Family History Library British Isles Research Team

September 9, 2019  - by 
A scotland landscape with sheep and a castle

The purpose of the British Isles research team is to help you discover, gather, and connect your family from areas such as Australia, New Zealand, and, of course, the British Isles. If there is anyone who understands the challenges and triumphs you’ve faced while doing British Isles genealogy, it is this group.

This team is known for their passion for teaching others, both at the Family History Library and around the world, and they love sharing what they know about effective ways to track down ancestors.

Meet the Team

Kori Robbins, Craig Foster, Dan Poffenberger, Phil Dunn.
Left to right: Kori Robbins, Craig Foster, Dan Poffenberger, Phil Dunn.

Each member of the team plays a unique role in helping you with your British Isles research.

  • Dan Poffenberger is the manager, known for his determination in solving tough family history mysteries and for his kindness.
  • Phillip Dunn brings 40 years of research and experience to the team. His focus is on England, Scotland, and Ireland.
  • Craig Foster is known for his wealth of knowledge, especially on how history has shaped the family history records of the British Isles.
  • Kori Robbins is the newest member of the team. She’s an Anglophile who has a great love for helping others find their ancestors.

The team also answers some of the questions posted on the online community and helps train the missionaries you meet on the Family History Library’s British floor. They are always on the lookout for helpful items that we can add to our collection to help you further your research.

A foresty british isles landscape with a castle in the far distance.

Staying Up to Date

The British Isles team works hard to keep their knowledge current. That way, when you ask them questions, you are getting the most up-to-date answers.

This means swapping useful websites or collections they find with each other and attending professional conferences. They also spend a lot of their time in the trenches, doing their own family history and exploring archives in places such as Ireland and England.

It’s a lot of work, but the British Isles team is driven by much of the same stuff that drives your own research. It is an area of the world that somehow feels familiar to members of the team, as if a part of them belongs there. Their quest for knowledge and the tolerance for going cross-eyed staring at lines of cursive comes from a need to discover the story of their family and of themselves.

For help with your British Isles research, check out the 2019 British Isles Research Seminar on September 23–27. You can attend these classes at the Family History Library or watch the classes via an online webinar.

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  1. Searching The British Isles especially Scotland is just where I hope to find my McPhaul ancestry!!! John McPhaul: born in 1717

  2. My name is Joyce and of course I am doing research on Family. I have always been told My Grandfathers name is Harry Harvey Hale born in England in 1868 or 1869 in February. His Certificate of Death says he was born February 2, 1869 but the Funeral Record says February 22, 1869. The Death Cert says his Father is Isah Hale which I think is Isiah Hale and his Mother as Anna Davis of Wales. Recently I have found where Isiah and Ann had a son Henry not Harry and he was born in 1860 which is a large span of years. Harry immigrated to the US in 1868. I do not know the name of the ship. I really would like to find this out. He was a Coal Miner in England. He settled in Crawford County , Pittsburg, KS He worked for the Central Coal & Coke Company. He married my Grandmother Nellie Mae Powell December 16, 1903. He died February 28, 1934 in Crawford County, Pittsburg, KS I can give more information. I need some HELP on this. Joyce

  3. I have an ancestor from England, Charlotte Linnard (LCCV-4GH) who has some record issues. Her birth has been recorded in FamilySearch (by my Mother) as a duaghter of John Leonard and Ann Waterman of Enstone, Oxford, England. Whereas, she was married to William Godfrey in Arnold, Nottinghamshire. The distance between these two towns is significant enough to make me question this birth record. Her marriage license infers that she was from a parish in West Riding, Yorkshire. I can not find any records from there. Also, she may have a brother, Henry Linnard (MFM9-KRT) who was married in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire. Very near Arnold. I am hoping for Some additional records that may be available that could provide further guidance on Charlotte and her parents so that I can either confirm the current records or identify the appropriate connections.

  4. For several centuries My Hunter line seems to have lived minor around Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. I am trying to identify the parents of a John Hunter, born in 1768, and christened on 10 July 1768. Are there christening records available which might identify his parents?