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Outlines of presentations for all speakers to help you plan what to attend. More to be added.

Overseas presenters

Thomas MacEntee

Click titles for full description

All those listed here are rated as suitable for beginning level audiences

  • Building a genealogy research toolbox – Are you overwhelmed with the number of online resources for genealogical research? Are you constantly working with unorganised bookmarks or favourites? Printing out lists of websites you use most? Learn how to build a research toolbox that is organised, easy-to-use, and can be accessed from almost anywhere.
  • Celebrating a life: keeping life stories sharable and organised
    • Introduction
    • Grieving, loss and memories
    • Cleaning or consolidating a home
    • Organising, processing and preserving
    • Inspired projects: pulling it all together
    • Tips from those who’ve been there
    • resources
  • Genealogy cloud computing – Tired of keeping your genealogy research data on multiple CDs, DVDs, flash drives, hard drives and in different locations? Cloud computing – the practice of storing data on a remote server – is a practical solution for genealogists. Learn not only how cloud computing works, but also the latest cloud programs and how to keep your data secure and private.
  • Wikis for genealogists – While many think of a wiki as an on-line, collaborative encyclopedia, the wiki structure can be used by genealogists to document their research for both clients and their own families. Learn the various wiki platforms and the basics of setting up a wiki.
  • Wolfram|Alpha for genealogists – Wolfram Alpha provides solutions to questions such as “How am I related to my great-grandmother’s niece” or “What was the time of the sunrise on April 1, 1962, in Chicago, Illinois?” Learn how this unique site can expand your genealogy and family history research.
  • You use WHAT for genealogy? Wonderful uses for unusual tools – We’ll review a group of familiar apps and websites that are being used in creative ways by the genealogy community. You’ll also learn how to think “outside the margins” and start repurposing other apps and sites for your genealogy research.
  • Google for genealogists – Google is more than just a search engine – it is a wealth of information much of which goes unnoticed by the average genealogist. Besides search, Google allows you to access maps, books, journals, abstracts, patents and much more. These components may be what is needed to make advances in your genealogy research.
  • Google alerts and Google books – It isn’t always easy to determine new content that has been added to Google, especially if you are on the hunt for information posted by others about your ancestors. Learn how to harness the power of Google Alerts and get notified via e-mail or RSS feed when anything new pops up on Google that can help your genealogy research. In addition, Google has been involved in a massive project to digitise the world’s books since 2004 and more and more genealogists are discovering Google Books to help their research. Learn the different types of books available, how to access them and use the contents effectively for genealogy research.
  • Pinning your family history – One of the challenges in using the Flip- Pal® mobile scanner on family photos and mementos is “what do I do with it now that it’s scanned?” Using social media pinning sites such as Pinterest, What Was There, History Pin and even Google Maps allows you to not only share your family history photos, but you never know who will find your content and what connections you could make!
  • The future of genealogy panel – Where will the genealogy industry and the family history community be in the next five years? What tools will be most important, what products will consumers want? Our panel of experts from the genealogy world make their predictions for the future. Panel comprised of Thomas MacEntee (moderator), Shauna Hicks, Chris Paton, Mike Murray and Alan Phillips.

Chris Paton

  • Civil registration in the British Isles – Civil registration was briefly introduced into Britain in Cromwellian times, but it would not be until 1837 that modern civil registration as we know it began in England and Wales. The registration of BDMs by the state was not universal however – in Scotland it would not be implemented until 1855, in Ireland it arrived in two stages in 1845 and 1864, and later for the Crown Dependencies of Man and the Channel Islands. This talk provides an overview of the history of civil registration, the differences between the records across the British Isles, and how to locate the records.
  • Irish land records – Where the pre-1901 Irish censuses largely no longer exist, land records can often help to fill the gap in the ancestral record. From Griffiths Valuation to 19th century tithes records, and from the Ordnance Survey to the Registers of Deeds, this talk will look at some of the key land records that can help with Irish family history research, both online and available on the island of Ireland itself.
  • British civilian POWs in the First World War – 2014 will see the centenary of the start of the First World War, but as well as the military story it also marks the 100th anniversary of another tale – the plight of the thousands of British and British Empire civilians who were present in Europe when war was declared against Germany. Rounded up and interned at a hastily converted racecourse on the outskirts of Berlin, this talk will look at the fascinating story of the 5500 POWs (including a few from Down Under) whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time…
  • Scottish marriage: instantly buckled for life – “Suppose that young Jock and Jenny, say we two are husband and wife, the witnesses needn’t be many, they’re instantly buckled for life”. Until 1939 and 2006 there were many ways you could be legally married in Scotland that were not found elsewhere in the UK, thanks to the unique legal system north of the border based on Roman Law. If you cannot find a marriage on ScotlandsPeople, this may help explain why. (Includes a dash of antenuptial fornication!)
  • Scottish inheritance records – In England and Wales, land could be bequeathed in a will from the 16th century, but in Scotland, it could not be so bequeathed until 1868 – just one of many such differences between the laws of inheritance north and south of the border. From the records of confirmation to the conveyance of conquest, and from the ‘Services of Heirs’ to ‘precepts of clare constat’, this talk will explain the unique inheritance system in Scotland, and its many differences to the rest of the UK.
  • British and Irish newspapers – Several platforms now offer online access to digitised British and Irish newspapers, whilst many finding aids are also available online for those only available in libraries. This short talk will describe some of the most useful, and where to find them online.
  • Irish records online – Despite the loss of Irish records, many still exist. And for those unable to make their way to Ireland to carry out research, the internet is finally coming to the rescue, as more and more material is coming online.
  • The godly commonwealth: discover Scottish church records

