Four generations of Meinhof family Erfurt Germany

Everyone has a family history, whether they know about it or not, whether they have even though about it or not. Every person has:

  • 2 parents
  • 4 grandparents
  • 8 great grandparents
  • 16 great grandparents … and so on

Do you know all their names? When did your immigrant ancestors come to Australia? What countries did they come from? Why did they come? What ship did they come on? Where did they first settle? What did they do? What was life like then? Do you know about their war service (most of us have ancestors who served)? Do you have any famous ancestors or distant cousins? Or infamous ones? Do you have ‘Australian royalty’ (convict ancestors)? The chances are you have if your ancestors came here 150 years or more ago. If you are curious to know more then read on.


From 2019 we are introducing a low cost basic Discover your family history conference program option to all our cruises. This is for you if who have:

  • never researched your family history but would like to know how to
  • just started out, but would like to learn more
  • seen and enjoyed the TV show Who Do You Think You Are? or other similar programs of discovery. Why not you find out ‘who you are’.  Don’t expect the head of a major record repository to bring you your family documents like they do on TV, but it does illustrate what can be done
  • been to funerals and realised the generation above you is passing … and it is too late to ask them things they have taken with them
  • realised that life is passing by for you and your children – and you don’t know much about  your family’s story

One caution up front. If you do this course you might get hooked!


The course overview – five 45-minute introductory talks

  • Beginning family history research
  • Your family in Australia
  • Where did they come from?
  • What you can do online
  • DNA: is it really useful?

This is a standalone program within our full conference program and may be booked on its own.

Cost: AU$95 (80% less than the full conference)


Cruises currently booking – all with the Discover your family history program


Discover your family history program summary

1. Introduction and overview – Rosemary Kopittke

  • popularity of family history – WDYTYA and other TV shows, growth of societies/membership, big international online players
  • what do you know about your family? – your parents, grandparents … further back?
  • where did they come from? – how many countries do your ancestors come from? – do you have Aboriginal ancestry?
  • do you have convict ancestors (‘Australian royalty’)? – you might be surprised
  • were they rich/poor, in public life or not, war/military service?
  • ways to find out about your ancestors – what you know or can find out from living relatives? – compiling a pedigree
  • chart – photos – letters – BDM – wills – newspapers – DNA – etc., etc.
  • organising – genealogy programs – write your own story

2. Your family in AustraliaHelen Smith

  • why did they come (general push/pull factors) – the voyage out
  • where did they settle, what did they do
  • records you can use to learn more – societies, libraries, Trove, events

3. Where did they come from?Eric Kopittke

  • what countries – probably several
  • what county? What city/town/village?
  • records you can use to learn more …

4. What you can do onlineRosemary Kopittke

  • free sites, subscription sites
  • online help – Cyndi’s lists, society resources online, online courses
  • Google – maps – photos
  • newspapers – records from various agencies

5. DNA: is it really useful?Helen Smith

  • the hype – ethnicity is not genealogy – and it may or may not be right, but it may serve to highlight the fact that your roots can be from multiple countries/regions
  • the real usefulness – connecting with cousins – overview of the kind of tools that can help
  • companies offering tests – what they offer