I've done quite a bit of genealogical research and I've found that the people I've found practically cry out to be 'characters' in stories. Sometimes just their names are interesting, take for instance Mag Scurr in The Dress Lodger by Sherri Holman. She was a real person fictionalized.
One thing I've found interesting is signatures. I have many documents with signatures and I find getting a good book on handwriting analysis can give me great ideas for characters. One of my ancestors had a signature that told me he was generous with money. His bride's signature, on the other hand, revealed she was tight with a buck. What great tension!
I'm going to pick up this topic in future posts. See ya all later.