About Emma Jolly

Emma is a highly intelligent genealogical researcher. When searching the British Library for details of my late father and his family, who, it turned out, had all been born and raised in India for several generations (I had no idea), Emma used a certain savvy in the way she went about her file digging. This makes a vital difference; not only is a good feel for where to look a great time saver, but it can prove the difference between success and failure.

Barry O’Dwyer, Amsterdam

Emma Jolly book signing Tracing Your Ancestors Using The Census

Emma Jolly is a professional genealogist, writer and historical researcher.

She studied at Sussex University - BA (Hons) in Intellectual History (2000) - and Sheffield Hallam University - MA with Merit in History: Imperialism and Culture (2014). In November 2014, Emma was awarded the Russell Finch prize for best History MA dissertation. She has also attained (2006) the IHGS Higher Certificate in Genealogy.

Emma writes regularly for family history publications, and is the author of four books: My Ancestor was a Woman at War (2014), Tracing Your Ancestors Using the Census (2013), Tracing Your British Indian Ancestors (2012) and Family History for Kids (2007). For full details of Emma's writing, see the Books page.

Besides writing, Emma's media work includes research for IWC Media, the Daily Mirror, Michael Palin, Dragonfly Productions, and the BBC.

Emma is an active member of the Society of Genealogists, Families In British India Society (FIBIS) and London Historians. Emma is also a member of the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) and is on the recommended researchers list for the India Office Records at the British Library.

Based in London, Emma specializes in genealogy problem-solving, London history, social history, women's history and the British in India.

When she is not researching for clients, Emma enjoys exploring her own family's history. Currently she is looking further into the life of her great-great grandfather, William Mitchell Jolly (1842-1889), and following up on the results of her autosomal DNA test with Family Tree DNA.

Latest From Emma's Blog

Genetic Genealogy: My AncestryDNA Results

Genetic genealogy is becoming increasingly important to contemporary family history research. When a paper trail fails us, a DNA test […]

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My Great Great Grandfather and the Great Confectionery Swindle of 1911

Criminal ancestors may have been a source of shame to our families in the past, but for today’s family historians […]

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From Twitter

Member of The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in ArchivesGraduate of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies CanterburyMember of the Society of Genealogists