. However, it struck me as I was constructing this imaginary family tree, how impossible it would have been to do this without the internet. Before so much genealogical information was available it would have meant hours in local records office, or looking through parish records, and as my story starts in Essex and Portsmouth, goes to Surrey, and then moves on over a hundred and fifty years to my imaginary town of Strand, it would have been almost impossible!

So… day 10 of the challenge, I wonder where my story will have taken me by this evening?!

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