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David Rencher (USA) – Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch and leading international expert specialising in Ireland and England.

Accredited in Ireland genealogical research in 1981, Certified Genealogist in 2006. BA, Family and Local History, Brigham Young University, 1980. Fellow, Utah Genealogical Association; Fellow, Irish Genealogical Research Society – London; Lecturer, Course Coordinator (Ireland), Samford University’s IGHR; Past-President, FGS, 1997-2001. Author of a series of articles in The Septs on Irish Genealogical Collections; currently Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch at the Family History Department of the LDS Church. Past-President of Utah Genealogical Association.

Taken from APG web site.

Learn more about David from this excellent article.

More to come.


Richard ReidRichard Reid (Australian Capital Territory)

Richard Reid is an Irish ‘assisted immigrant’ who arrived in Sydney, NSW, in January 1972. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and Queens University, Belfast, he taught at a state high school in Wollongong for 11 years before becoming the Secondary Education Officer at the Australian War Memorial. While at the Memorial he received his Ph.D. from the Australian National University for his work on Irish assisted emigration to New South Wales, 1848-1870, published in 2011 as Farewell My Children – Irish Assisted Emigration to Australia, 1848-1870. He has worked on many other Irish-Australian projects such as events for the Australian Bicentenary (1988) celebrations in Ireland, and was the Senior Curator for the National Museum of Australia’s major Irish exhibition, ‘Not Just Ned – a true history of the Irish in Australia’, in 2011. Richard also co-led the Society of Australian Genealogists first official tour of Ireland (with Keith Johnson) in 1984, and with Perry McIntyre has led a number of other SAG tours to Ireland. Among his publications on Irish-Australia are a decent set of girls – the Irish Famine Orphans of the Thomas Arbuthnot, 1849-1850  (with Cheryl Mongan) and Sinners, Saints and Settlers – a Journey through Irish-Australia (with Brendon Kelson, photographer).

Since his appointment to the Australian War Memorial, Richard has had a close involvement with interpreting the experiences of Australians in war, especially in World War I. In 1993, he was the AWM’s Executive Officer for the project that returned the remains of an Unknown Australian Soldier to the Hall of Memory at the Memorial. He has led Australian groups to Gallipoli and the Western Front (France and Belgium) and was the Australian historian on the official tri-nation (Turkey, Australia and New Zealand) historical and archaeological survey of the Anzac battlefield. Since 1997 (with a break between November 2007 and July 2011 at the National Museum of Australia), Richard worked as the Senior Historian for the Commemoration’s Branch of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs where he authored a number of books and websites including anzacsite.gov.au (Gallipoli), ww1westernfront.gov.au (Australians on the Western Front, 1916-1918) and Gallipoli 1915 (ABC Books). Richard retired officially from DVA in November 2014, but continued working on the Gallipoli battlefield survey (published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press as Anzac battlefield : a Gallipoli landscape of war and memory) as well as Irish projects relating to the emigration of orphan girls from Irish workhouses during the Great Famine (1845-1850) and the transportation of convicts from Ireland itself to the Australian colonies between 1788 and 1868.

Richard was a lead presenter on our 2nd and 7th cruises.


Others committed to date – click on links for biographies and further information

We are in discussion with a number of others and expect to announce more in the near future.


Speaker invitation

If you are interested in doing this cruise – and presenting – please register your interest – alan@unlockthepast.com.au

We can only offer significant support to a small number of key speakers, but we generally reserve about 20 to 30% of speaking spots for those who come on the cruise as fully paid cruisers—if they have recognised expertise and presentation skills. Most will only do one or perhaps two talks, but these often add great variety and value to the program, often dealing with subjects that would not normally be part of a conference program.

Unless the topic is of wide appeal, payment is not normally made for these talks, but we do offer payment for talks of good general interest that offer variety to our program. In some cases we can go further.

Click here for information for prospective speakers.