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Dr. Sophie Kay

M.A. (Oxon), M.Sc. (Manc), D.Phil. (Oxon), FHEA

Introductions should always come first. So shall we get started?

When you’re choosing a professional to take on a project for you, we know that it’s important to see their qualifications and experience.

If you’d like to know more before making an enquiry with us, please read on to find out more about Dr. Sophie Kay’s research qualifications, freelance writing, experience as a lecturer & educator, and community roles.

Qualifications & Experience

Sophie is a professional genealogist & AGRA Associate with over 16 years’ experience of family history research across the British Isles. She can work across a range of historical research subjects from the 1500s onwards, but her specialisms include death records, historical occupations, and genealogical mapping methods. Currently working towards the Higher Certificate in Genealogy with the Institute of Historical and Genealogical Studies, her professional development was recognised with an award from Soroptimist International in 2019.

A qualified research scientist from the University of Oxford, Sophie attained her doctorate in Systems Biology in 2015. She is trained in DNA extraction and genetic analysis and brings the precision and problem-solving creativity from her professional training to every project she works on. Sophie is also qualified in Latin translation and can work with documents in classical or medieval Latin.

Freelance Writing

Sophie’s genealogy blog The Parchment Rustler is rated as one of the best in the UK and was selected as Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine’s Digital Pick of the Month in October 2020.

An experienced freelance writer, Sophie accepts writing commissions in the areas of family history, genetics and data visualisation. Writing credits include literary reviews for Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine and articles for Alan Godfrey Maps, Pharos Tutors, Mozilla and OpenSource.

Lecturing & Education

Sophie is an experienced international speaker and award-winning lecturer and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2018. Recent speaking appearances include:

  • Institute of Heraldic & Genealogical Studies, Diamond Seminar Series
  • THE Genealogy Show (Keynote Speaker 2021)
  • Inspire Archives, Nottinghamshire

You can watch one of Sophie’s pre-recorded short talks, Mapping Your Ancestors, over on Inspire’s YouTube channel.

Sophie’s prizes for excellence and innovation in teaching include a University of Oxford Teaching Award and an International Award from the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Community Roles

Sophie has served as a volunteer on the User Advisory Group of The National Archives (UK) since September 2018.

Since March 2020 she has also been part of the team behind Ancestry Hour, the thriving Twitter-based hub for discussing all things family history. Live chat sessions are open to the entire genealogy community and take place every Tuesday at 7pm, UK time.