Anne Daniels

  • From Picasso to punk: an exploration of collage/photomontage as an art form – In my first session, we will look at the beginnings and subsequent development of collage as a genre of art in itself. In the process we will be un-picking some of the worlds more iconic collage and photomontage artworks to understand what differentiates these images from collage as decoration. I will then show some of my own work, and explain how I have applied Collage and photomontage techniques to genealogy/family history.
  • Tear and share – Following on from the first session, we will begin a practical workshop where a limited number of participants will be able to produce a collage/photomontage work of their own. The theme will be your personal view of the First World War. I will provide all materials plus a selection of photocopied imagery and text to choose from, covering a variety of viewpoints. However, if anyone has an ancestor who fought or lived through the Great War, they are most welcome to bring along photocopies (black and white will work best) of your personal photographs to be included within your artwork.

Kirsty Gray

  • Are you a GOON? What is a one-name study and why do one? – A one-name study is a project researching all occurrences of a surname, as opposed to a particular pedigree (ancestors of one person) or descendancy (descendants of one person or couple). Some ‘one-namers’ restrict their research geographically, perhaps to one country, but true one-namers collect all occurrences worldwide. The Guild of One-Name Studies (GOONS) is dedicated to promoting the public understanding of one-name studies and the preservation and accessibility of the resultant information. Kirsty Gray will guide you, very briefly, through the ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom’ – the Art of a One-Name Study.
  • Tracing the history of a community: The Society for One-Place Studies – Genealogical organisations, family history societies and local historical associations have been on the landscape for decades (some, a great number of decades). In September last year, a new society was launched – the Society for One-Place Studies. One of its founder members, Kirsty Gray, explores the value of a one-place study and the benefits of being a member of this innovative, international society.

  • Tracing your West Country ancestors – Introducing the identity of ‘The West Country’, its geography and history over the centuries, this lecture guides the family historian through the wealth of historical records available both online and in archives and libraries to add the ‘flesh to the bones’ of the names of ancestors on your family trees, including some fascinating details that can be uncovered about the places they lived, their occupations and the distinctive features, identity and character of the West Country. Case studies of some notable individuals from the counties are provided as well as some records of those individuals who never hit the headlines.
  • The people, the places, the life behind doors: the world of the workhouse – The workhouse, detested and feared, evoked shame in those individuals who were forced to enter its walls. The workhouse is deeply embedded in folk memory; children were often warned by their parents that if they misbehaved they would be put into the workhouse. But what was life actually like behind those tall, stark, brick walls?

Jane Taubman

  • Family Historian: general introduction – Family Historian is a powerful, yet easy to use Family History recording program for PCs, Come along and see the wealth of features it has to offer. This short introduction will provide a short overview and if it takes your fancy over the next few days you can learn more with the subsequent lectures.
  • Family Historian: creating & customising Reports and Books – Sharing your family history with others is made easier with the wealth of customisation and options, this lecture will cover both using and customising reports, building books along with using the CD and Web creation tools.
  • Family Historian: creating and customising Diagrams – There are a myriad of options for creating Diagrams (Family Tree Charts),  and this lecture will cover all the basics of producing and using both working diagrams and wall art using Family Historian,
  • Family Historian: entering information Focus window and Diagrams – The core of recording your information is entering it into your database,  this lecture will look at the options for entering information and including recording from common sources and multi-media such as Photographs.
  • Family Historian: using Queries and Plugins – This final lecture covers using and building Queries to search your information and some great user written plugins which add even more functionality to Family Historian.
  • Taking better photographs, an introduction to composition – It doesn’t matter what Camera you have from a smart phone to a DSLR – Jane will suggest lots of tips and hints to improve your photography, illustrated with her own images, from many disparate parts of the globe.


