Don Steel

08:43AM BST - Thursday, 10 April 2008

Contributed by: Michael Bunting FSG

The death has been announced of one of family history's ancestors
and founders of the West Surrey FHS.

Many of you will be saddened to learn of the death after a long illness on
Monday 7 April of Don Steel. Don was instrumental in the founding of a
number of family history societies, but also, perhaps most importantly, the
founding of the Federation of Family History Societies in 1974.

As an accomplished author Don was a driving force behind the early volumes
of the Society of Genalogists 'National Index of Parish Registers' series.
Later as education officer for BBC South West, Don was the pioneer behind
the 1979 BBC TV series 'Family History', narrated by Gordon Honeycombe and
based on Gordon's own researches. The following year Don wrote
'Discovering Your Family History' to accompany the series. He attended many
family history fairs selling new and second hand publications as well as in
giving advice. At these times he was conspicuous for wearing and old straw hat.

For over 40 years Don Steel made a major contribution to the family history
world as a speaker and author. He was also a Fellow of the Society of

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