What started your interest in genealogy?
Some intriguing family stories related to my mother’s ancestry in the north east of England. Research revealed they were mostly true (but not the Viking ancestry!)
What are your specialist areas of interest and why have you chosen them?
Nonconformity in my home county of Bucks and life in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Tracing family history in these fields is often more challenging, and they are also subject areas where I have a deep personal interest.
Your most exciting discovery, either personal or professional?
On a professional level – discovering the 1853 dairy of a young female emigrant from Buckingham. The diary detailed her journey, with a relative and some family friends, to Australia in that year. The story that unfolded was one of personal bankruptcy, family conflict, lost friendships, survival and a connection by marriage to the writer Flora Thompson, but very sadly for the young emigrant herself an untimely end in her new country.
On a personal level – discovering some of my ancestral relatives were neighbours of Jane Austen’s family in Bath.
A typical day’s work.
There is no typical day’s work. I might be carrying out research at a Record Office, looking at documents and taking photographs for clients, involved in location photography or perhaps meeting with a client if they are in the local area. If working at home, I could be analysing information and images accumulated from an Archives visit, researching online, typing reports or constructing family trees from genealogical software for clients.