This BBC programme unearths some startling revelations for those who take part; I found myself unwittingly embroiled one evening this week in a similar exercise via ancestor.com, courtesy of a new found relative who is an avid genealogist.
It's fair to say you can easily become hooked and it can steal an entire evening or indeed a week if you were so inclined.
Of course whilst you are in the past, current issues become a distraction - the racy lives of previous generations are fascinating and the amount of detail from official records, letters, photographs and the like is nothing short of incredible.
My younger son became impatient as I'd promised to review an essay he had written with a view to cutting the word count; reading about a great great uncle who had had 5 (yes 5!) wives was much more interesting! Much however was left to speculation where records were incomplete, and opinions about rights and wrongs highly subjective.
Organisations struggle with this very issue on a daily basis. Unless the correct data is collected effectively and used real-time to effect change, it loses value quickly and worse still can lead to wrong decision making if interpretation is inconsistent.
A case in point is surely complaints handling, arguably one of the best real-time engagement opportunities, with a longer shelf life and greater opportunity to delight than most other interactions.
Yet the need to process manage complaints in lengthy inter-departmental queues can have the opposite effect, as many customers will testify. This very topic was the first of CCA quarterly benchmarking and scenario planning for 2015 and the results of all four topics are being launched next week. There's a strong message to all organisations to improve the way they capture customer feedback, to gain competitive advantage by utilising clever analytics and to allow historical data to form a useful tool for today's customer rather than gaining dust on a shelf.
We certainly won't be gathering dust next week at CCA’s 21st Annual Convention
! We are officially sold out and the agenda promises to deliver real inspiration- real-time!