2018/19 Committee


Chair Kirsty Gray Photo

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.
Treasurer Alex Coles Photo

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.



 Vice-chair Janet Barrie

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 www.springhillhistory.org.uk Twitter @Springhill_OPS



Steve Pickthall

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 (here).

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, now with interference from my wife!

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.

Mapping Project Co-ordinator
Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper

Since retiring from IT management, I have researched my own and my wife's family trees, but in 2011 started getting interested in the history of my village. This led me on to discover the joys of researching 'one place', and also prompted me to explore various technologies to help with both the research and the publication of my findings.

I am surprised by how much I have found (local) history to be so interesting, because I hated history at school. I tend to approach it by collecting as many 'facts' as I can and trying to make sense of them. We have recently formed a little local history group in the village.

I enjoy meeting others who share my passion, and am delighted to have recently been able to explore even deeper how we might use mapping in our studies. You can see some results of this work in two websites - hcnhistory.org.uk and mapping4ops.org.