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.
Carol Becker (United States)
Carol Becker has over 30 years’ experience in public speaking and management consulting. She has a graduate degree from The Ohio State University and has written two books on leadership. In 2004 she changed her career path, got a degree in Landscape Design and Horticulture, and now designs and writes about sustainable landscaping. When she married Paul Milner in 1992, she encouraged him to get serious about his career as a genealogist, and the rest is history! As you will find out in the closing session for the cruise.
Chris Braund (England) – English Civil War
Chris works as an historical interpreter from the time of the English Civil War, where his role is Master Christopher, barber surgeon to the desperate. He performs regularly for history groups, schools and tourists. Apart from ‘operating’ on hapless members of the public, he also gives weaponry displays and tells the story of his local English Civil War battle. In addition Chris conducts guided tours of local villages and presents regularly in the UK on topics relating to the seventeenth century, local history and his own one-name study. Almost all his ancestors come from within a fifteen mile radius of where he now lives, so his particular interest is in the history of north Devon.
Chris has appeared in several television programmes, talking about the seventeenth century and local history as well as life as a fisherman, an occupation that has been carried out by six generations of his ancestors. He is actively involved in several UK family history groups, serving as President of Devon Family History Society and vice-president of the Isle of Wight Family History Society.
He believes that it is important for us to understand how our ancestors lived and enjoys presenting history in an interactive and lively manner, whilst ensuring that he imparts ‘good history’ at the same time
Tricia Fairweather (Western Australia)
Tricia originally hails from England and emigrated to Australia in the early 1980s. She is a professional librarian and her current position is Subject Specialist: Family History at the State Library of Western Australia where she has worked for eight years. Prior to that, she worked in university libraries and in a commercial photographic stock library. She feels privileged to be working in an area of personal interest and thoroughly enjoys giving family history presentations on a wide variety of genealogy and social history topics. In addition, she is responsible for creating content on the State Library’s family history web pages and also has the opportunity to conduct research using the J S Battye Library and State Record Office collections and to write articles. She is currently involved in selecting World War One material for digitisation and has put together a sample of these on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/statelibrarywa/sets/72157644981485672
She has a particular interest in historic photographs and in discovering and telling women’s stories as these are often unrepresented in official records. An example of this is the ‘Bride Ships’ presentation which has generated quite a lot of interest. She was recently interviewed on this topic for the television series ‘Coast’ which is yet to be aired on the History Channel.
Tricia has been researching both her own and her husband’s family histories for more than twenty years. This family research is predominantly English and includes Suffolk, Norfolk, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Yorkshire.
Dr Janet Few (England) – experienced family, social and community historian, She works as an historical interpreter, spending time living in the C17th as Mistress Agnes
Janet is now in her fourth decade of family and local history research and lectures regularly on these subjects. A qualified family historian, who holds the advanced certificate in Genealogy and Heraldry awarded by the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Janet has been involved in family history at a national level. She was education liaison officer for the Federation of Family History Societies for several years, having the responsibility for facilitating the training of family history teachers. Janet has acted as the local agent for several national research companies and has worked with the Who Do You Think You Are? programme. Janet is currently President of the Isle of Wight Family History Society, Vice Chair of The Society for One-Place Studies and the leader of the North Devon group of Devon Family History Society, running family history classes on behalf of the society. She is also an accomplished, prize-winning, author. Janet was the critical reader and family history advisor to the Open University with regard to the course ‘Family and Community History’; a course that she went on to tutor. Janet completed her doctorate at the University of Exeter, researching migration patterns in nineteenth century North Devon. Her particular geographical areas of expertise are the South West of England and the Isle of Wight. As her alter ego, Mistress Agnes, Janet spends time living in the seventeenth century, where she imparts information about life in the time of the English Civil War. Her book about seventeenth century social history Coffers, Clysters, Comfrey and Coifs: the lives of our seventeenth century ancestors was published in 2012. Janet’s re-edit of the family history classic Family Historians’ Enquire Within and her book about one Place Studies Putting your Ancestors in their Place were both published recently.
