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Sunday, 19 April 2009

Gidleys around the world

In the Gidley Profile on the Guild of One Name Studies website I mention that there are now far more Gidleys in the USA then there are in the UK.
The website from University College London puts a different slant on this statement.
This website gives the frequency per million of a surname in the total population, and looked at this way Australia comes out top with a frequency of 14.37 per million. The UK is next with 9.88 FPM, the US 3rd with 5.6 FPM, New Zealand 4th with 3.53 FPM, and Canada last with 0.92 FPM.
Top regions are West Virginia with a frequency of 35.8 per million, Alabama with 34.48 FPM, the South West of the UK with 33.33 FPM, the Timaru district of New Zealand with 28.71 FPM, and Australian Capital Territory with 27.06 FPM.
Top cities in the UK are Exeter, Blackburn, Birmingham, Burnley and Manchester.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Death of Dr. John Lynn Gidley

I report the sad passing of a distingushed petroleum engineer, as sent to me by his son, Neil Gidley. I print here the official obituary, which gives some idea of John Lynn Gidley's achievements. Perhaps more tellingly Neil says, "My brother and I didn't even realise the extent of his professional accomplishments until we came to write his obituary.... to us he was just "Pop"."

From the Houston Chronicle:
DR. JOHN LYNN GIDLEY, age 84, of Houston, passed away Monday morning, March 30, 2009. Dr. Gidley was born December 30, 1924 to Andrew Jackson Gidley and Alice Josephine Lytle in Lytle, Texas. John L Gidley graduated from Lytle High School as valedictorian (1942). After one year at Texas A&M College, he served two and one half years in the United States Army Air Corps, where he flew B-17s, B-24s, and B-29s. He received his BS Ch.E, MS Ch.E. and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas. Dr. Gidley joined Humble Oil & Refining Company December 10, 1954 as an engineer in the Production Research Division (subsequently Exxon Production Research). Dr. Gidley's work in Exxon's Subsurface Engineering Group helped generate new techniques for well stimulation. Over his 31-year career with Exxon, he was responsible for numerous professional publications and for eight patents. In 1969, he invented a sandstone acidizing process which, within the first three years of use, increased oil production at Exxon by more than 25,000 barrels per day. Dr. Gidley was proud that the patent royalties more than covered his salary and benefits during his last 17 years at Exxon. Upon retiring from Exxon in 1986, Dr. Gidley organized both a consulting firm and a joint research project on sandstone acidizing. This led to his discovery of six new patents on improved acidizing techniques, which are still in active use today. Dr. Gidley also taught as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University from 1992-1998. Dr. Gidley loved the classroom, working with graduate students, and found teaching immensely rewarding. In 1999, the UT named him a Distinguished Engineering Graduate. Dr. Gidley was active in the Society of Petroleum Engineers and co-authored the monograph on Acidizing Fundamentals. He was named a distinguished member of SPE in 1990, received the Society's John Franklin Carll Award in 1992 and its highest award, Honorary Membership in 2000. From 1969 to 1986, Dr. Gidley chaired the API Subcommittee on Well Completion Materials. Dr. Gidley was nominated and admitted to the National Academy of Engineering in 1994 for development of stimulation materials and techniques to increase oil and gas production. He was a member of the Chancellor's Council of the UT System and a life member of the Friends of Alec. Dr. Gidley was a devoted father and grandfather, sponsoring an annual family reunion known as Gidleyfest, at locations throughout the United States. He was active as a Cubmaster in Cub Scouts for Pack 280 at Holy Ghost Catholic Parish & School. A convert to the Roman Catholic faith, he served as a Lector at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Houston. Dr. Gidley was truly grateful for the education he received as a result of the GI Bill. Dr. Gidley supported many charitable causes and helped to endow new student scholarship funds at Spring Hill College, the Debate program at the University of Kansas, and the University of Texas School of Engineering. In addition to his enjoyment of teaching and his stressing the importance of education, Dr. Gidley had a lively sense of humor and was well-known for his warmth, for his humility, and for making people feel at ease. Dr. Gidley was preceded in death by his wife Betty Jane Boggus and infant son; his brother Jack Gidley; and his sisters Jane Kenagy and Betsy Shaw. He is survived by his wife Virginia Anne Platz, his children Michael Andrew Gidley, John Mark Gidley (Bridget), Carol Gidley Wright (Charlie), Dr. Paul William Gidley (Milvia), Brian David Gidley, Allyson Anne Morrison (Richard), and Neil P. Gidley (Maggie), and his sister Margaret Clover and brother William J. Gidley, and his grandchildren Danielle Gidley, George Franklin Gidley, Travis Gidley, Jessica Gidley, Jack Gidley, Edward Gidley, Elizabeth Gidley, Charlotte Gidley, Eliza and Dalton Wright, Gabriel Gidley, Haley Morrison, Austin Morrison, John Lytle Morrison, Julia Morrison, Lauren Morrison, and Colin Patrick Gidley. The family asks in lieu of flowers that donations be made in his memory to MD Anderson Cancer Center, the John and Virginia Gidley Endowed Scholarship in Chemical Engineering at the UT Engineering Dept., or the charity of your choice.