Our Instructors

Barbara H. Baker | Hannah Baker | Karen Bali | Gill Blanchard | Karen Cummings | Eilir Daniels | Brian Drescher | Simon Fowler | Guy Grannum | Celia Heritage | Sherry Irvine | Helen Osborn | Chris Paton | Chris Pomery | Gillian Waters | Stuart A. Raymond | Malcolm Sadler |

Barbara H. Baker, BA (Family History), AG

Barbara H. Baker, BA (Family History), AGBarbara has worked as a British Reference consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, for 25 years. As part of her work, she has created many British research aids now available online through FamilySearch.org. She has also created and taught numerous classes in British research, particularly for England and Scotland. Barbara is accredited in English genealogical research through ICAPGenSM. She has worked as a professional genealogist, has lectured at genealogical conferences in the United States and Britain, and is currently an instructor in British research subjects for the annual Institute of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.

Barbara has enjoyed researching her family history since her teens and has published one family history and is working another. Her ancestry is almost entirely British and most lines have been in America since the 17th century.

  • Organizing Your Genealogy
  • So you think you know Family Search? A Guided Tour

Brian Drescher, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, UK (Website)

Brian Drescher, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, UKBrian has been a trainer for over thirty years, and now teaches family history for the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association). He is the author of WEA courses for beginners and more experienced family historians. Brian also runs his own genealogy research business, English Roots, with customers in the USA, Australia, Canada, the UK and elsewhere in Western Europe. His research for international customers has taken him to many archives in England and Wales. Brian is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and has been awarded the Higher Certificate in Genealogy by the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies.

Most of Brian’s professional research has been in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His particular interests are in writing family histories and he has written over twenty family history books for customers. The Drescher family history book that he wrote was the focus for a family reunion that took place in 2005 and 2007. He has also presented family histories that he has researched and written at family reunions for customers. Brian ran a workshop on Writing Your Family History for the Society of Genealogists in early 2009.

  • Writing Your Family History

Celia Heritage (Website)

Celia HeritageFamily history has been Celia's passion since she first began tracing her own family tree as a teenager. After studying for her BA in history at King's College, London she later went on to study at the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies and gained a distinction in the Higher Certificate in Genealogy. Celia also worked at the IHGS as Registrar and lecturer before leaving to form her own business (appropriately called Heritage Family History) in 2008. Celia is a regular lecturer for the Society of Genealogists and is also a tutor on the IHGS correspondence course. She was well-known to Practical Family History readers for her many informative articles on family history, while she also runs classroom based family history courses in Kent and gives many talks on genealogy around the country.

More than anything Celia loves to get out on the ground, exploring the places connected with her research; seeing how these places have developed over time and what traces of the past remain in the landscape.
  • One Place Studies: Research from a New Perspective

Chris Paton, BA (Hons), HND, PgDip ( Genealogical Studies) (Website)

Chris Paton, BA (Hons), HND, PgDip ( Genealogical Studies)Originally from Northern Ireland, Chris works as a genealogist and writer in Ayrshire, running the Scotland’s Greatest Story research service at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk , with clients based around the world. Formerly a television documentary maker on history series such as War Walks, Secret History, Time Flyers and Meet the Ancestors, he took voluntary redundancy from BBC Scotland in 2006 after twelve years in the industry.

A holder of a Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies, and a regular writer for several British genealogy magazines, Chris is the author of Researching Scottish Family History, Tracing Your Family History on the Internet, Discover Scottish Church Records and the forthcoming The Mount Stewart Murder. He runs the Scottish GENES news blog at www.ScottishAncestry.blogspot.com , gives regular talks to local family history societies, and maintains an online database on First World War British civilian POWs interned at Ruhleben in Germany (http://ruhleben.tripod.com).

Amongst Chris’s ancestors are the victim of a 19th Century axe murder, a ship builder on the Titanic, several spiritualists and missionaries, whilst one of his cousins was a chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II for eleven years.

View Chris's profile on: Linked-In
  • Scottish Research Online
  • Scotland 1750 - 1850: Beyond the OPRs



Chris Pomery

Chris PomeryChris has been researching his immediate family history for fifteen years. In 2000 he launched the Pomeroy DNA project, which for a while was the largest surname-based DNA project in the world. Chris now manages the research activities of the Pomeroy Family Association, including a documentary research programme that lists more than fifteen hundred researchers worldwide.