Caroline Gurney (England)
Caroline Gurney is a professional genealogist, historical researcher and speaker. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Society of Genealogists and an Associate Member of the Regional History Centre at the University of the West of England. She has clients worldwide, including the BBC, Wall to Wall, HSBC and Baptist Heritage Queensland.
A former diplomat and Director at the National School of Government, Caroline has a 1st class honours degree in History and is currently studying for an MLitt in Family and Local History at the University of Dundee. She has developed her research skills over 30 years, studying original documents in many different archives, and is also expert in internet research.
In 2012 Caroline was commissioned by HSBC, corporate sponsors of the Cutty Sark, to trace living descendants of the crew. She identified over 600 people, 170 of whom attended a reception to mark the ship’s reopening by the Queen. She is now writing a book about the crew, many of whom had Australian connections. In 2013 Caroline researched and participated in a BBC documentary about the Cutty Sark, which was broadcast in the series Clydebuilt: the Ships That Made the Commonwealth. In 2014 Caroline worked with independent TV company Wall to Wall on the documentary series Secrets From the Clink. She appeared in the programme sharing her research with comedian Johnny Vegas.
Caroline gives talks on a wide variety of historical topics. She also demonstrates genealogy software. She provided the source citation templates and sample project for the UK edition of The Master Genealogist and was Assistant Webmaster for the Society of Genealogists.
Caroline is married with two children, two grandchilden and a cat. She lives in a 17th century house near Bristol.
Shauna Hicks (Queensland) – Australia and various general topics
Shauna has been tracing her own family history since 1977 and worked in government for over 35 years in libraries and archives in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. Since retiring, she has written a number of family history guides and is a regular speaker at genealogy cruises, conferences and seminars. She now operates a small part time research and consultancy business Shauna Hicks History Enterprises at www.shaunahicks.com.auand is the author of the blog, Diary of an Australian Genealogist.
Shauna has a number of tertiary qualifications from Queensland universities including a Master of Arts in Australian Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Library Science and a Diploma in Family Historical Studies from the Society of Australian Genealogists. She is a Fellow of the Queensland Family History Society; a recipient of the Australian Society of Archivists Distinguished Achievement Award and the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations’ Award for Meritorious Services to Family History.
Cyndi Ingle (United States)
Cyndi is the creator, owner and “webmaster” of the award-winning web site Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet, www.CyndisList.com, a categorized index to more than 333,000 online resources. In its first three years, Cyndi’s List was three times voted the best genealogy site on the World Wide Web. It helps millions of visitors worldwide each month and has been featured in the media and diverse publications, including ABC News, NBC News, USA Today, Time, Newsweek, Parade Magazine, Wired, Family Tree Magazine, Family Chronicle, and Internet Genealogy magazines. Cyndi has been interviewed for many television and radio broadcasts including ABC News, NBC News, the BBC, and National Public Radio. She has also participated in the Ancestors II television series on PBS.
Cyndi, a genealogist for more than 35 years, is a past-member of the board of directors for the National Genealogical Society. Cyndi is an internationally known guest lecturer for various genealogical society meetings and seminars (http://www.CyndisList.com/speaking-calendar/). She has lectured for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, GENTECH, Brigham Young University, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, the Washington Library Association, the Florida Library Association, the American Library Association and numerous local genealogical societies in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Cyndi has authored numerous articles and three books. Before her life on the Internet, Cyndi worked as an international banker specializing in foreign exchange and computer networks. Cyndi, her son, Evan, and three Boston Terriers live in Edgewood, Washington
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.
Paul Milner (United States) – British Isles and US
A professional genealogist and lecturer, specialising in British Isles and US research for over 30 years, Paul was born and raised in northern England and settled in the US in 1975. He is a nationally recognised speaker for British Isles research and migration. He is the author of Genealogy at a Glance: England Research plus co-author of A Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your English Ancestors and A Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your Scottish Ancestors. He teaches the week-long English and Scottish research tracks at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama. He is a past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG); Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS); and Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG); and past president of the British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois (BIGWILL). He is currently the book review editor for the FGS Forum and BIGWILL.
Paul has a blog at www.milnergenealogy.com to keep researchers up to date with new British Isles resources online and in print; and to provides tips and ideas for genealogical speakers to improve their skills.
Paul has a portfolio of about 70 topics, specialising in, but not limited to, the British Isles.
