In this respect, I have been extremely lucky and have been able to link other people's research together for the most part.
There is the interesting possibility that my parents' families link in a couple of places over the generations. This was unexpected as we originally thought they were geographically separated.
For a while I was able to pop in to St Catherine's House and search the birth, marriage and death indices in my lunchtimes, but then the search rooms were moved to Middleton Place and this curtailed these excursions.
In recent times I have turned to the Internet for research and guidance. I am by profession an information researcher and do use the Internet very heavily in the course of my normal working life.