Living in Yorkshire, Chris is a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies, the Society of Genealogists and the Cornwall Family History Society. He has written on DNA testing and lectured around the country since 2002 appearing in front of many local groups as well conferences and seminars run by the Federation of Family History Societies, the Guild of One-Name Studies and the National Archives. Since 2009 he has been helping Family Tree DNA, the leading supplier of DNA tests to the family history community, to develop its presence in the UK.

Chris is the author of three history books: DNA And Family History (2004), Family History in the Genes: Trace Your DNA and Grow Your Family Tree (2007), and State Secrets: Behind the Scenes of the 20th Century (2006). He has published long articles on DNA testing in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy and written for many family history magazines around the world.
  • Genetic Genealogy: DNA and Your Research
  • Genetic Genealogy: Managing a Surname Project

Eilir Ann Daniels, BA (Hons), Criccieth, Gwynedd, Wales (Website)

Eilir Ann Daniels, BA (Hons), Criccieth, Gwynedd, WalesEilir’s interest in genealogy began as a teenager almost thirty years ago. She gradually moved on from studying her own family history to helping others research their past and, as a result, has carried out research in all the major archives across Wales, including the National Library in Aberystwyth.

Having worked as an information and publications officer, Eilir set up her own research business – Your Welsh Ancestors – and has succesfully traced the family histories of clients from all over the world, re-uniting many with long-lost relatives. Her clients include private individuals, international probate genealogists and television companies.

For her degree, Eilir studied the cultural and social development of modern society and now, within her research work, specialises in the effects of industrialisation on Welsh life during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and how specific elements of social history can influence Welsh family history research projects.
  • Researching Your Welsh Ancestors

Gill Blanchard, BA (History, Sociology), MA, Norwich, Norfolk, UK (Website)

Gill Blanchard, BA (History, Sociology), MA, Norwich, Norfolk, UKGill holds a Post Graduate Certificate in adult education and for many years has been teaching courses in family history. She has taught for the adult education program of Norfolk County Council for several years. Independently she has planned her own family history courses and presented them at locations across Norfolk.

Her professional research experience includes working for the Norfolk Record Office and establishing a successful research company. Gill has provided research services for private individuals, academic institutions and authors; her clients are from many parts of the world.

Other genealogical work includes presenting talks for family history societies and other local organizations and writing for journals and magazines. Gill has been working as a genealogist since 1992. Gill's Website can be accessed here: http://www.pastsearch.co.uk.

View Gill's profile at Linked-In.

  • Fixed in Time and Place - Using Directories and Gazetteers in Genealogy
  • The Poor, The Parish and The Workhouse: Records in the 1800s
  • Searching for Wills and Administrations in England and Wales
  • The Parish Chest: There was more to life than baptism, marriage and burial
  • Tying the Knot: Marriage and its Records
  • Dead and Buried, Not Forgotten: Churchyards Cemetaries and their Records



Gillian Waters, BA, MA, PGDip, PGCE (Website)

Gillian Waters, BA, MA, PGDip, PGCEGillian trained as a Medievalist and has been teaching History for over 25 years, as well as researching her own family history for over 30 years. She is fascinated by the complex relationships between family and local history and national events. After ten years teaching History in secondary schools Gillian worked in the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, 1996-2011 using objects and archives to teach various historical topics to learners aged 3-73. She was the Learning Manger there from 2007-11 creating, developing and organising the activities and courses of the Education Department as well as writing resources, teaching and lecturing, and encouraging many Family History Groups to visit the museum, providing tailored sessions using original objects and archives. Gillian is also teaching Local and Family History courses at York University and adult education centres, and helping others research their histories. She is particularly interested in the ways in which museums and archives can provide not only bare genealogical information, but also the ephemera and artifacts which help to illustrate past lives. Gillian has her own consultancy website here http://www.gillianwaters.co.uk/ and has published her genealogical research so far here http://www.bgwaters.co.uk/ as a working (and inevitably constantly updated) set of webpages.
  • Introduction to Medieval Genealogy

Guy Grannum (Website)

Guy GrannumGuy Grannum has been researching his English and Bajan ancestry for over 20 years and runs a website dedicated to Caribbean research www.caribbeanroots.co.uk.

He has worked at The National Archives, Kew since 1988 and specialises in Colonial history and genealogy, and especially Caribbean genealogy. He is a qualified archivist and also has a diploma in Genealogy and the History of Family from Birkbeck College, London.

