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.
CommitteeChairKirsty GraySend EmailView Bio
CommitteeVice ChairVacantSend Email
CommitteeTreasurerPhillip Fanning Send EmailView Bio
CommitteeSecretaryLynda ChiottiSend EmailView Bio
CommitteeEditorTheresina LloydSend EmailView Bio
CommitteeEditorMelanie HarriesSend EmailView Bio
CommitteeWebmasterLynda ChiottiSend EmailView Bio
CommitteeMembership SecretaryPhillip FanningSend EmailView Bio
CommitteeSocial Networking Coordinator (Facebook/Twitter "X")Jade StillSend EmailView Bio
CommitteeSocial Networking Coordinator (Instagram)Theresina LloydSend EmailView Bio
PostholderMarketingVacantSend Email
PostholderSchool of SurnamesVacantSend Email
PostholderAssistant WebmasterVacantSend Email
CommitteeWebinar CoordinatorJade StillSend EmailView Bio
Should you wish to volunteer for one of the vacant Officer / Post Holder positions please contact the Secretary
Kirsty Gray
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 20 years, 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.
Phillip Fanning
Treasurer & Membership Secretary
I am known to all and sundry as Phyl. Only mum used to call me by my full name. I am a retired Methodist minister and teacher. I have been delving into Family History for over forty years in many different aspects. My areas of interest are the Isle of Man, Ireland, Croatia and Wales, looking particularly at the dispersal of families around the world from these original places. I have been developing an interest in the techniques of recreating photographs that are beginning to deteriorate and the ways and means of creating indexes for photographs and photographic reproduction of documents. From my own personal experience, I like to help people through rough times when they have lost a loved one through enabling them to create a precious memory family tree or history.face
Lynda Chiotti
I am a retired 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.
Theresina Lloyd
Editor & Instagram Coordinator
I'm a born and raised Californian here in the United States but now reside in Alaska. I have my degrees in Accounting and have worked in the field for almost 25 years, unfortunately underutilizing my degrees. I started researching my family history about 15 years ago after my mother indicated an interest in finding out more about our old English families from Maryland, USA. I was also intrigued to find proof of a family story that our Scottish lineage connected to Alexander Graham Bell. I have been able to find our old English family from Maryland and how they helped settle the state when they came here in 1652. The link to Alexander Graham Bell has proved more elusive but it seems that the story was a tad embellished but we are distant cousins of his. I have enjoyed doing my family research and learning more and more about where my lineage comes from. My paternal line hasn't been as easy to trace as my maternal line. I've only managed to get back three generations and that's on both sides of my paternal line. It seems that they both came to the US during the Mexican Revolution around the same time, 1914 or 1915. My DNA shows my Mexican lines coming from a different part than where I've traced so I'm sure I have more discoveries to uncover.
Melanie Harries
My name is Melanie Harries and I have been a family historian for all my adult life, now studying for the Higher Certificate in Genealogy with the Institute of Heraldry and Genealogical Studies in Canterbury.

My expertise is primarily in Scottish, Welsh and DNA research. I am located in East London and am a regular visitor to the Society of Genealogists and my local archives in Barking & Dagenham.
Jade S
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