I began researching my family history when I was eleven years old following a reunion on the paternal side of my family to update the family tree. The skeleton tree had been started by a Holliday ancestor of mine about seventy years ago and it was this first introduction to family history and genealogy at a young age that was responsible for what has for me turned into a lifetime hobby, some would say a passion, even an obsession.
The thrill of finding a new ancestor has not abated over time and the extensive list of family contacts I have made around the world throughout my research has continued to grow steadily over the years. About five years ago, after another interesting discovery about one of my ancestors, an aunt of mine asked if I could jot a few notes down, as although she found the stories really interesting, she felt it would be easier to read them rather than for me to tell them; that way she would be able to more easily visualise the family tree and who was related to who. That Christmas I started to write a newsletter and sent it out with cards to family - the response was overwhelming and before I knew it, I was writing quarterly newsletters all about our ancestors' lives. The interest grew and eventually I designed a website on which to upload all my newsletters for everyone to view as and when they wished. The website enabled me to make contact with even more living descendents of my ancestors and has helped build up a good network of the wider family. All these newsletters can be found on this site by clicking on the tab "Newsletters".
In December 2010, after 26 years of working as a PA in the field of education with the local authority, I found myself faced with the opportunity of taking voluntary redundancy. I decided that it was the perfect time to take some time out to study full-time and turn my hobby into a paid profession. I am currently a student on the genealogy correspondence course with the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies in Canterbury in Kent, where through an extensive course of twenty four lectures and subsequent examinations, my ambition is to pass the Diploma of Genealogy and submit a dissertation to satisfy the requirements for the Licentiateship of the Institute.
I have written several family history articles recently which have been published; one of which is about my ancestors John Holliday and his wife Elizabeth Caudwell and was published in the September 2011 edition of the Berkshire Family History Society's 'Historian' magazine and another on the life of Job Lousley of Blewbury and Hampstead Norreys which appeared in December. Another article about the importance and value of family records entitled "The Heirloom Hunter" appeared in the October 2011 edition of one of the leading national family history magazines, "Family History Monthly". I continue to carry out my own personal family history research whilst studying and various examples of my work can be seen on this site to give you an idea of the variety of information that can be obtained from records, resources and genealogical data.