Kathryn Burtinshaw

Kathryn Burtinshaw

Kathryn Burtinshaw has had a passion for family and local history all her life. With careers in both the Diplomatic Service and the Security Service, she is an experienced researcher. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Local History from the University of Oxford and a M.Sc. in Genealogy, Palaeography and Heraldry from the University of Strathclyde. Her M.Sc. dissertation looked in detail at the lives of epileptic women in asylums in the nineteenth century.

Together with fellow genealogist and co-writer John Burt, she published a book entitled ‘Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots: A History of Insanity in Nineteenth Century Britain and Ireland’ in 2017. She and John have written a sequel ‘Madness, Murder and Mayhem: Criminal Insanity in Victorian and Edwardian Britain’ which is to be published in 2018.

Kathryn runs her own genealogy company, Pinpoint Ancestry, and lives in North Wales

Incarceration: Voices of the ‘insane’ in nineteenth century Britain


This lecture will focus on nineteenth century asylum records and aims to show that patients deemed to be insane continued to have a voice despite being locked away from the rest of society. Medical case notes are a valuable primary source much underused by researchers. Patients requiring medical intervention shared thoughts and feelings about their […]