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Lindsay Leonard Brook, 1942-2017

in memoriam

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Lindsay 72 cr grey

Lindsay Brook was the co-founder and first chairman of the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy (FMG) which was established in 2001, then registered as a non-profit charity in 2002.

Lindsay grew up and went to school in Brighton, Sussex, then later Reading, Berkshire, England. He studied English at Wadham College, Oxford, graduating in 1964 and subsequently being awarded the MA degree. His wit and sense of fun shows through in the photo. He showed an early interest in and knowledge of history. In his teenage years Lindsay developed his fascination and passion for genealogy, beginning (unlike most genealogists) not with his own family history but in early medieval times with the legendary brothers, Hengist and Horsa, who supposedly led the 5th-century invasion of post-Roman Britain by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes.

Lindsay had a lifelong concern for social justice. In his youth he took the “hippy trail” overland through Afghanistan to India, crossing to South Africa and proceeding back northwards through Africa. He actively participated in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the associated Aldermaston marches, that peaked in the early 1960s. In adult life he was a professional social researcher.

Lindsay’s interest in genealogy, particularly of the medieval period in Europe, caught the attention of the respected genealogist, Charles F H Evans. They developed a close friendship and collaboration, notably on the updating of Turton’s Plantagenet Ancestry. Evans introduced Lindsay to the Harleian Society, based at the College of Arms in London, where he was appointed as a member of the Society’s Council.

Lindsay’s greatest genealogical achievement was the definitive account of medieval Sardinian genealogy, Genealogie medioevali di Sardegna in collaboration with F.C. Casula and other co-authors, published 1984 in a weighty tome of 568 pages. He also edited, and contributed to, a Festschrift or Tribute to his friend Charles Evans to mark the latter’s 80th birthday.

Around the turn of the millennium, he promulgated the concept of a society dedicated to the study of medieval genealogy and prosopography. After discussions with various colleagues and friends this led to the formal establishment of the FMG. This has gained members from around the world, maintained a regular schedule of publication for its journal Foundations, and developed the tools provided by digital technology to promote online dissemination of research results.

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