Gordon Nuttall (United States) – Flip-Pal mobile scanner and data preservation
Gordon is the Founder and CEO for Couragent, Inc, and the principle inventor of the Flip-Pal mobile scanner along with four other patents during his 31-year career at Hewlett Packard. He has founded two other small businesses and four non-profits, one of them the Glen Haven Historical Society (GHHS) and another the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. From Gordon’s own precious family time, from serving as GHHS president, from connection with the Flip-Pal community, and from numerous speaking engagements on TV, radio, and in public as Toastmaster, small business lobbyist, and entrepreneur, he comes with a wealth of ideas to sharing and safeguarding our life stories.
Our Couragent | Flip-Pal team is an intentional, values-based organisation. Whether at a personal, professional, or institutional level, our values of Courage · Integrity · Collaboration · Innovation · Care are the principles that we believe in and strive for in our vocation while on this earth.
Chris Paton (Scotland) – Scotland and Ireland
A former BBC Scotland television producer/director specialising in history-based documentaries, Chris holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies and runs the Scotland’s Greatest Story family history service (www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk).
He has regularly written for Ancestors, Discover my Past Scotland, Family History Monthly, Family Tree, History Scotland, Irish Roots, Practical Family History, Who Do You Think You Are, Your Family History, Your Family Tree, and his own British GENES (Genealogy News and Events) blog at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk.
Chris regularly teaches online Scottish based family history courses through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd (www.pharostutors.com) and has also tutored on the University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Genealogical Studies courses. He currently lives in North Ayrshire, in the west of Scotland.
Helen Smith (Queensland) – Australia, England, medical and general
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.
Jane Taubman (England) – Family Historian and photography
Starting to research her family history in her early twenties, Jane has been combining her interests in computers and history to track her agricultural labourers through the south west of England, while fighting valiantly to track down her husband’s elusive Irish and Isle of Man ancestors. In 2002 she purchased the first version of Family Historian and set up a place on the web for people to get help with it. Ten years on ‘FHUG: Family Historian User Group’ www.fhug.org.uk as that small website became, is now full of resources to help people get the most from this powerful program.
Having previously run short courses for the Society of Genealogists in London as well as for My History in the North of England, she now runs regular Family Historian courses near to her home in South Somerset, with people regularly travelling from across England to join them.
Simon Orde, Family Historian’s chief designer had this to say about her, when asked to recommend a presenter for Family Historian. ‘She is a real expert on Family Historian, on computing generally (she is a director of an IT company), and a lifelong committed and very knowledgeable genealogist. She is also an expert photographer and gives courses on that too. She regularly gives detailed advice to everyone on the FHUG and on the FHU Mailing List. She knows absolutely everything about Family Historian.’
Jane will present a special Family Historian stream of workshops as well as give and introductory presentation for non-Family Historian users.
Barbara Toohey (Australian Capital Territory) – genealogy charting
Barb is a member of HAGSOC, an experienced trainer and presenter with a background in teaching and data analysis, and regularly gives presentations at HAGSOC’s New Member Education Sessions. She was also on the Congress Committee for Congress 2015 that was held in Canberra on 26-30 March 2015.
Barb has a long standing commitment to preserving her family history and created her first family tree and family photo album in her early 20’s. After a break, she has been actively researching her family history for the last 18 years, with a strong emphasis on early Australian records as well as interests in English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch and German branches of her family. She has a keen interest in photos and charts.
She has focused on publishing her family history using family tree charts, photographs and stories. She produces large scale printed charts on continuous roll paper that are enhanced by colour and photos. She has also produced a DVD, “Life on a Paddlesteamer”, which includes a family collection of 200 postcards; an eBook, “Ancestors in Pictures”; as well as hyperlinked individual stories behind boxes on a chart or faces in a family photograph. With children who read only on computers, iPads or Smartphones, a book was not an option!
Want to know about charts? Make the best use of space? Add some photos? Print them? Want to get some ideas on how to publish your information in a digital format? Barb’s presentation will provide answers to these questions and introduce you to some new ways to share your family photographs and stories.
Tony Beardshaw (UK – My History) will also be on this cruise is our cruise bookseller