Visitors to Britain's stately homes will be able to find out whether their ancestors were the lords of the manor, or merely the scullery maids, under a new research programme backed by the National Trust. The organisation is helping to fund investigations into the family trees of the people who lived and worked in Britain's stately homes through the centuries.
It has been estimated that as many as one in five people have links to members of the aristocracy, famous historical figures or rich landowners.
However, there is no guarantee that a link to a grand estate will be glamorous: you might find that your forebear at the manor was actually the butler, the footman, or merely the chambermaid.
The project is being run between the Trust and the genealogical database Ancestry.co.uk, which was behind the BBC television series Who Do You Think You Are?
The National Trust's 3.8 million members are being offered a discounted rate to join Ancestry.co.uk, which charges around £7 per month for its basic service.
A portion of each member's fee will then be given back by the website to the National Trust to fund more research into the lives of the servants and masters of around 350 stately homes in Britain, from Cragside in Northumberland, the home of the Victorian inventor Lord Armstrong, to the Tudor manor of Cotehele, in Cornwall.