Carol will present her 8 lecture program on researching and writing history.
Carol has been a genealogist for over three decades, having first become interested in family history research while still at school. Her career as a professional genealogist began when she was appointed Project Officer of the Australian Biographical and Genealogical Record (ABGR). In that role she edited six volumes of early New South Wales muster returns (similar to census returns) and later the convict indents for 1788-1812. She edited other record series when she became General Editor of the ABGR’s new incarnation, the Biographical Database of Australia. She is a Fellow of the Society of Australian Genealogists and an adjunct lecturer at the University of New England, and is now a full-time writer and speaker. She has already spoken on two Unlock the Past genealogy cruises and will be one of the lead presenters on our Baltic cruise in July 2015.
Carol began writing ‘popular history’ in 2004 and is the author of four ‘true-crime thrillers’. An irresistible temptation: the true story of Jane New and a colonial scandal (2006), Breaking the bank: an extraordinary colonial robbery (2008), and Captain Thunderbolt and his Lady: the true story of bushrangers Frederick Ward and Mary Ann Bugg (2011) were all published by Allen & Unwin to critical acclaim while The Lucretia Borgia of Botany Bay will be published in 2015. Both Breaking the bank and Captain Thunderbolt received first prize in writing competitions. In 2013, Britain’s Oneworld published The peculiar case of the electric constable: a true tale of passion, poison and pursuit. It has received international acclaim – Britain, America, Canada and Australia – with The Times (London) writing that it is ‘as lively and readable as a crime novel’ and Britain’s Independent praising it as ‘totally irresistible’.
‘How to’ genealogy books are among Carol’s other works. Writing Interesting Family Histories was published in 2009 and updated in 2010. She will publish a companion volume, Publishing Interesting Family Histories, in 2014. She has two guidebooks being published by Unlock the Past in 2014. In 2014/15 she will also publish Help! Historical and Genealogical Truth: How do I separate fact from fantasy along with books on convict research, New South Wales research, British surnames and British given names.
Carol is also the author of the History Detective newsletter, a free email newsletter with tips on history, researching, writing and publishing along with information about her forthcoming publications (including pre-publication discount offers). You can subscribe to the newsletter and find out more about Carol and her books and talks via her website.
Eric Kopittke (Queensland) – Germany and Denmark
Eric has been researching his family history in Australia, Germany, England and Wales since 1985. In the same year he joined the Queensland Family History Society where he has been convenor of the Central European Group for over 20 years. He is also President of the Baptist Historical Society of Queensland.
Academically, he studied at the University of Queensland where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science (Physics and Mathematics), a Bachelor of Arts (Geography and Computer Science) and a Diploma of Education. He recently retired after teaching Physics and Mathematics at St Peters Lutheran College, Indooroopilly.
He regularly speaks at family history societies and at other events. In June 2012 he spoke on German research at the New Zealand Society of Genealogists Conference.
Eric has received the Queensland FHS Award for Services to Family History (1990); was made a Fellow of the Queensland FHS (2000); and in 2006 was awarded the AFFHO Award for Meritorious Services to Family History.
Rosemary Kopittke (Queensland) – online databases and Australian records
Rosemary has been tracing her family history since 1985. A statistician by training, she has worked in that field as an hydrologist, teacher and biometrician.
Her tertiary qualifications include a BSc (Mathematics) and BA (Computer Science) both from the University of Queensland. More recently she has completed the Certificate in Genealogical Studies (English Records) with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. She currently works as a consultant for Gould Genealogy & History, is regularly invited to speak at events in Australia and New Zealand and has presented on all the Unlock the Past cruises.
She has published numerous indexes to cemeteries and government records though is probably best known for her work with husband Eric on the Emigrants from Hamburg to Australasia 1850-1879 publication. She is editor of Unlock the Past publications and author and contributor to several.
A member of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO) Council from 2009 to 2013 and a current member of the Queensland FHS Management Committee, Rosemary is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society and in 2006 received the AFFHO Award for Meritorious Services to Family History.
Helen Smith (Queensland) – helenvsmithresearch.blogspot.com.au
Helen has been researching her family since 1986 when her mother lamented the fact she had never known her grandfather, George Howard Busby. Helen found some information and a newspaper photo of him, was hooked and has been addicted ever since with research in Australia, England and Ireland.
She is researching the surname Quested anywhere, anytime and has registered the name with the Guild of One-Name Studies.
She is the author of Death certificates and archaic medical terms and has written for Inside History, Australian Family Tree Connections and other family history journals as well as scientific publications. She is the author of a number of blogs which can be accessed via http://helenvsmithresearch.blogspot.com.au and you can follow her on Twitter @HVSresearch
She has spoken to a wide variety of audiences including Genealogical Society of Queensland Day Conferences, Library Technician Conference, all the Unlock the Past cruises, Unlock the Past Expos and Roadshow and numerous family history society meetings.
Professionally, she is a Molecular Epidemiologist specialising in Public Health Microbiology and has a strong interest in infectious diseases and Public Health through the ages.
She has a Graduate Diploma in Public Health, Bachelor Applied Science: Medical Laboratory Science and Associate Diploma in Clinical Laboratory Techniques. She is currently studying with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies towards the Certificate in Genealogical Studies: English Records.
Judy Webster (Queensland)
Judy Webster grew up on a grazing property near Cunnamulla in south-west Queensland, and she became interested in family history when she heard her father and uncle talking about their eccentric aunt.
Judy has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Technology) and a Graduate Diploma in Local and Applied History. In 2001 she received the Queensland Family History Society’s Award for Services to Family History. For 30 years she has had her own part-time business as a professional genealogy researcher and indexer. She particularly enjoys tracing living descendants and working with unusual and neglected Queensland State Archives records that are superb for overcoming ‘brick walls’ in genealogy. Many of the research strategies that she uses in Queensland will also work in other regions.
Judy’s website has more than 120 pages with free advice on sources and techniques for family history, and the names of 53,000 local, interstate and overseas residents mentioned in Queensland’s historical records. She also uses her social media pages to share tips for genealogy.
Her publications include various indexes, mini-guides and magazine articles, and the books Tips for Queensland research and Specialist indexes in Australia: a genealogist’s guide.
Judy has given family history presentations at many city and country locations in Queensland, NSW and Western Australia. She was an invited speaker at the 2009 Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry (in New Zealand) and the 2011 NSW and ACT State Conference.
Judy is the founder and coordinator of the award-winning ‘Genealogists for Families’ project, in which family historians worldwide are helping less fortunate families through micro-lending with Kiva.
Chris Wright (Queensland)
Chris has spent the last 23 years as a teacher and accredited trainer in Information Technology. She has been passionately researching her family history for more than 30 years since discovering, as an adult, that her father was adopted. An active member of multiple genealogical associations, she has edited publications,created and maintained the websites, and delivered regular technology education sessions on family history, workshops, and co-presented Family History Courses.