top of page

The Few Good Women

Forgotten Women Logo

The creators of the A Few Forgotten Women Project are a group of friends, known collectively as A Few Good Women. We are united by our friendship, our love of different aspects of family and local history and a passion for preserving the past.

World War One Dead Man's Penny

Pat Adamson

I have been interested from a very early age to learn about those in my family who I am descended from. I know there is no cure from the desire to learn about peoples past and will happily talk about genealogy and history for hours and can not resist an opportunity to help people with their trees. I love talking to the older generation about their experiences and memories.

I was told by my father that at age three when my paternal Great Aunt Sarah died followed by her brother two days later that when clearing the old farmhouse I tried to persuade my Aunt and him to keep all the old letters in case I needed them one day. I did not succeed in this case but have been given many family heirlooms since.

I learnt to skip to the rhyme Mary Ethel Gustard salt pepper and mustard. I was curious who was this lady with the unusual name was it turns out she was my maternal Great Grandma and is the reason I started a doing a Guild of one name study on the name Gustard. On my wall hangs the death penny of her brother that started my interest in the Western Front Association I wanted to know not just where he fought but what he wore and ate. I am currently the secretary of the Somerset branch.

I am a poppy seller and a volunteer with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on one of their projects other interests are crafts, reading, local history, my local church and I am a member of various Family History Societies. I have a very patient and lovely family and a ginger cat Angus who know that holiday pictures might feature more than a normal amount of pictures of gravestones They grew up with the knowledge of how to work a microfiche reader and that every plaque and memorial must be read just in case one of the names might one day be one I am looking for.


Pat takes responsibility for the story categories 'Witchcraft' and 'Women at War'.

Liz Craig

Liz Craig

I became interested in family history as a child, having grown up with a family tree of fascinating Welsh names on my bedroom wall. I’ve been actively researching my family history for nearly 25 years, and love researching historical context to bring my ancestors’ stories to life. In doing this, I’ve also diversified into other projects such as a one-place study of the Somerset village of Dunster The Temple Lodge Home for Inebriate Women  in Torquay (operational 1891-1929). I’m especially interested in women’s history, the history of medicine (physical and mental) and rural history. Follow me on Twitter Instagram or Mastodon.


Liz takes responsibility for the story category 'Alcoholism'.

Janet Few

Janet Few née Braund


Having drawn my first family tree when  was seven, I have been seriously researching my family history since 1977. I am a family and local historian, writer and educator who spends time living in the seventeenth century as Mistress Agnes. I am passionate about preserving the memories of those on the margins of society who might otherwise be forgotten. You can find out more on my website, or follow me on Twitter or Mastodon.


Janet takes responsibility for the story categories 'Enslavement', 'Illegitimacy' and 'Prostitution'.

Fiona Movley

My family history journey started one winter morning early in 1996.   Almost three decades later I am as enthusiastic as I was when I first started.  The stories behind the individuals on a family tree interest me the most and I love to travel in my ancestors’ footsteps. I am the 4th generation to have crossed the Atlantic on an ocean-going liner!


An amateur family and local historian, I am currently studying with the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies. 


Away from my hobby I am still involved in the world of business, and I am also chair of a leading arts charity.


Fiona is responsible for the story category 'No Descendants'.

Helen Shields née Finch

Helen Shields née Bowden


I am an amateur genealogist known by some as “Auntie Kate”, based on my great grand aunt Kezia Ching (1860-1933).  I have a One-Place Study of Sticklepath, a village near Okehampton in Devon. In my spare time I am a Granny and school governor! 

Witches in our culture are largely thought of as fantasy and feature at Halloween.  However, I worked in Malawi (2010-12) where witchcraft was very much part of daily beliefs especially when illness struck.  Neurological problems and deaths often were believed to be the work of witchcraft.  I am perhaps unusual therefore in having spoken to someone accused of witchcraft (after several people ‘the witch’ had prayed for in hospital died).


Helen is responsible for the story categories 'Accident' and 'Child Mortality'.

Jane Braund

Jane Braund


I’m an accountant by training and a historian/genealogist by inclination. I’ve been researching my family's history since the 1970s.

Jane takes responsibility for the story category 'Women at Work'.

Linda Brignall née Anders

Linda Brignall


A life surrounded by books both in my career and at home; I am now retired
and also surrounded by documents and memorabilia as I spend time
pursuing a love of Family History.
I have been researching my family for several years, but still see myself as a
beginner in many ways, and will always be learning and discovering new
 things from the past into my own future. 

Linda takes responsibility for the story category 'Domestic Abuse'.

Janice Brinley Codd

I first became excited about family history when I was 17, just before my 18th birthday. We were on a family holiday in France, and I remember that I was sitting in the garden when my Uncle showed me three pieces of paper: my Grandparents marriage certificate, my Great Grandparents marriage certificate and my Great, Great, Grandparents marriage certificate, which gave me the names of my Great, Great, Great, Grandfathers – I was holding some 150 years of history in my hand! I was hooked from that moment and have been researching family stories ever since.


I have completed many courses on genealogy, but do not have any formal qualifications. I would describe myself as an ‘enthusiastic amateur’. My interests range from Devon and Cornwall to Wales, Scotland, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. I have a one name study – Rowlings - one of my 3 x Gt Grandfathers from that last marriage certificate.


Janice takes responsibility for the story category 'Sickness'.

Archive Mouse

Wendy Durston née Russell

I have loved local history since early childhood but only caught the family history bug in 2007, how I wish that I had paid more attention to my grandmother and her sisters when they told stories about their lives. I now combine my interest in both by doing a One Place Study of Compton Dundon, the Somerset village that at least 10 generations of one branch of my mum’s family grew up in.


It took me until I was 40 and living overseas to realise that I wanted to be an archivist. A decade later having moved back to my home town in Somerset I discovered that a local archive was looking for volunteers and the rest, as they say, is history.


Wendy takes responsibility for the story categories 'Activism' and 'Women's Suffrage'.


Mandy Geary

I was bitten by the family history bug in 2012, so could be classed a a relative latecomer compared to others in the group. I have been studying all aspects of Family History - including DNA - since 2015.

I’m a family historian at heart with an interest in both local and house history. After 37 years working in the City of London, the pandemic presented the perfect opportunity for a career change and I’m now working towards accreditation as a professional genealogist.

You can find out more on my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter.


Mandy takes responsibility for the story categories 'Infanticide' and 'Murder'.

Margaret Roberts

Margaret Roberts née Jones

My grandfather told me when I was 15 and asking questions about his family to stop being so nosy, guaranteed to get a precocious teenager interested in Family History and I’ve never stopped.  

I’m now an author, sports historian, speaker and family historian and am especially interested in female sport of the Victorian and Edwardian eras and early teacher training.


I am very keen on family history as an inclusive community and am a great believer in intergenerational learning.  I also in my spare time love baking cakes!

I run a website called Playing Pasts, the only website dedicated to the subject of sport and leisure history research, which you may be interested in exploring. Otherwise find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Margaret is responsible for the story categories 'Disability' and 'Suicide' and jointly with Ann, 'Mental Health'.

Ann Simcock

Ann Simcock née Mayer

I am a former history and drama teacher who has had a love of history from my early years. My greatest achievement was teaching our son at home enabling him to follow his dream as a professional musician. I have also helped my cousin to discover her paternal Grandparents. Recently I have been sharing my love of family history, endeavouring to encourage others to follow our addictive study, with talks and presentations.

Ann is responsible for the story categories 'Abandonment', 'Racial Discrimination' and 'Unknown Women' and jointly with Margaret, 'Mental Health'.

bottom of page