Welcome to my local and family history website

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Research and Writing

I am a local and family historian, with a particular interest in canal and coastal heritage. My books include the series ‘Wootton Bassett 100 Years Ago’, the ‘Family History Record Book’, and the ‘Narrowboat Log Book’. I am currently writing the autobiography of Margaret Whitehead, a WW2 VAD nurse, and a book about the history of teasmades. I have researched hundreds of families, particularly in Wiltshire in the WW1 era. My books include the series ‘Wootton Bassett 100 Years Ago’, and the ‘Family History Record Book’.

Estate Agency

I am an estate agent specialising in canalside homes, although I am very happy to sell local properties.


I used to volunteer as a ‘greeter’ on The Admiral, the Canal and River Trust’s widebeam boat, moored at Caen Hill Locks in Devizes. I have now moved to Tamworth, where I hope to volunteer soon.

I am happy to help with local and family history questions, but I no longer work as a genealogist.

Sheridan volunteering with the CRT on the Admiral at Caen Hill Locks


Local and Family History

I have a Post Graduate Diploma in Local and Family History which included the following modules:

  • Skills And Sources for Family And Local History In England
  • House History
  • The Theory and Context of Recordkeeping
  • Archive Management Principles And Practice
  • English Palaeography And Diplomatic
  • Public History
  • Oral History
Other Qualifications

I have an honours degree in Social Psychology. I am a qualified Suzuki Violin Teacher, and a qualified Shoe Fitter. I also have a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.


I have worked professionally in archives, including several contracts for the Royal Voluntary Service Archives. Below are some examples of work I am proud to have undertaken:

  • Contract as an Archive Image Metadata Assistant at the Royal Voluntary Service Archives (2019), reviewing and entering metadata for the Archive’s digitised image collection using Adobe Lightroom. Created a logfile in Excel to report on progress. Logged found errors throughout the process. Completed metatagging of 2884 images.
  • Contract as an Archive Assistant Digitisation Officer at the Royal Voluntary Service Archives. Digitised approximately 7250 narrative reports. Responsible for planning and implementing social media activity during the project. Corrected cataloguing errors throughout the process. Wrote a digitisation guide for my successor.
  • Contract at the Royal Voluntary Service Archives conducting archival research for a high profile national fundraising campaign. Selected archive photographs and text with strong media potential, researched copyright status, and obtained the necessary clearances for use from copyright holders. This content was published in the national press, including the Mail Online and the Guardian. Reverted to volunteer status at the end of the contract. Filmed a supporting “behind the scenes” video. Solely responsible for planning and implementing the archive’s social media activity throughout the campaign.
  • Volunteer archive assistant at the Royal Voluntary Service Archives, participating in a variety of management and routine activities, including answering internal and external enquiries, responsibility for the archive’s Twitter account, where I increased follower numbers from 72 to over 1800, accessioning and appraising new material, cataloguing using CALM, and developing a database for searching legacy Access/Excel catalogues and managing loans.