Meet the team

Debra Chatfield Brand Manager

Role

One of the original team of four that launched the website back in 2003, (then known as 1837online), I now support the Brand Director in setting the vision for findmypast and work closely with teams to implement our product roadmap.

Family History

Among my ancestors are generations of Dartmoor blacksmiths, Norfolk carpenters dating back to Elizabethan times, pianoforte manufacturers from Shoreditch in London, and Robert Towell, the first full-time English infill plane maker (a tool for cabinet makers), one of whose signed 170 year old planes I now proudly own.

Myko Clelland Social Media & Content Lead

Role

I am responsible for spreading an infectious findmypast enthusiasm through social media, PR campaigns and talking to all of our lovely bloggers and influencers. I get to hear all of your stories first hand, making it all worthwhile!

Family History

My ancestry is fairly colorful, full of strange stories and interesting characters (which might explain a lot). One half is a long Ayrshire village line going back to the 1600s and beyond. The other is an old aristocratic family from Gela in Sicily, with a half century detour via the Libyan city of Tripoli where both sides met. The future king Umberto II actually paid for and arranged my great-grandmother's medical treatment!

Alex Cox Researcher

Role

I use findmypast's fantastic records to dig out the great stories that help to bring family history to life.

Family History

I'm all English as far as I've discovered so far, with a dash of Huguenot very far back – One of my direct ancestors was Sir Thomas Skewes Cox, the MP for Kingston and one time mayor of Richmond! Another ancestor fought in the Crimea – I'm immensely proud of learning more about their achievements.

Vicki Dawson Country Manager, Australia

Role

As General Manager of findmypast Australia my role is to lead the Australian team to ensure delivery of a great collection of unique records and ensure your experience discovering your family history using findmypast is rewarding and enjoyable.

Family History

I'm lucky enough to come from a family that has a deep understanding of the importance of knowing your heritage, with many keepsakes and photos that have been passed down. My maternal side reveals a long line of steel workers from Sheffield, UK who moved from Norfolk to Sheffield during the industrial revolution. At one stage there were three generations of the family working in the same steel works in Sheffield. My paternal side were Scottish immigrants who came to Australia in the 1850s and come from a long line of farmers.

Paul Nixon Content Licensing Manager

Role

I work with Elaine Collins and Stephen Rigden to bring you the best family history records from data owners around the world. I am also findmypast's resident military expert.

Family History

It doesn't take much to divert me along various military history avenues, a trait I blame on my maternal great-grandfather, paternal grandfather and four great uncles, all of whom served their King and Country during WW1. My great great grandfather was a color sergeant with the 2nd Regiment of Foot and I have a letter from him, written to his commanding officer on 14 November 1861 (while stationed on the island of Corfu) asking to be 'allowed the indulgence' of getting married. Had permission not been granted, it seems unlikely I would be writing this...

Stephen Rigden Records Development Manager

Role

I work with archives, family history societies and other owners of original historical records to digitize these for findmypast. I also help and advise colleagues on family history questions and problems. You may recognize me as findmypast's resident family history expert. I have been a professional genealogist since 1987 and was with findmypast at the time of its first incarnation, Family Research Link, which metamorphosed into 1837online.

Family History

All my 16 great great grandparents were born east of the River Medway, so I am a bona fide man of Kent. As well as East Kent, my specialist interests include Eastern European and Balkan genealogy.

Katie Spinks Marketing Manager

Role

I am responsible for marketing findmypast internationally. This means understanding our customers in each country and creating marketing campaigns and adverts to promote the findmypast service. It is also my job to make sure new and existing customers are aware of all of the exciting things happening on the site, such as new records being launched and new features being added.

Family History

I've been researching my family history for a while now and we are a truly English lot with firm East London roots on my paternal side. Working in the London office means I am only a few miles from where my ancestors lived 100 years ago. My ancestors were mainly builders, laborers, or dock workers unless they escaped the busy London town to join the army.