Guy has published three editions of Tracing Your Carribean Ancestors (formerly Tracing Your West Indian Ancestors) and has written several articles on Caribbean and African-Caribbean genealogy. Since 1993 he has given many talks and workshops to archives, family history groups and libraries in London, the Midlands and the South West on sources in the National Archives, genealogy in general, and Caribbean genealogy. Guy has also been one of the expert speakers at Who Do You Think You Are? Live at Olympia.

View Guy's profile on Linked-In

  • Caribbean Family History
  • The National Archives Catalogue - Finding People

Hannah Baker, B.A. (Hons), Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Essex, UK

Hannah Baker, B.A. (Hons), Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Essex, UKHannah Baker has many years experience teaching children aged between 5 and 11 and has worked in a variety of schools in London and Hertfordshire. Whilst teaching she was particularly interested in the development of history and literacy in education. Hannah also maintains an interest in the study of history for older children and was privileged to be involved in a residential visit to Berlin and Auschwitz with students studying World War II.

Hannah has a degree in Medieval History from the University of Bristol, although her main interest now is in family history and she has been researching her own family tree for several years. She was particularly surprised and excited to find how many connections she has with smugglers.  Her 4th great grandfather spent time in Dorchester Gaol after he was convicted of smuggling and a family public house is said to have been purchased on the proceeds of illegal contraband.  However, Hannah's ancestors also include some more respectable maritime links including a former Harbourmaster and several family members who worked on vessels operating around the Dorset coast and to and from the Channel Islands.

Hannah has featured in Who Do You Think You Are magazine and has also written for the Dorset magazine. She lives in North Dorset near the Wiltshire/Somerset border.

  • Climbing Trees – How To Get Children Interested In Family History
  • Beginners Guide to Creating and Researching Your Family Tree

Helen Osborn BA (History), MA (Archives & Records Management) Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK (Website)

Helen Osborn BA (History), MA (Archives & Records Management) Eastbourne, East Sussex, UKHelen is Managing Director at Pharos and has been teaching and lecturing on local history, historical records and genealogy for more than 18 years. She is the author of a University of Liverpool accredited distance learning course on records management, and was for many years the Archivist at Young & Co's Brewery PLC. Eleven years ago she established a successful genealogy research company, Helen Osborn Research Ltd.

Her professional research work originally concentrated on census and civil registration but she is mainly to be found nowadays at The National Archives, Kew, where she is one of their independent researchers.  An occasional contributor to family history magazines, she is also the author of three books relating to public houses and brewing.  Helen's Website can be accessed here: http://www.osbornresearch.co.uk.

View Helen's Profile on Linked-In:

  • Old Handwriting for Family Historians
  • Introduction to One-Name Studies
  • Advanced One-Name Studies
  • Migration in the British Isles



Karen Bali (Website)

Karen BaliKaren has been a professional researcher since 1997, specialising in tracing living relatives as well as providing a research service to solicitors who need to trace missing beneficiaries for the proper administration of an estate. Her love of research and helping others was started when she worked as a reference librarian.

She is a member of AGRA and is the author of many family history articles, as well as Hello Dad, British Cousins, The People Finder (2006)and New Cousins (2009). Karen is also a trained counsellor. Her research consultancy is based in Southampton.

View Karen's Profile on Linked-In:

  • Tracing Beneficiaries

Karen Cummings (Website)

Karen CummingsKaren’s interest in family history arose from her mother’s tales of great aunts, distant cousins and great grandparents during her childhood. She began her career in the pharmaceutical industry and has a PhD in pharmaceutical research. Having researched her own family history for a number of years, and become passionate about genealogy research, she left a career in scientific research behind and set up her own professional genealogy business, Professional Family History, in 2010.

Karen studied genealogy at the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS) and has attained both the Higher Certificate in Genealogy (with Distinction) and the professionally recognised qualification, the IHGS Diploma in Genealogy (DipGen).

She is a full member of AGRA, the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives.

Karen now volunteers as an “Expert” both locally and at the UK “WDYTYA Live!” event. She specialises in research in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex and Hertfordshire and has clients from all over the world.

View Karen's profile on: Linked-In (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/karen-cummings/25/547/a73)

  • Professional Genealogist: Become One Become a Better One
  • All About Parish Registers

Malcolm Sadler BSc, PGCE, DipGen, Clearwell, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, UK

Malcolm Sadler BSc, PGCE, DipGen, Clearwell, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, UKMalcolm originally trained as a scientist and brings these skills to bear on genealogical research by only making connections based on hard, proven evidence. He now runs his own family history research company – ‘Relative Roots’. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies from Strathclyde University as well as a teaching qualification. Malcolm now researches and writes family histories for clients worldwide, as well as teaching a variety of subjects to adults and children.

