Select Page

… and around the world

There are days when the morning news makes The Legal Genealogist smile.

And days when it makes us all gasp with pain.

Today is one of the latter.

Because the news today in our genealogical community is the passing over the weekend of Audrey Collins, genealogist extraordinaire at the National Archives of the United Kingdom.

Audrey Collins

The National Archives itself made the announcement on Facebook: “We are extremely sad to learn of the death of our longstanding family history expert Audrey Collins. She was a much-loved and respected colleague, as well as a prominent figure in the global genealogy community, which she dedicated much of her time and expertise to.”

And the tributes began to roll in. Here are just a few:

Chris Paton: One of life’s gems, originally from Glasgow, she was always so good natured and good-humoured. .. she was very much on the side of light in the family history world. She’ll be sorely missed. (And see Chris’ blog post at Scottis GENES.)
Jen Baldwin: Absolutely devastated to learn of this loss. She was one in a million.
Kim Harrison: I will miss her sass, giggles and knowledge. She was the best!
Dawne Slater: It’s difficult to imagine a world without Audrey Collins in it.
Massachusetts Genealogical Council: MGC is saddened by the passing of Kew (UK) archivist Audrey Collins. She shared her knowledge of English records at many conferences in the US. Plus she was a delightful person.
Helen Smith: Such sad news to hear that Audrey Collins has passed away. Such a wonderful friend to so many in the genealogical community. A wonderful person with a wicked sense of humour, bright personality and so much genealogical knowledge. Such a loss to her family and the genealogical community.
James Jeffrey: I am heartbroken. She was always radiant and positive. Quick to listen and very generous with her research guidance.
Lou Szucs: In honor of our sweet friend, I hope we will carry on with her best qualities- of which there were many. She was generous, loving, and her radiant smile will be among our fondest memories of her.
Jennifer de Fiebre: I will miss that twinkle in her eyes as she said something delightfully rude. Her infectious attitude will be dearly missed.
Schelly Talalay Dardashti: In shock. Audrey was an institution! I had known her for so many years. A wonderful individual who will be sincerely missed.
Pat Richley-Erickson (Dear Myrtle): God speed dear Audrey Collins. No more pain. Our loss is heaven’s gain. How wonderful to have been blessed with your wonderful friendship.
Cyndi Ingle (Cyndi’s List): I woke up to such sad news today. Our friend, Audrey Collins, passed away on Saturday. She worked for the National Archives in the UK. Her love of family history and her knowledge of the records at Kew was amazing. She had a beautifully quirky sense of style that included a lot of purple and some lovely monkey shoes that I always coveted. And she was a hoot and a half to hang out with. She will be sorely missed.
George G. Morgan (The Genealogy Guys): We are devastated to learn of the passing of our very dear friend, Audrey Collins over the weekend. (And see their blog post.)

Some of this blog’s readers knew Audrey far better than I did. Some readers may not have met her at all. But we are all enormously impoverished by her loss.

Not just the genealogy world but the larger world in its entirety is a little greyer place today without her bright smile.

RIP, dear friend.

May your memory forever be a blessing.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “A grey day at Kew,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 6 Feb 2023).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email