IWFHS Committee


Geoff Allan

E-mail contact Click for email address

Also contact for Website and War Memorials
I have been researching my family history (Newcastle and Aberdeen mainly) for over 40 years. I joined the IWFHS about 30 years ago in order to help with the research into the history of my house, which belonged to the Lind Estate in Ryde. I have a long standing interest in War Memorials (see website at Memorials & Monuments on the Isle of Wight) and I am a Regional Volunteer for the War Memorials Trust. I took over the IWFHS Website from Dina Broughton in 2008 and I have continued to enhance and develop it since. I was privileged to be elected as Chairman at the AGM in May 2013.
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Society Officers

Hazel Pullen

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Hazel PullenI came to the Island 30 years ago with my husband's work. I started looking into family history 25 years ago and I now have four Island born grandchildren, so have started all over again. I joined the IW Family History Society some years ago and have sat on the committee for the last three years.
I have the glorious title of Librarian, and Strays Coordinator. I am in the process of reviewing the books, pamphlets etc that we hold in the Resource Centre.
As the Strays Coordinator I have collated the card index system that had been in the Resource Centre for many years, and with lots of help from Geoff ALLAN this is now available on our Website. I can hear the question what is a stray? Someone born on our Island, who for whatever reason moved from here, married, died, or just lived through some of the census years on the other side of the water, and is recorded somewhere other than the Island.
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Gill Glasbey

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Gill Glasbey I was born on the Island and have always lived either in Cowes or Newport. I have worked in the NHS for more than 20 years as a Research Study Coordinator and have now semi retired. I first became interested in family history when a colleague at work did an evening class at the IW College and I suddenly realised that I knew very little about my family. I joined the Society in 2005. My father was born on the Island but my mother was from London and I have been mainly researching the Bessant and Glasbey families on the Isle of Wight and the Penlington family on the mainland. Some of my family history has been relatively easy and some extremely difficult (unfortunately some family members have been a little economical with the truth) but I have discovered some really interesting things along the way and I know there is a lot more to find. I am just sorry that I didn't think to question more things when my parents were still alive; it could have been so much easier.
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Claire Willis I was born and bred on the Island, having spent most of my life living in East Cowes, Newport and now Cowes. Until recently I was a manager at St Mary's Hospital, where I worked for nearly 30 years. I am a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and latterly dealt with legal matters at the hospital. I have held a committee post before, as the secretary of Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society between 2009 and 2012.
I am relatively new to family history having been introduced to it by my partner Keith about 5 years ago. My mum had been interested in family history and I inherited an old tree completed by a cousin on my paternal side and a photo album of old photographs, many helpfully with names attached.
My dad's family (the LINTERNs), originated from Somerset where they were agricultural labourers before moving to the Island in 1894 and ran the New Inn at Shalfleet. My grandfather married into the BRIGHT family from Wootton, where the family lived before my dad and his siblings left to have their own families. My mum's family (the PAYNEs) were Islanders with the early relatives also working the land. My grandfather ran an antiques shop in Sandown before he retired. My maternal line also includes the TAYLOR family, who had a carrier business on the Island from 1859.
Since starting my research I have not only made contact with family members that I had lost touch with but have found 4 new cousins, including a new one in Newport that I am looking forward to meeting when we are able. Keith and I volunteer at the Heritage Resource Centre. We are always out and about on the Island taking photos and making new family histories discoveries.

The Treasurer position was taken over by Claire Willis in June 2020 but during the coronavirus situation some financial matters are being handled by the Chairman and Vice-Chair.

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Committee Members

Dean Bagwell

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Dean Bagwell The Membership Secretary role was taken over by Dean Bagwell in 2016/7. Dean writes : I have been researching my family history for over 20 years and was surprised to discover early on that my roots might lie on the Isle. Alas, the reality was that we were only passing through, having sojourned for 100 years or so before necessity drew us back to the mainland. That said, I still consider the Isle as home. As well as researching my own roots I have also conducted a one name study for the Bagwell name on the Isle.
I took early retirement from Sussex Police in 2013 having served 24 years as a constable, allowing me to concentrate more on my research. Being employed only 3 days a week at present allows by my reaconing, up to four research days per week, although my wife might disagree!
Having sat on the sidelines for many years as a member of the IWFHS I felt it was high time that I step up to the plate and lend a hand, and was pleased to be invited to take up the role of Membership Secretary from Jon Matthews.
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Peter Spencer

E-mail contact Click for email address (as Journal Editor)

Click for email address (as Publicity Manager)

Peter Spencer I was born in 1946 in North Kensington which is part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the former county of Middlesex now part of Greater London. My father was a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF and my mother had been serving during World War II in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) but had to resign her job to have me. No maternity leave in those days and no National Health Service either. My father who was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire was the youngest of four siblings and my mother was born in Newport on the Island and had seven siblings.
My father resigned his commission in 1947 then after a brief period living in Chelsea we moved to Yorkshire to live with my father's brother my uncle Bill who ran a pub, which possibly explains why I like visiting pubs so much. In 1949 we moved to the Island living in Newport. I soon got to know my maternal grandparents, my aunts, uncles and cousins. My maternal grandfather died when I was six years old and my grandmother when I was twelve. I never knew my paternal grandparents, my grandmother having died in 1919 and my grandfather in 1926.
My introduction to family history was in 1958 when my father's eldest brother my uncle Charles died; my father was the last surviving of his siblings. The family Bible and other documents including a family tree going back five generations were handed on to my father. Due to an unhappy childhood my father had no interest in his family history but fortunately he did allow me to keep the Bible and documents. In 1960 my parents and I moved to Southampton and then the following year to Salisbury. I now live with my wife and two grown up children in a village ten miles outside Salisbury.
For various reasons I did no further research into my family history for a number of years until 2005 when I discovered Genes Reunited. I submitted my late uncle's family tree, which I had updated, linked to a family tree on my mother's side that had been compiled by a second cousin. I soon learnt that my paternal grandmother, I was her only grandchild, who had no siblings listed in my late uncle's tree was in fact one of ten children and that there are many living descendants many of whom I have made contact with. Through contacts I was able to trace my maternal grandmother's ancestors back to the 15th century all Island born which I think gives me the right to call myself 'part Caulkhead.'
I joined the IWFHS in 2006 having made use of its free BMD section for my own research. In 2008 with the blessing of the committee I set up an IWFHS group on Facebook. In 2009 I became Publicity Manager and in 2010 I became Journal Editor.
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Mike Hoar

