Genealogist Keith Gregson takes the reader on a whistle-stop tour of quirky family stories and strange ancestors rooted out by amateur and professional family historians. Each lively entry tells the story behind each discovery and then offers a brief insight into how the researcher found and then followed up their leads, revealing a range of chance encounters and the detective qualities required of a family historian. For example, one researcher discovered that his great-great-grandfather, as a child, was carried across the main street of West Hartlepool on the back of the famous tightrope walker Blondin. The Victorian newspaper report said that one of his nineteenth-century ancestors lost his leg in a Midlands coal-mining accident, and that the amputated leg was buried in the local cemetery – to be joined by the rest of him on his final demise. A Viking in the Family is full of similar unexpected discoveries in the branches of family trees.