ROWSE: mariners of Brixham, Hull, Tenby & Ramsgate.
I began tracing my husband's family tree back in 1993 before genealogy became an internet hobby. I sent out a mail shot, and although only 2 of the replies were useful to our own line, I was able to connect several other family lines, and due to the information they provided I was able to make yet another connection for one of them via rootschat only last month!!
Initially a conversation with an elderly relative provided an overview, which was eventually proved to be only partially correct, though it took many months for me to realise that an obituary in a news clipping provided an accurate list of (now) deceased relatives, and that I had been chasing several red herrings!!
Someone gave me a large pile of genealogy magazine back numbers and I went through each one carefully filing reference articles, compiling an address book of potentially useful contacts and sending out letters enquiring about everything that might be an obscure link.
It was in this way I discovered that the mariners of Brixham often made a seasonal commute, with their entire family, (including pregnant wife,) travelling back and forth between fishing grounds; or migrated permanently to other fishing ports. I have discovered that mariners of the ROWSE family settled in Tenby (South Wales), Hull(East Yorks) and Ramsgate (Kent).
One day on a whim I wrote to someone who had an indirect name connection, and was rather amazed to get a phone call in reply a few days later. The gentleman was not in fact related, but he had been the post master of Tenby, and not only did he remember a (now deceased,) fisherman by the name of ROWSE, but he also knew the two daughters who were still living, though at that time into their late 70s. It was a wonderful thing to make contact with these two ladies and then to visit Tenby to meet them and their families.
I continue to enjoy making links where possible, so it was a great pleasure to pass on information, found coincidentally, to a total stranger yesterday; though I have to admit that working on the theory what goes around, comes around, one day I do hope to receive a similar gift.