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Meet our team of friendly family history experts

At Findmypast, we're passionate about the past. Our first-class team of family history experts proves just how passionate we are every time they deliver a talk or pen an article. Here, you can discover the team's credentials, explore their work and get to know them a little better.

Brian Donovan, Findmypast

Brian Donovan

Brian previously lectured in history at Trinity College Dublin in the 1990s and since then has travelled the world talking all things history, genealogy and digitisation. Brian's experience in digital technology, as well as his background in history, helped motivate the founding of the well-known Irish heritage company Eneclann in 1998.

In 2010, he formed a joint venture with DC Thomson that created Findmypast Ireland. Today, Brian continues to help develop our Irish record collection, the largest of its kind online. He is also responsible for a range of Findmypast global initiatives involving new data, markets and opportunities.

Jen Baldwin, Findmypast

Jen Baldwin

Jen has been working in the realm of professional genealogy since 2010 but has been pursuing her family history since she was ten years old, enjoying her grandmother's stories - and her cookies. She is currently the North American Content Manager and Global Ambassador Program Lead for Findmypast.

Jen lectures, writes and consults on a variety of genealogy-related topics. She was part of the research team for Genealogy Roadshow, season two on PBS (US). She is the author of course materials for the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. Jen is always excited to discover unique resources that allow for a different perspective in genealogical research. 

Mary McKee, Findmypast

Mary McKee

Mary McKee is the Head of Content Publishing Operations at Findmypast and has been with the company since 2014. Mary grew up in Philadelphia but now lives in her ancestors' homeland in Northern Ireland. She holds a Masters in Irish History from Queens University, Belfast and is currently pursuing her History PhD at Birkbeck, University of London. Mary has presented on a variety of topics at genealogy and history conferences in the United States and Britain.

Rose Staveley-Wadham, Findmypast

Rose Staveley-Wadham

Rose Staveley-Wadham is Findmypast’s Newspaper Licensing Manager. With a vast knowledge of all things newspapers, Rose writes and researches blogs on a range of historical themes for the company’s sister site the British Newspaper Archive. Rose is also the company's Royal Expert, having a fascination for the major royal events of the twentieth century, and a passion for understanding the role of the monarch in modern society.

A published author, Rose's debut novel was released in 2018, and her research has been featured in The Times.

charlotte ward findmypast

Charlotte Ward

Charlotte Ward is Findmypast’s Digitisation Operations Manager. Charlotte has an interest in British naval and maritime history, having heard stories growing up about her grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s naval careers. She holds a Masters in Naval History from the University of Portsmouth and previously worked in a maritime archive, developing expertise in mutinies, royal service, ship construction and more. At university, Charlotte also developed a keen interest in the history of sport, particularly cricket and baseball.

Charlotte is mainly interested in the period 1760-1918 but will dabble in subjects around it. She loves delving into Findmypast’s maritime and naval records, tracing nautical careers or journeys across oceans.

aoife o-connor findmypast

Aoife O'Connor

Dr. Aoife O'Connor joined Findmypast in 2012. Currently Head of Programme Management, Aoife started in our Customer Service department and has held several roles at Findmypast including Project Manager for the 1921 Census.

Aoife has had a lifelong interest in history inspired by her father, who founded her hometown’s local history society. Childhood weekends were spent visiting historical sites. Aoife holds a Ph.D. in history - her thesis, An Ancestor in Crime, Digitisation and the Discovery of Family Deviance explored how family historians react to the often-surprising discovery of an ancestor who broke the law. Before joining Findmypast Aoife was an exhibition curator in the outreach and education department at the National Library of Ireland. One of her exhibitions, Small Lives: Photographs of Irish Childhood inspired a book of the same name.

Bringing family history know-how into your home

This esteemed team of family history experts regularly appears on Findmypast From Home, our weekly series of live broadcasts on Facebook and YouTube. It's their chance to bring the Findmypast Community together over a shared love of the past and help break down a 'brick wall' or two.

Collage of a record, vintage map and a woman with jewellery drawn on her

Family-finding favourites

Make your own amazing discoveries with record collections handpicked by the people who know them best.

  • Mary recommends old newspapers. They can reveal so much about the day-to-day lives of your ancestors. There is no end to the information you can discover.
  • Jen loves the Findmypast Photo Collection and says it's especially insightful if you're not from the British Isles. The pictures provide a window into your ancestors' culture and community.
  • Brian’s Irish heritage makes the Petty Sessions Court Registers a must-search for him. They cover every county and feature details you won't find in other records.
  • Rose is fascinated by the 1939 Register, which offers a fantastic snapshot of life in England and Wales on the brink of the Second World War.

Knowledge. Passion. Inspiration.

My favourite thing about Findmypast is when the team goes live on Wednesdays and Fridays. I love the interaction you can have with the experts and special guests 💕 Watching them has reignited my passion for family history. Thank you, everybody. Your team effort makes a huge difference.


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Home of the 1921 Census online

Official 1921 Census expertise

The 1921 Census of England and Wales is exclusively available online at Findmypast from 6 January 2022. Now is the time to engage our team about this once-in-a-generation records release.

Are you looking for a family history expert?

Brian, Jen, Mary and Rose are seasoned presenters and authors. If you'd like to tap into their rich knowledge and skills, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch on