Cecil Humphery-Smith

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Cecil Humphery-Smith
Born29 October 1928
Died12 January 2021 (aged 92)
EducationHurstpierpoint College, University of London, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
OccupationBiochemist and mycologist,[1] genealogist and heraldist

Cecil Raymond Julian Humphery-Smith OBE FSA FHS FRHSC (29 October 1928 - 12 January 2021)[2] was a British genealogist and heraldist.

Early life[edit]

Cecil Humphery-Smith was born on 29 October 1928 to Frederick Humphery-Smith of Burgess Hill, West Sussex, a company secretary[3] appointed MBE in 1951 for his role as honorary secretary of the Burgess Hill Savings Committee,[4] and his wife Agnes Violet (née Boxall).[5] His godfather was the priest and headmaster Julian Bickersteth, who encouraged the development of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies and in whose memory Humphery-Smith established a prize at the Institute.[6][7] He was educated at Hurstpierpoint College and, after graduating from the University of London in 1950 with a BSc,[8] undertook postgraduate studies in Biochemistry and Mycology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Parma-Piacenza Department of Agronomy.[9][10][11][6]


Following some years in Italy working with tomatoes for Heinz[1][dead link] and other companies, it was Humphery-Smith who brought the concept of family history to the world of genealogy with his 1957 lecture "Introducing Family History." In 1961, he founded the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies in Canterbury and edited its journal, FAMILY HISTORY between 1962 and 2021.[12] In 2008 Humphery-Smith was awarded an honorary Fellowship of Canterbury Christ Church University.[12]

Humphery-Smith was a lecturer at University of London, amongst other institutions, for much of his professional career. He also served as a Fellow with the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry.[13] He long was the only British member of Council of L'Académie Internationale d'Héraldique and received several other academic and literary honours and awards from around the world. In 2004, he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for "Services to Education in Heraldry and Genealogy."[12][14]

After being severely injured by a reversing vehicle in a car park in 2005 Humphery-Smith gave up lecturing, but continued to edit the Family History journal.[9]

He designed Maureen Elizabeth Jaunsen's coat of arms.[15]

Personal life[edit]

In 1951, Humphery-Smith married Alice Elizabeth Gwendoline Cogle (d. 2017);[16] they had one son and five daughters.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://www.kentlive.news/whitstable-pearl-cecil-humphery-smith/story-12007593-detail/story.html[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Cecil Raymond Julian Humphery-Smith OBE. FSA. 1928-2021". www.kfhs.org.uk.
  3. ^ "London Gazette".
  4. ^ "London Gazette".
  5. ^ a b "Humphery-Smith, Cecil Raymond Julian". ukwhoswho.com. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U2000042.
  6. ^ a b c "Honorary fellowship for Cecil Humphery-Smith". 20 July 2011. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011.
  7. ^ "The Julian Bickersteth Memorial Medal". ihgs.ac.uk. The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Heads of policy and research organisations". thetimes.co.uk.
  9. ^ a b The Hurst Johnian Club newsletter Spring 2011, ed. G. L. Hill, News and Views, letter from "Cecil R. J. Humphery-Smith, OBE (Red Cross, 1941–1947)", pp. 25–26 URL= https://theojclub.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/apr-2011-spring-2011-newsletter.pdf
  10. ^ The Escutcheon, vol. 2, special number- 40th Anniversary, 1997, p. 5 URL= http://cuhags.soc.srcf.net/escutcheon/02.4.pdf
  11. ^ "Cambridge University Heraldic and Genealogical Society". cuhags.soc.srcf.net.
  12. ^ a b c "Honorary fellowship for Cecil Humphery-Smith". Canterbury Christ Church University. 13 May 2008. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  13. ^ "Patrons and Members". www.icocregister.org.
  14. ^ [1] Cecil Humphery-Smith, Esq, OBE, FSA on the Debretts website
  15. ^ Heraldry Gazette NS 71 (March 1999), p. 7.
  16. ^ "Funeral notices". funeral-notices.co.uk.

External links[edit]