Lesley SilvesterLesley Silvester (Western Australia) www.timetrackers.com.au

Lesley’s a Londoner who came to Australia with her family in 1961. After a career in nursing and administration, Lesley’s long-standing interest in genealogy resulted in her starting the busy genealogical firm TimeTrackers in 2000.

TimeTrackers has helped thousands of clients across Australia and in the UK, New Zealand, USA and a smattering of other countries. Lesley’s interests are historical and genealogical research and education. As well as working for clients, she is also heavily involved in WAGS and is a regular volunteer helping people find their families at a support centre for Child Migrants.

In her later life Lesley took to tertiary studies with gusto: she gained a BA (Archaeology) from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma in Cultural History from Curtin University (WA), an MA and most recently a PhD in Medieval and Early Modern Studies from the University of Western Australia. Her theses for both her MA and PhD both heavily relied on genealogical methods to address specific historical issues. Her PhD thesis was a longitudinal study of the poor of Norwich in the 16th Century and encompassed issues of kinship, demography and survival strategies of the desperately poor.

Unlock the Past Cruises – 1st, 4th, 5th and 7th


  • British research – specific eras and places with an emphasis on social history and older records (Norwich: 1570 Census of the poor, 16th and 17th century research, nominal linkage records before the census)
  • Lesser known London records
  • London ancestors: bringing them to life
  • London: specific focused presentations for family historians (Guilds and apprenticeship records, the London Blitz)
  • Lost in London: introduction to London genealogy including unique problems and lesser known records
  • Medicine or magic: the medical marketplace in the past
  • My ancestor was an apprentice
  • New methods for old records: using family records to address historical questions
  • Occupational records in England
  • Stepping stones to the past: awareness building – how to get started with your family history
  • Strangers on the shore: maritime history of WA in story and song (with Mike Murray)
  • The Black Death: what was it?
  • The English Poor Laws
  • The Great Plague of London 1665-66
  • The mystery of the standing stones – Orkney, Lewis and Ireland
  • The watermen and lightermen of London
  • Using early records – a case study from Norwich
  • Western Australian research: overview of WA history and records
  • What were the Quarter Sessions