Once upon a family tree

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Who runs Once Upon A Family Tree?

Once Upon a Family Tree is run by me, Lucy Whitfield. My interest in genealogy was sparked at the age of 11, when a small school project on grandparents exploded into a drive to discover as much as I could about all of their backgrounds. I am descended from a family of prominent Scottish civil engineers, some stone masons, the odd bishop or two, someone who lost an eye in an Indian cave in Elizabethan times, several black sheep, and many many agricultural labourers.


Having long since completed my own lineage, I have been working as a freelance genealogist since 2003. My interest lies in going beyond the names and dates, to try to amass as much information on people and their lives as possible – fleshing out the characters in your lineage so they leap off the page and are as real to you as any living relatives.


I have a degree in archaeology and worked as a journalist for seventeen years before turning to genealogy. I am therefore skilled in thorough and accurate research to find your family's story and back it up with historical detail.

I have a particular interest in women’s social history, seeking to find the lives of real women of the past and tell their stories. I actively support the campaign for the inclusion of mother’s names on marriage certificates. 


For more information on women’s genealogy, please see The Women Who Made Me project.