Australian and New Zealand presenters

Jill Ball

  • Beaut blogs: what makes a blog stand out from the crowd? – As the selector of the shortlist for Inside History Magazine’s 2nd Annual Genealogy Blog Awards Jill gets to see the good, the bad and the ugly. In this session for bloggers, blog readers and the curious we take a blog tour to discover the elements that make a blog beaut.
  • Dealing with ethical dilemmas in genealogy – a panel discussion moderated by Jill Ball in which panelists, Pauleen Cass, Kirsty Gray, Maria Northcote will discuss ethical dilemmas that face the genealogist. These may include  issues surrounding adoption, illegitimacy, family skeletons and information sharing, copyright and plagiarism and general online etiquette.
  • Evernote for genealogy – Evernote, a free online tool for most platforms, can act as your virtual memory and  be your online filing cabinet. In this presentation Jill will explain how she uses Evernote to organise her stuff (notes, links, photos, audio files) and give examples of how genealogists use Evernote to organise their research.
  • My favourite free websites for Australian researchers – As well as exploring some favourite genealogy sites we will visit some obscure genealogy sites and look at some non-genealogy sites that can return some amazing results for the online researcher.
  • Geneareaders circle – This collaborative session moderated by Jill Ball is a repeat of a successful session from the 3rd UTP Cruise. Attendees are invited to bring along a favourite genealogy related book and share it with fellow cruisers in just 90 seconds. Bookless travellers are welcome to join in and learn about some fave reads and resources.
  • Google Hangouts on Air – Google Hangouts are like Skype on steroids. With free Google+ Hangout software you can take part in online learning activities and discussions with genealogy experts, contacts, friends and family from all over the globe. In this session we will discuss how you can participate in and view live Hangouts and where to find previously recorded Hangouts for viewing on Youtube.
  • Librarything for genealogy – Librarything, a social media tool, provides a platform for genealogists to record and review books, see what other genealogists have in their libraries and find readers’ ratings and reviews. Jill who has been an enthusiastic Librarything user for seven years will demonstrate how you can use LT as a reading log and how societies and organisations can use it as their online catalogue.

Pauleen Cass

  • Becoming a fan of FANs: let your family’s friends, associates and neighbours reveal more of your family’s history -“No man is an island” said John Donne many years ago and this certainly applies as much to our ancestral families as it does to our own lives. It’s not just our families who shape our history and share our stories but also their friends, associates and neighbours (FANs).
    FANs can reveal more nuances in our families’ lives and may turn up completely different information or confirm family anecdotes. Whether your brick wall comes tumbling down or not, researching FANs will certainly add texture to your story.
    FANs research may become a stepping stone to a One Place Study and as such this talk will be complementary to the cruise presentations on these studies.

Maggie Clarke

  • Documenting and Journaling your Family History through Scrapbooking – in this session I will cover the types of documents you can use on your scrapbook pages to tell the story of your families. These documents add life to your page and to your family stories. I will also give you some examples of the types of journaling you can use on your pages such as writing poems, narratives, placing the photo and document as part of social history timelines and more.

    The session will also incorporate some archival ideas about how to preserve your scrapbooking pages for generations to come.

  • Scrapbooking workshop – this is a hands-on workshop where you will make a one page layout using a photo and document. The workshop is suitable for both beginner and more experienced scrapbookers. I will provide each participant with a kit for a nominal fee of $5 AUD (to cover the costs of the materials). If you can, please bring a pair of scissors, a paper trimmer and a brown stamp pad if you have them. I will have some of these but will not have enough for everyone.  You will also need a 7” X 5” portrait photo and a document that relates to the photo (if you don’t have these ready to bring don’t worry as you can complete the page without them! You can see some of my layouts and designs on my blog http//:picturethisscrapbooking.wordpress.com

Geoff Doherty

  • Researching Boer War ancestors – The Boer War, or Anglo-Boer War, or South African War (however you wish to describe it) of 1899-1902 was anything but a boring war.  It can be described as a small war in a big place (South Africa)  or as a world war in a small area (again, South Africa).  It can be considered a world war because the British fielded contingents from nearly all parts of its empire, and the Boer’s had many international fighters amongst their forces. Whichever way you look at it, it is an interesting war.  Finding information about Australian’s who participated in the war can be just as interesting. Or frustrating!  This talk will outline ways in which you can look for your ancestor’s records.

