Portsmouth Group7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Kirsty Gray has over 20 years research experience and has her foot in many genealogical doors around the world. Her first involvement in family history came at the tender age of seven years with her maternal grandfather's tree in hand. Obsessed with her great-grandmother's maiden name of Sillifant, Kirsty began a surname study on the name in 1999. She is a founder member and Chair of the Society for One-Place Studies, registering two places on the Devon/Cornwall border. Not content with founding one society, in November 2014, Kirsty founded The Surname Society with five other genealogists across the globe.
Kirsty took up genealogy professionally while training to be a teacher in 2002. Running Family Wise Limited, Kirsty and her worldwide team of researchers 'find people and change lives', conducting research for private individuals, solicitors, academics and companies worldwide. Family Wise Limited is also one of the leading intestacy research specialists (or 'Heir Hunters'), resolving deceased estates, representing entitled beneficiaries and claiming back millions of pounds from the Government Legal Department.
As an author, Kirsty has written for many international publications on various topics for beginners to more advanced levels and her first book, Tracing Your West Country Ancestors, was published in March 2013 by Pen and Sword. A sought-after lecturer, her knowledge and her energetic and infectious personality wows audiences around the world with several 'headline appearances' in genealogy programmes around the world.
Kirsty was awarded Superstar Genealogist (Gold Medallist) in the Rockstar Genealogist Awards several times over by fellow family history professionals and was the first non-US genealogist to be in the Top Ten International list. She has appeared on Qui-Etes Vous? (Who Do You Think You Are?) in Canada, researching the English roots of the opera singer, Marc Hervieux in 2016 and one of Kirsty's success stories also featured on the second series of the BBC's Family Finders in May 2016.
In more recent times (2018), Kirsty set up THE Genealogy Show to replace the Who Do You Think You Are? Live Shows at the NEC and this year's Show will be going virtual in June 2021.