Nearly 10 years ago when I was a feature writer for this newspaper, my editor asked me to interview a woman who claimed that her guardian angel had revealed to her that her partner had been unfaithful.
Having no clue what spirit guides were I consulted Jayne who explained they are the energy and soul of a spirit, usually a relative who has passed on, that watches over us and protects us throughout our lives.
As we chatted she broke off the interview suddenly to tell me who my guide was and described him as being a quiet, reserved man who often wore a dark suit.
She also mentioned that he had an odd mannerism of absent-mindedly rubbing his left knee. Although I had a hard time believing in anything to do with the afterlife, it was fascinating.
The name William didn't mean anything to me but when I asked my dad he said that it was his grandfather on his father's side.
There weren't many members of my family still alive who remembered him.
But we all had a good laugh about some of Jayne's other seemingly unlikely predictions: that I would get married and have a daughter followed by twins a few years later. I forgot all about it. Over the next decade however I thought about William often and wondered what he was like.
I can't explain exactly why I felt such a strong connection with him. Perhaps I simply liked the notion that "someone" was looking out for me.
Then just over 18 months ago, after all three of Jayne's predictions had indeed come to fruition and my twins were born, I began thinking about finding out a bit more about William, where he lived and what had happened to him during his life.
My first stop was the electronic archives on Ancestry.co.uk. The site has digitised billions of records from around the world, from military service documents to ships' passenger lists and census records.
Within minutes I knew that William had been born a farmer's son in 1892 in Co Derry. By the age of eight he had moved with his family to Belfast which by then was the beating heart of the region's shipbuilding industry.
Migrants flocked there from across Ireland, particularly rural Ulster, Scotland and England to work in the booming Harland and Wolff shipyard in the east of the city which by the early 1900s employed some 15,000 men.
Then in 1912 my great-grandfather became one of the half million men and women to sign the Ulster Covenant, an oath sworn by Ulster protestants pledging to defend their way of life and protesting against the establishment of a Home Rule parliament in Dublin.
Seeing an image of William's signature on the digitised database held by the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland and knowing that he had played his own small role in a pivotal moment in Irish history was a very odd feeling indeed.
Two months ago came the much more exciting discovery, that William had a daughter Jean who was still alive and well and living in east Belfast.
Meeting my great aunt, now 90, and her daughter Lorraine in April was a delight, it felt like I'd known them for years. As we chatted over tea and sandwiches Jean was able help me fill in all the gaps in the information I had already pieced together and tell me what her father was really like.
At the age of 22, along with 135,000 other Irishmen, William responded to Lord Kitchener's call to arms and joined the British Army's Royal Irish Fusiliers at the outbreak of war in 1914. The following year his part in the Great War was over when he was wounded on the battlefields of France and left with a knee injury that was to trouble him for life.
I must admit the hairs on the back of my neck stood up when she recalled that he had a habit of rubbing his left knee, trying to alleviate the pain of his war wound just as Jayne had described. Jean also remembers her father as a quiet man whose favourite book was the classic novel All Quiet On The Western Front which depicted the detachment from civilian life soldiers felt upon returning home from the front.
Jean says her father would never talk about his war experiences but it's likely that whatever happened in France left a deep mark on him.
When we parted that afternoon we promised to keep in touch.
JUST a few days later I was thrilled to receive a copy of a photograph of William that my dad had managed to find in the family albums.
He is standing in the sunshine with my great grandmother Catherine and wearing his favourite suit that he wore for his weekly trips to the pub.
Even the most hardened sceptic would have to admit that some of Jayne's revelations about William were uncannily accurate.
She couldn't have elicited any information from me either, because I wasn't aware of him before she told me that he was my spirit guide.
Whether I really believe in spirit guides or not is almost irrelevant, it inspired what started out as a fun family history project and then became so much more.
Searching for my spirit guide brought me into contact with a lovely part of my family I'd probably never have met.
"Exploring your family history is a fascinating way to discover more about your ancestors and find out where you came from," says family historian Russell James from Ancestry.co.uk.
"However, by delving into the past you can also make connections to living relatives you never knew existed."