I graduated from the University of York with first class honours in chemistry, but as a student I had preferred tracking down information in books and journals to laboratory work, so decided to pursue a career in the field of scientific information. I subsequently obtained a postgraduate qualification in information studies from the University of Sheffield, and my first career was as a science librarian, mainly in university libraries.
I began to investigate my own family history in the 1990s, when virtually nothing was available online. After several years of personal research I decided to become a professional genealogist, and submitted myself for IHGS examinations following independent study. I was awarded a Higher Certificate in 2006, a Diploma in Genealogy in 2008, and became a Member of AGRA in 2009. I have carried out research for a large number of clients both in the UK and overseas, and written two books on research in the period before the introduction of civil registration. After retiring from carrying out research for paying clients, I turned my attention to investigating aspects of the history of records used in genealogical research that have received little attention from either genealogists or historians. I was awarded a Licentiateship in Heraldry and Genealogy in 2019 for my dissertation on extended parish registers.
I was born and grew up in the north-east of England, lived in several different places during my earlier adult life, including London, Edinburgh and Stratford-upon-Avon, and have lived in Somerset since 1995. Although I am no technophobe, and maintain this website myself, I am a social media abstainer, so you won't find me on Facebook or Twitter.