Maybe I'm lucky to have a wide-rage of general knowledge, sheer curiousity...
Recently, I've come across folk that appear to have far less nous.
I learnt my research skills courtesy of the O.U. which I must admit does give me an advantage. Coming across some massive on-line etext sites has also been a bonus. Old books have been transferred to etexts and when out of copyright are free to download.
Hence, I've built up a collection of Parish Records, Archaeological studies and books about various counties.
Have listed a few, and there are still more to be found...
"The Old Halls and Manors of Derbyshire".
"Old Halls in Lancs. & Cheshire 1837".
"The Parish Registers of England".
The latter was a good find, it is a history of Parish registers which details the problems encountered by those doing the recordings. If you take the trouble to read, you'll find out about the difficulties in record preservation, social problems and political 'interference'.
"In larger parishes it was occasionally arranged, after the injunction of 1558, to keep two separate books for registration purposes, the one for baptisms, and the other for marriages and burials."
Cox, J. Charles (John Charles), 1843-1919. The parish registers of England (Kindle Locations 403-404). London Methuen.
Then, there's problems with deciphering handwriting and the fact that for many years they were written in Latin.
Some entries were brief, but those of the wealthy tended to be more elaborate.
The Civil War and the Puritans had a deleterious effect on the records.
The widespread disturbances during the Civil War, and the ejection of so large a number of the Episcopal clergy from their benefices naturally brought about considerable irregularity in the keeping of the register in not a few parishes, and occasionally resulted in their entire cessation.
Cox, J. Charles (John Charles), 1843-1919. The parish registers of England (Kindle Locations 270-272). London Methuen.
from 1669 to 1695 is because the parishioners could never be persuaded to take to see it done, nor the churchwardens as ye canon did require, and because they refuse to pay such dues to y e curate as they ought by custome to have payed.
Cox, J. Charles (John Charles), 1843-1919. The parish registers of England (Kindle Locations 507-509). London Methuen.