Current Committee


Kirsty Gray

When my grandfather left the family tree, suitcase of documents and paraphernalia with my parents in 1982, as a child I remember pouring over the names, photographs, newspaper cuttings and much more with great excitement. Never would they have imagined that their foundations would develop into such an obsession for me in the future! Exploring my paternal ancestry, I discovered that all his forebears hailed from the West Country - in fact, more specifically, Devon - and when the rare Sillifant surname appeared twice in our family history, a one-name study was born. The parishes within Holsworthy Registration District hold a large percentage of the records of Sillifant historical life events and, from my many visits to the area, a fascination with the two small, isolated parishes of Tetcott and Luffincott has developed. My knowledge of the West Country in general, saw an approach from Pen and Sword in 2011 and the publication of my book Tracing Your West Country Ancestors in March 2013.

Alex Coles
New Zealand

I have been researching my own family history since late 2002 after the 1901 census became widely accessible online and a trip to England left me wondering which part was ancestrally "mine". The Wing one-place study followed within a year as I had already amassed a fair amount of knowledge about Wing just from trying to solve some riddles about my great-grandfather and his parents.

While I'm not a professional genealogist (nor do I plan to be), I do have a keen interest in methodology and best practice. Prior to the formation of the Society I managed the One-Place Studies website and associated social media accounts. In my non-genealogy time I am a chartered accountant here in New Zealand.


Janet Barrie

Janet is an anaesthetist by profession. She has been studying her family history for 20 years and her one-place studies place for around 10 years. She has an MA in Biblical Interpretation and is interested in how texts are constructed and interpreted within specific contexts. She also enjoys primary sources, whether these are documents, artefacts or recordings. Her one-place website can be found at or on Twitter @Springhill_OPS




Steve Pickthall

My interest in family history began in the early 1980's after seeing a friend's mother sorting through her own family history and I quickly established that my family's roots were primarily in East & West Sussex, Worcestershire & Devon.

I took the Community & Family History course as part of my OU degree and developed a particular interest in parish clerks/sextons/church wardens (roles filled by some of my ancestors) maintaining an online register of these on the web together with a index of people involved in fatal railway accidents.

My one-place study is New Fishbourne, West Sussex because it is somewhere where I have family connections, I had already done some research about it (for my OU course), and it was about the right size (population approx. 300). I started the study around 2005, as an interest I could pursue with my young daughter. She has now outgrown it but I continue to dabble.

I already looked after three other websites (a family history society, a local history society and my own website), so volunteered to take on the One Place Studies webmaster role to fill in my spare time.

Editor, Destinations
Marketing Manager

Karen Bailey

I have loved studying history my whole life, leading to me completing a degree in history and drama. During modules on the formation of the leisure industry in the Victorian era, I developed a life-long passion for my home town, Droitwich Spa in Worcestershire, UK – indeed, my dissertation topic was its development from grimy industrial town to fashionable health spa town during the late Victorian period. I also enjoy genealogy and have been researching for my own family and for friends for over two decades. This naturally led me to create the Droitwich Spa One-Place Study to investigate both local and family history of the town.
In my “day job", I am a marketing specialist, creating campaigns via email, webpages, mobile messaging and direct mail (post) on behalf of major brands worldwide. I am now based back in my Place after nearly twenty years of living in the English North West and Wales.
Social Media Coordinator

Steve Jackson

I had been intrigued by my Mum’s maiden surname - Atcherley - for many years before an episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?" in 2007 finally prompted me to look into my maternal family history. I was soon hooked, an interest gradually turned into a passion, and years later I am still researching and chronicling the lives of the Atcherleys. As part of my research I visited Waters Upton churchyard in Shropshire to find the last resting place of my 3x great grandmother (Mary Titley, née Atcherley) and her husband. While there I decided to photograph all the gravestones and other monuments with legible inscriptions so that I could transcribe the details and upload the information and images to Find A Grave. Of course, as a genealogist I was curious about all the people whose inscriptions I had photographed and so I began to research them, little knowing that I was starting a one-place study in addition to my one-name / surname study!
Webinar Coordinator

Dr Janet Few

Janet Few was a founder member of the Society for One-Place studies and served on the committee for several years, including a short spell as Chairman. She is the author of guides to one-place studies and runs courses on the subject for Pharos Teaching and Tutoring. Being a glutton for punishment, Janet has four places, three in North Devon and one in Northumberland. As well as organising the society's webinars, Janet is the serving President for the Family History Federation.