Marg Doherty

  • Uncommon Lives: Central Queensland Nurses in the First World War – Over 30 central Queensland trained nurses enlisted with the Australian Army Nursing Service for serve overseas in the AIF during the First World War.  These women showed intelligence, devotion, commitment and independence from the moment their nursing training began, through their active service and in a post-war environment to live uncommon lives.  The talk explores the range of records used to detail their stories.

Kerry Farmer

  • Convicts: from trial to freedom – Convicts are amongst the best documented of our Australian ancestors. Learn how you can follow the passage of convict ancestors from the initial reports of their crimes, through trial and transportation and the documentation of their period as a convict in an Australian colony. (handout http://familyhistoryresearch.com.au/resources/Convicts.pdf)
  • DNA for genealogists – Learn how the genetic markers in DNA can help you find your ancestors, when genealogy is combined with genetics. How do you decide which DNA tests and which DNA testing companies best suit what you want to know? (handout http://familyhistoryresearch.com.au/resources/DNA.pdf)
  • Immigration: arrivals in Australia from 1788 – Immigration records in Australia are not all held in one place – when, where and how they arrived affect where (and whether) records of their arrival can be found. (handout http://familyhistoryresearch.com.au/resources/Arrivals.pdf)
  • National Institute for Genealogical Studies – The National Institute for Genealogical Studies provides web-based courses for both amateur family historians and professional genealogists. Students can undertake individual courses or series of courses leading to various Certificates in Genealogical Studies with specialisation in various countries.  (website www.genealogicalstudies.com)
    This session will be presented as a panel with
    – Helen Smith as panel host, interviewing:
    – Kerry Farmer, Director Australian Studies
    – Kirsty Gray, Director English Studies

Diane Foster

  • Care and preservation of photos –  this talk covers the safe storage of black and white, colour and digital photographs. Discussion includes the ideal storage facilities and what do to when cost is a factor.

Jan Gow

  • A family history recipe: let’s create YOUR NZ family history – Let’s add some ingredients (research); look for more ingredients (research); and mix and blend to prepare (research)  your  Family History Recipe!
  • A world leader! Making the most of NZ historical BDMs – Let’s discover the wonderful extras in NZ’s historical BDM’s. How to discover and use the unique features when looking for the Who and When in your family history.

  • Are you an A shopper?  Or B or C?? Let’s look at ideas to help your supermarket research shopping to be effective and make the most of your shopping (research) time.
  • Delving deep in FamilySearch – a moveable feast! Changing daily!! How to research now they have killed serendipity! Let’s look at finding family and families deep in FamilySearch.
  • ScotlandsPeople – If your ancestors wanted to be helpful to their researching descendants – they would ensure that they were born, or died, or married – in Scotland! Just the most amazing research opportunities. Let’s have a quick look at the most spectacular sources and methods available.

Neil Grill

  • Early fortifications of Port Jackson – Sydney Harbour was protected by fixed defences, fortifications and coastal batteries from shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 until the 1960s. These various defences were generally constructed to protect the Australian city of Sydney from attack by enemy warships. This presentation chronicles the “Strategic” defence of Sydney from the arrival of the First Fleet until the departure of British Forces in 1870. Sydney’s earliest fortifications were constructed around Sydney Cove to fight off non-British ships that approached the settlement and to deal with any convict uprisings. The main defences were Fort Phillip, Fort Macquarie, Dawes Point Battery, Bradley’s Head and later Fort Dennison. During the presentation, a collection of historical photographs and documents will be integrated with contemporary photographs of what remains of Sydney’s fortifications. The fortifications are linked to numerous historical, often colourful, characters many of whom have contributed their names to Sydney’s landmarks.
  • iPad productivity workshop for genealogists – so, you have an iPad! What a fun device to surf the internet, email, SMS, access social media and display your photographs. But how can you use it to boost productivity, assist research, access genealogy applications and work seamlessly across several devices. This is a hands-on workshop and participants are expected to bring their own Apple iPad (or iPad Mini or iPhone). A private WiFi network will be provided for participants to join and exchange data, ideas and ask questions. The workshop covers the following topics (time permitting):
    • set-up suggestions and optimisation tips for iOS 7.
    • the iPad file system…what file system? And how to overcome this issue.
    • rxchanging information between iPads, other devices and PCs.
    • productivity, genealogy and research apps.
    • word processing, spreadsheets, presentations.
    • using Microsoft Skydive and DropBox in addition (or as an alternative) to iCloud.
    • tools and websites that can help you with your iPad.
    • printing and AirDrop.
    • answering specific question from participants and sharing experiences.

