Kristina Bedford, B.A. (Hons.) M.A.



My early working life stemmed directly from my university studies, with a first year course in Anglo-Saxon leading to seasonal stints as a research assistant at the Dictionary of Old English during my undergraduate years, and my theoretical M.A. research at the National Theatre leading to a practical job there backstage, which financed the building of a professional portfolio. I became freelance in the mid-1990s, providing editorial, research, and report-writing services to both individuals and institutions, including script assessment for various West End and Fringe Theatres, such as The Shaftsbury, Theatre Royal Stratford East, and The Gate, where I read plays in translation and the original French. The transition from literary and theatrical to historical research was a gradual one, as I found myself increasingly turning to genealogical resources as first port of call for factual verification; this coincided with breakthroughs in my personal ancestral investigations which led back to my first love, time-wise, the Mediæval and Renaissance periods, and the decision to launch my own independent concern, to pull together my separate freelancing skills under one roof. Ancestral Deeds is the result.


B.A. Hons. (with High Distinction) in English, Drama & French — 1980-84, Trinity College, University of Toronto, Canada (specialisation: English Drama before 1642). Faculty Scholar 1980 through 1984. Recipient of the Dickson Scholarship in English, French, History & Latin (1980-81); the L.C.A. Hodgins Scholarship in English Language & Literature (1981-82); the Sir Gilbert Parker Scholarship in English Language & Literature (1983-84).

M.A. in Drama & Theatre Studies — 1984-85, Royal Holloway College, University of London, England (specialisation: Shakespeare in Performance). Expanded version of thesis published in 1990 (see below).

Professional Memberships

Full Member of the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA); Full Member of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) since 1990; Map and Large Document Reading Room Delegate for The National Archives’ User Advisory Group 2014 – 2019, representing Mediæval Research. Supporter of Historic England and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB).

Period Covered

Mediæval, Tudor and Stuart Era Research; Theatre History and Document Deciphering from the Mediæval Era to the Present Day.

Fields Covered

Transcription of Early English and Scottish Documents; Transcription  and Translation of Mediæval French and Latin; Genealogy and Family History, Theatre History, Local History, Biographical and Literary Research; Digital Photography of Documents, Gravestones, and Historic/Ancestral Locations; Family Tree Charting.

London Repositories Visited

Include the National Archives at Kew, London Metropolitan Archives, the Guildhall Library, City of Westminster Archives Centre, Lambeth Archives, Lambeth Palace Library, Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, Hackney Archives, Greenwich Heritage Centre, and the National Portrait Gallery.

Publication History

(Non-fiction) Author in the fields of Literary & Theatre History, and Family & Local History, including “‘This Castle Hath A Pleasant Seat’: The Shakespearean Subtext to The Castle of Otranto” (article, English Studies in Canada, 1988); Coriolanus at the National: “Th’Interpretation of the Time” (book, Associated University Presses, 1990 — this work cited in multiple editions of the play and related works since its publication); “‘On Both Sides More Respect’: A Very British Coriolanus” (commissioned chapter for the book Coriolanus: Critical Essays, Garland Press, 1994); “Patrick Brontë’s Lost Landlords” (article, Brontë Studies, Vol. 33, March 2008); Eltham Through Time (book, Amberley Publishing, November 2013); Woolwich Through Time (book, Amberley Publishing, February 2014); Secret Southwark and Blackfriars (book, Amberley Publishing, February 2019).

Eltham Through Time (book, Amberley Publishing, November 2013)

Read more and purchase this book

Woolwich Through Time (book, Amberley Publishing, February 2014)

Read more and purchase this book

Secret Southwark and Blackfriars (book, Amberley Publishing, February 2019)

Read more and purchase this book

Occasional contributor to Who Do You Think You Are Magazine U.K., answering Reader Questions since 2014, and Family Tree Magazine U.K. in 2019.

Documentary Archive Research & Photography

“Finding Your Roots” Season 2 (2 Episodes) & Season 3 (2 Episodes), Ark Media for PBS; “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” (Episode 2), Ark Media for PBS; “Finding Your Past” (1 Episode), Lion TV; “Who Do You Think You Are” U.S. Season 7 (1 Episode), Forest Productions Inc; “London: 2000 Years of History” (1 Episode), Voltage TV; “Finding Your Roots” Season 5 (1 Episode), McGee Media for PBS.