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Mike Hoar I am an Islander born in Rookley 70+ years ago and left when 18 to go to University and ended up living and working in Sweden until I retired to the Island (Fairlee) in 2012. I became interested in my family through one of my cousins, on my mother's side. He had traced the HOLBROOKE branch of our family back to the 1500's. However apart from names and dates there was very little other information and I became curious and started looking deeper. On my father's side we had the HOAR and DOVE families, but my grandmother had never talked about them, while my grandfather died young. Initial investigations revealed links to a line of coastguards from Devon. And so my research has continued. I joined the Family History Society a few years ago and when Geoff Allan asked for volunteers to help with the web site I put my hand up.
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Hazel Pullen

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Hazel Pullen See entry above for Hazel's details.

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John Pullen

E-mail contact (via Hazel Pullen) Click for email address

John Pullen John is the HRC Resource Centre manager and leads a team of volunteers working in Northwood Cemetery itself. He acts as point of contact between the Friends of Northwood Cemetery and the IOWFHS.

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Sharon Beddard

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Sharon Beddard Sharon has been a Committee member for some time, occupying roles such as Membership Secretary and Conference Organiser. With her extensive knowledge of family history resources, and her position as Heritage Resource Centre deputy manager, she is ideally placed to be the HRC Education Officer. She is also a Volunteer for the Friends of Northwood Cemetery, so she can also offer her expertise with queries related to the Cemetery itself.

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Other non-committee roles :

Jon Matthews

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Jon MatthewsI was first attracted to family history in the early 1980s when an aunt mentioned there was 'a Matthews Island' named after 'an uncle or cousin' (this was news to my father but family jottings I found subsequently gave credence to this tantalising piece of news to me); a trip to the Royal Geographic Society in Kensington identified a possible candidate in Matthew (sic) Island in the South Pacific. I discovered this was named after the owner of one of the transports of the First Fleet, the Charlotte, which first sighted 'Matthews's Rock' on 27th May 1788 en route home via Canton to pick up some tea.
At the time I did not even know the forename of my great-grandfather, but set about the task of tracing my paternal line back beyond 1788 (which, thanks to the card index at the Record Office, was quite easily done). Alas, about ten years later I had to accept that this island was not 'mine' (pity 'cos it was about to celebrate its bi-centenary); now, thirty years on I'm still looking for it!
Living then in Buckinghamshire I joined the Society in 1990 but came 'home' in 2005 - whereupon I was invited to join the Committee and took on the role of Membership Secretary. I was privileged to be elected as Chairman at the AGM in May 2010, a role I took for three years.

Antony Barton

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Also contact for Church Project information

Antony Barton I was born and grew up in Seaview, and now live in Newport. Three of my grandparents were from Island families (BARTON from Arreton/Havenstreet, CAWS from Seaview/Kingston, and YOUNG from Carisbrooke/Newchurch), so my family history researches have largely been fairly straightforward. I began to get interested in my Family History in the 1980s when I was given a copy of the MATTHEWS history of the CAWS/MATTHEWS families of Seaview, which enabled me to sketch out a CAWS family tree. I then found a book in which my Grandmother had written details of the BARTON family which gave me another good start. I joined the IWFHS in 2001 and became actively involved with the IWFHS BMD project in 2011. With the completion of the BMD indexes, I became involved with the transcription of the burial record cards at the Records Office as the IWRO Burials Index Project Coordinator, and we are now working on records from the Guardians of the Poor.
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Tony Bevis

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I got involved with family history in about 1999 and knowing that my father's family came from the Ryde area I joined the IOWFHS shortly afterwards. Although I have found that the families of three of my IW great grandparents moved to the Island in the late 18th / early 19th century they had the sense to marry into well established Island families and I can trace my roots on the Island back to the early 17th century. Few of my ancestors appear to have been ag labs, they were publicans, cab drivers, pilots, coastguards, builders and shop keepers. Two of my ancestors, a GG Grandfather and a GGG Grandfather were both the subject of Inquests, being respectively knocked down by a bicycle and a train - hence my interest in Inquests!
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Roles performed by other Members

Pedigree Index - from August 2016 :
Carol Furze

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Carol Furze


President and Honorary Vice - Presidents

President :

Jon Matthews

Honorary Vice - Presidents :
appointed to recognise their contribution to the Society

Dr Janet Few
Chris Braund
Janet Griffin

The Chairman, Society Officers, and Committee are elected at the AGM in May, and roles are confirmed or assigned at the first Committee meeting thereafter.

In June 2018, Steve Palmer, our Research Officer resigned from the Committee

In June 2018, John Pullen was co-opted to the Committee to act as liaison with the Friends of Northwood Cemetery