About Me

Dr. Sophie Kay, D.Phil, is a professional genealogist and research scientist based at Khronicle, with over 16 years’ experience in family history research across the British Isles. She is also an AGRA Associate and is registered with the RQG. Her specialisms include the use of historical mapping techniques in genealogical research, death records and historical occupations, and she’s also the creator of the #OccupationOfTheDay hashtag on Twitter, which showcases a range of jobs from bygone times.

Sophie is an experienced educator and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She was also Director of the award-winning Open Science Training Initiative from 2012 to 2019, established during her time as one of the inaugural Panton Fellows with the Open Knowledge Foundation. Recent speaker appearances include Keynote sessions for THE Genealogy Show in June 2021, and invited seminars for the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies as part of their Diamond Event programmes. She’ll also be making several speaker appearances at RootsTech 2022, the biggest global conference for all things family history.

Originally from a background in mathematics and interdisciplinary cancer research, Sophie holds a doctorate in Systems Biology from the University of Oxford, where she also taught mathematics, statistics and computational bioscience from 2008 to 2014.

Sophie currently serves as a volunteer on the User Advisory Group of the UK National Archives. She is also part of the team behind #AncestryHour on Twitter, which takes place at 7pm (GMT/BST) every Tuesday.

You can follow Sophie on Twitter as @ScientistSoph.

A dictionary showing the definition of research

Need to get in touch?

Please direct email queries about The Parchment Rustler, including offers of review materials for publication titles and public exhibitions, to sophie[at]parchmentrustler.com

Professional queries, requests for research quotations and offers of work should be sent to sophie[at]khronicle.co.uk

All opinions and content presented on Sophie’s blog “The Parchment Rustler” are personal, and should not be assumed to represent these organisations in any way, unless otherwise stated.

4 thoughts on “About Me

  1. We have published a number of topographical dictionaries and gazetteers over the years. If you are interested in reviewing one or more of them on your blog, please contact me.

    1. Hi Joe, great to hear from you. Happy to discuss reviewing one of your titles – Genealogical’s historic topographical dictionaries or genealogical gazetteers for England would be of particular interest. I’ll be in touch in the coming days!

  2. Your blog on maps was of great interest.
    I remember as a child sitting in the front passenger seat with a map telling my mother what turn, town, interesting site, etc., was coming up (pre-super highways of course). My local paper leaves maps out of articles when a map would explain what many words do not. Or they have a map with the subject located incorrectly. I received a 95 on map reading in the U.S. Army.
    In short, I love maps as you do. Your top tips will take me back into family history to look at where families were on the maps. I have a map on my wall showing where members of my family of interest live now. It is my generation that has moved across the United States in 90% of the families and even now the concentrations around Boston and New York is very large.

    1. Delighted to hear that my “Maps & Genealogy” piece struck a chord. For me, nothing can replace the wonder of physical maps: digital versions can be incredibly useful but the experience of identifying the physical features of the landscape on a hard-copy map and translating that into an ease of navgiation around a locale is really beautiful. Your wall map sounds like a great idea – thanks for sharing!

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