Caroline Gurney (England)

Caroline is a Qualified Genealogist (QG), historical researcher and speaker. Her work includes family, local and house history, people tracing, and research for businesses, authors and the media. Her presentations cover a wide variety of genealogy and history topics.

A former diplomat and Director at the National School of Government, Caroline has a 1st class honours degree in History and is studying for a Master’s degree in Family and Local History at the University of Dundee. Having achieved Postgraduate Diploma level, she is now researching and writing a dissertation on Bristol’s leading Jewish family.

In 2012 Caroline was commissioned by HSBC, corporate sponsors of the Cutty Sark, to trace living descendants of the crew. She identified over 600 people, 170 of whom attended a reception to mark the ship’s reopening by the Queen. She continues to research and document crew members and receives many enquiries from around the world.

In 2013 Caroline researched and participated in a BBC documentary about the Cutty Sark, which was broadcast in the series Clydebuilt: the Ships That Made the Commonwealth. In 2014 she worked with independent TV company Wall to Wall on the ITV series Secrets From the Clink. She appeared in the programme sharing her research with comedian Johnny Vegas.

Caroline has developed her research skills over 32 years, studying original documents in many different archives. She is also expert in internet research. She particularly enjoys helping adoptees find their birth families, using DNA combined with traditional genealogy, and helping family historians overcome ‘brick walls’. She is a member of the Register of Qualified Genealogists, the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Society of Genealogists and the Bristol and Avon Family History Society.

Caroline is a widow, with two children and three grandchildren, and lives near Bristol with her cat, Humphrey.

Web site: Historical Research Services:

Unlock the Past Cruises – 8th, 14th, 15th & 16th


  • Are you related to Royalty?
  • Bristol research
  • Censuses and the 1939 Register
  • Church and denominational records
  • Churchmen, Dissenters and Papists – understanding English churches and their records
  • Criminal and court records
  • Cutty Sark and her crews
  • Education records
  • English genealogy for beginners, intermediate and advanced
  • Finding living relatives
  • Getting the most out of Family Tree Maker
  • How cousins help your genealogy and how you can find them
  • Jewish research in the UK
  • London research
  • Manorial records
  • Maps and plans
  • Organise your research with Family Tree Maker
  • Parish registers
  • Politics and pills – an 1820 medical bill
  • Poll books and electoral registers
  • Poor law records
  • Property and taxation records
  • Reading old handwriting: an introduction
  • Reading old handwriting: secretary hand
  • Records of civil registration
  • Records of inheritance
  • Tracing immigrant ancestors back to the UK – pitfalls and possibilities
  • Tracing merchant seamen
  • Using Google for genealogy research