Fleshing out the story
If that sounds like you try this site : British History Online - what else would it be called? Here is how it describes itself:
British History Online is a digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a primary focus on the period between 1300 and 1800. We aim to support the learning, teaching and research of our users from around the world.
BHO was founded by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust in 2003. Our collection currently contains over 1,270 volumes and is always growing.
You can search places right down to little villages (like Alkham), and includes information right back to the 11th century, and before that medieval times. If you would like to see how I used it for the story of my ancestor click here for the Tunbridge Family.
So, if you are stuck with boring English ancestors, give this site a try and see if it helps them become a bit more real.