Committee, Officers and Postholders

 

The committee of The Surname Society comprises the four officers (roles in bold) and up to three members who need not be post holders.

Role Name Email About
ChairKirsty GrayCommittee Send email Read bio
Vice ChairSylvia ValentineCommittee Send email Read bio
TreasurerMandy BlakeCommittee Send email Read bio
SecretaryLynda ChiottiCommittee Send email Read bio
EditorJennie FairsCommittee Send email Read bio
WebmasterVacantCommittee Send email
Membership SecretaryMandy BlakePostholder Send email Read bio
Social Networking CoordinatorCarole SteersCommittee Send email Read bio
MarketingVacantPostholder Send email
School of SurnamesVacantPostholder Send email
Assistant WebmasterColin SpencerPostholder Send email Read bio

Should you wish to volunteer for one of the vacant Officer / Post Holder positions please contact the Secretary
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Kirsty Gray
Chair
When my grandfather left the family tree, suitcase of documents and paraphernalia with my parents in 1982, as a child I remember poring over the names, photographs, newspaper cuttings and much more with great excitement. Never would they have imagined that their foundations would develop from a hobby into such an obsession for me in the future - indeed, now a professional career! 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 surname study was born. For well over a decade, I have been collecting all documents relating to every name bearer over history across the whole world, though with a greater emphasis on the colonies as the Sillifants are not exotic travellers! As Chair of The Surname Society, I am excited about developing surname studies in the 21st century using modern technologies and encouraging young people in the field.
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Sylvia Valentine
Vice Chair
Experienced researcher in both English and Scottish records, traced a number of branches of the family into the 18th century.
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Mandy Blake
Treasurer

My passion for genealogy started over twelve years ago when, as an adoptee, I traced members of my birth family, and I began a single-surname study for my maiden name of Stribling in early 2013. As well as belonging to various genealogical societies and organisations, I am Group Admin for the Devon FHS’s Facebook group. When I'm not doing something genealogy-related, I enjoy reading, technology and music. I'm married with a grown-up son.

As a Founding Member and Secretary of The Surname Society, I am looking forward to the future of both the Society and single-surname research.

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Lynda Chiotti
Secretary
By day, I am an information architect and user experience designer, but all available free time is devoted to my genealogy research, including family lines for GRADWELL, KEMBLE, PRYOR, COOPER, and SOUTHAM. Based in Ontario, Canada, I enjoy long winter nights hunting down sources and clues on the Internet.
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Jennie Fairs
Editor

My interest in genealogy began 30 years ago after starting research into my family history. After becoming a professional genealogist 20 years ago, I put my skills to work researching for book authors while continuing my passion of genealogy and, eventually, my obsession with a surname study.
Alongside my Edenborough surname study, I have administered the North Antrim Local Interest List for the past 8 years and I am currently a supervisor for candidates of the Diploma in Family History Studies with the Society of Australian Genealogists. I have also started a second surname study being Dempsey's of County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

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Mandy Blake
Membership Secretary

My passion for genealogy started over twelve years ago when, as an adoptee, I traced members of my birth family, and I began a single-surname study for my maiden name of Stribling in early 2013. As well as belonging to various genealogical societies and organisations, I am Group Admin for the Devon FHS’s Facebook group. When I'm not doing something genealogy-related, I enjoy reading, technology and music. I'm married with a grown-up son.

As a Founding Member and Secretary of The Surname Society, I am looking forward to the future of both the Society and single-surname research.

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Carole Steers
Social Networking Coordinator

I've been researching my family origins for over ten years now, and having hit brick walls within my own tree, I have recently registered the PULESTON name. My 4x Great Grandmother was Mary Puleston, baptised in 1813 in Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, Denbighshire, Wales. My hope is that by undertaking a full study of the surname I can confirm the links that exist to Owen Glyndwr, the Last True Prince of Wales.

In 2013 I successfully completed the University of Strathclyde's Post Graduate Certificate Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies.

 

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Colin Spencer
Assistant Webmaster

I am retired from full-time employment and live in Spain. I have been engaged in genealogical and family history research for over 30 years.

I am currently performing a surname study into my paternal grandmothers maiden name Lefever, research into the name so far has led me to families in the Caribbean, USA, Spain, Ireland and of course France and Belgium where the name originates.

As webmaster of the society I have the challenge of developing and maintaining the website.