Meet Alex

Hi – my name is Alex Darby and I am the author of this blog.

Alex 4

I live in Wiltshire, England with my husband Paul. I’ve had an interest in genealogy since 2003 when I decided to look through an old family album with my Dad and make an effort to understand who the people were in the photographs.

I’ve moved around a fair bit in my life, having been born in Hertfordshire, my family moved to Wiltshire in 1985 living in the picturesque village of Easton Royal for a couple of years before settling in the market town of Marlborough in 1987 where we lived for 14 years. I had a brief stint in London in 2000 before moving to Calne in 2001 where I stayed for a couple of years when I decided to rent my little house out and move up to the Scottish Borders to work for my parents in their hotel. After a year there I spent 6 months living on the Isle of Wight before moving back up to Wiltshire in 2005. I was married but separated in 2016 and moved again but within Wiltshire. I remarried in 2020 just before the COVID-19 lockdown came into force. My parents moved to Wales in 2005 and used to run a lovely B&B in Powys – Rhyd Hir – which closed at the end of 2018. They live in the areas many of my Dad’s Welsh ancestors came from and he has been delighted to discover distant relatives just by chance – he is even related to two people he is in a Male Voice Choir with!

I enjoy writing and talking about my ancestors and pretty much anything to do with family history. I love looking through old photographs and documents and love the feeling when I find out something new.

My ancestry is mainly based in Northern England, Northern Wales, Essex and Scotland. My husband Paul has his ancestry mostly based in Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Huntingdonshire and Sussex. My ex husband’s tree spans Wales, Scotland and Ireland as well as London – I have written about some of that research here.

I started Root to Tip in 2008 and since then have researched for paying clients covering a wide range of areas, from full trees from scratch, to helping find biological family members for adoptees, to helping out with brickwalls. I have recently begun to offer consultancy sessions over Skype to help with learning how to research and helping answer questions on a by the hour basis.

Over the years I have compiled data for several One Name Studies for the surnames Pilley, Coulden and Sharod. So if you are researching any of these surnames, or indeed if you are descended from any of the people mentioned in my blog posts – why not contact me!

5 thoughts on “Meet Alex

  1. Hi, Alex,

    I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. I really enjoy your blog and find it both helpful and interesting. Our shared interest in genealogy drew me to the blog, and I’ve learned a great deal from your research techniques and insights.

    To accept this award, there are some rules you have to follow:
    1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog.
    2. Share seven things about yourself.
    3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!).
    4. Contact your bloggers to let them know that you’ve tagged them for the One Lovely Blog Award

    Congratulations! I have posted my nominations at


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