Malcolm also writes for Family History magazines, lectures to local Family History Societies and has broadcast on local radio about his village of Clearwell, where he has also done a detailed study of the village and houses in it from the censuses.

He is an Associate Member of AGRA specialising in bringing family trees to life with details from local and national newspaper archives intertwining with local history and census facts to help paint a picture of past people’s lives.

He is a regular research visitor to Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gwent Archives and carries out house as well as family histories.


  • Victorian Families in the Census

Sherry Irvine, BA (History), Msc, Courtenay, BC, Canada

Sherry Irvine, BA (History), Msc, Courtenay, BC, CanadaSherry has been teaching family history for 30 years. In the classroom she has taught for college adult education and credit programs. She has lectured in Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She has been teaching online for ten years and was one of the first to present genealogy classes via the Web.

Sherry’s genealogical background includes establishing and managing her own business for 11 years, a bookstore and research service. She sold the business to concentrate on writing, teaching and lecturing. Sherry is the author of Your English Ancestry (2nd ed. 1998) and Scottish Ancestry: Research Methods for Family Historians (2003) and co-author of Finding Your Canadian Ancestors (2007). From the start of her career she has been involved in local and professional organizations. In 2005, the Association of Professional Genealogists presented her with the Smallwood Award of Merit for services to the organization and to genealogy.

  • Ireland: A Practical Approach to Family History
  • Irish Family History and the Use of Land Records
  • My British Isles Origins: Where and How do I cross the Pond?



Buy Sherry’s Books Now - simply click on the book to be taken to the Ancestry Store.

Simon Fowler, Kew, Surrey, UK

Simon Fowler, Kew, Surrey, UKSimon Fowler is a leading authority on family history and a prolific writer on the subject. He worked at The National Archives for over thirty years, and most recently edited their family history magazine, Ancestors.

Simon is now a full time researcher, writer and historian. He has undertaken research on a wide range of subjects for clients, ranging from Victorian corkscrew makers to the history of the Open University. In addition, he has a regular column in Family History Monthly and writes for a number of family history magazines.

Simon has written a wide range of books on genealogical and historical subjects. Recent publications include a well-reviewed guide to taking up family history, books on researching naval ancestors and men who fought in the First World War, and Digging Deeper for family historians who are no longer beginners.

Simon lives opposite Kew Gardens in London.

  • Your Military Ancestors
  • World War Research

Stuart A. Raymond, B.A.(Keele); Dip.Lib. (Wales); MA (Adelaide); Cert. Th. (Exeter) (Website)

Stuart A. Raymond, B.A.(Keele); Dip.Lib. (Wales); MA (Adelaide); Cert. Th. (Exeter)Stuart studied history and politics at Keele University before training as a librarian at what was then the College of Librarianship Wales. He began his career in librarianship at the Yorkshire Archaeological Society in 1975, and spent the 1980s working in Australian academic libraries. Whilst he was working at the YAS, he began researching the probate records of a Cornish parish. In Australia, this became an MA thesis at the University of Adelaide.

In 1990, he returned to England, and has been writing bibliographies, handbooks and manuals for family historians ever since. These included his series of county bibliographies, which aim to identify every printed source likely to be of interest to genealogists. He has also written a series of web directories. More recent titles include, amongst many others, Parish Registers: A History and Guide (Family History Partnership, 2009), The Census 1801-1911: A Guide for the Internet Era,(Family History Partnership, 2009), My Ancestor Was an Apprentice (Society of Genealogists, 2010), My Ancestor Was a Gentleman (Society of Genealogists, 2012), The Home Front 1939-45: A Guide for Family Historians (Family History Partnership, 2012), a 3 volume series on vital records, and The Wills of Our Ancestors (Pen & Sword, 2012). He has recently published Tracing Your Ancestors’ Parish Records: A Guide for Family and Local Historians. Stuart has a particular interest in studying genealogical sources: their origins, contents, and uses.

Stuart is a member of the Family History Partnership www.familyhistorypartnership.co.uk which aims to produce cheap but authoritative guides for family historians. He now lives in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

  • Seventeenth Century Sources
  • Apprenticeship Records



Buy Stuart’s Books Now - simply click on the book to be taken to Stuart's website to purchase.

Where To Meet Us:

Who Do You Think You Are Live  - The National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham - 16 April - 18 April 2015 

Come and visit us!