I am a second generation genealogist. My parents first began researching our family in the late 1950’s. By the time I was born over ten years later the pattern of family research was well established. Almost every family holiday was spent exploring graveyards and in record offices. I supplemented my income as a university student by doing research for others.
Over the last 30 years I have pursued a full time teaching career and continued to do genealogical research for others as well as continuing with my own family research. Since moving to Cumbria in 2001 I have mainly done research based in Cumbria and Lancashire, with extra research trips to The National Archives and other archives when required. One line of research was of the seafaring Bragg family, and I discovered murderers and murder on the high seas, trials in the Admiralty Court, the Old Bailey, and in Van Dieman’s Land. This extensive research led to articles in family tree publications and I won The Ruth Geldart Award. A book is in preparation.
In 2015 I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a professional genealogist and I enrolled at Dundee University on the Postgraduate Masters Course. I graduated in 2019 with an M.Litt in Family and Local History.
I am an associate member of the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA). I am also a member of the Society of Genealogists.
I am a totally committed researcher, I enjoy every aspect of a research project from the planning, the research itself and even the writing up of the findings! The more difficult, the more challenging the better!
My grandparents came from four different counties, and their ancestors largely stayed within those county boundaries. A few strayed from Lancashire into Cumberland but only by a few miles! They pursued a huge variety of careers, some were upwardly mobile others sadly went down in the world. As well as the agricultural labourers and framework knitters I have found murderers, entrepreneurs, inventors, philanthropists, poachers and even links to the nobility. My most precious possession is a trade token issued by my 9 x great grandfather William Iliffe in Hinckley, Leicestershire.
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