Note: as genealogy cloud computing and Evernote for genealogists are included as formal presentations, the iPad productivity workshop for genealogists will leave these topics to the formal presentations.

Rob Hamilton

  • What does Freemasonry offer genealogists – This talk will touch on some of the following: interpreting Masonic photographs, what Masonic records can tell us, and where they may be found, interpreting the Masonic language found in Trove and more . It will help you fill in the gaps and put the flesh on the bones between birth and death. What did your ancestors do in the society they lived in and helped to establish. The Freemasons were in many cases the first organised groups in any new settlement, in fact 1802 saw the first Masonic meeting in New South Wales held between French naval officers and British officers of the NSW Corp

Shauna Hicks

  • Family history on the cheap: now even cheaper – this presentation looks at how it is possible to save time and money when researching family history. Online resources and tips on how to stay organised are featured.
  • Follow the gold: mining ancestors – this presentation looks at how to trace mining ancestors who often moved around. Online resources are featured as well as tips for looking in archives, libraries and other repositories.
  • Lost in asylums: missing ancestors – has anyone gone missing from your family, if so asylums may be the place to look as they often housed the aged, the sick, and those who had no one else to look after them. Resources across Australia are highlighted.
  • Mapping ancestors in Australia – knowing where our ancestors lived is an essential part of family history and this talk highlights traditional and online resources for maps, gazetteers and directories in Australia.
  • Newspapers online (incorporates Trove) – digitised newspapers are a wonderful resource for discovering little known information about our ancestors and this presentation looks at what is available online in Australia, New Zealand and overseas.

Melissa (Mel) Hulbert

  • Restoring family photographs – We have all come across some family photos that time has not been kind to. This workshop introduces some basics of photo restoration using the program Photoshop Elements. I will demonstrate how to repair scratches and tears, and how to bring out details in older photos, using some simple techniques.
  • Getting to know the southern sky – a special extra night time introductory talk (10 mins) followed by a viewing and guided tour of the southern sky. Any who are interested should bring a small torch with red cellophane covering it (using an elastic band works best) and binoculars if you have them. We will choose suitable night/s on the cruise – the time will be after our own program is over for the day.

Tiggy Johnson

  • Writing poetry: different ways to present your family history – Writing your family history in a different genre allows you to focus on different aspects of story, or history, and in different ways. In this presentation, Tiggy will show you how she presents her own family history, and highlight how it differs to others.

Rosemary Kopittke

  • Directories and almanacs – a look at the wide range of directories and almanacs available and why you should use them when compiling your family history.
  • How to search effectively on Findmypast – Findmypast.com.au holds many treasures for the researcher – records from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands … and access to records from the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The site has recently been restructured to provide more options for searching and filtering of results. Learn how to search more effectively and unlock the treasures it holds.
  • Flip-Pal & Family Photo Book – A brief overview of the surprising possibilities of the Flip-Pal scanner and Family Photo Book. The scanner is tiny, light-weight and allows you to scan photos on the scanner, in the album or even in a frame. If you have large images, no problem, the stitching software joins multiple images together seamlessly. The Family Photo Book software is easy, fun and free to use (versions for Windows and Mac). An album is the perfect gift for anyone and any occasion – for recording family history, family reunions, weddings, birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, memorials – the possibilities are endless.
  • Land and property records in England – learn about English land and property records through electoral rolls, newspapers, tithe records, terriers, manorial records, returns of owners of land 1873, information from wills, and valuation records.
  • MyHeritage for online data – MyHeritage was originally a place to store your family tree and connect with others searching the names in your family. More recently they have acquired over 4 billion records from around the world which can be matched to data in your tree or which can be searched independently of any tree – parish records, census, electoral rolls, directories, cemetery records/photos ….
  • TheGenealogist: what’s the difference? – apart from the English and Welsh census and BDM records, TheGenealogist.co.uk has many unique records to offer – official non-conformist registers, PCC Wills and images, electoral rolls and more. As well, it has some innovative search options which can help break down your brickwalls.

Noeline Kyle

  • ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’: citation & copyright – Rhett Butler was able to breeze through his movie version of life but, as historians we have to care very much about citation and copyright, even if we are driven to distraction with all its rules and wretched conventions! It is not surprising, given the complexity of such issues,  that the most common questions asked by the genealogist are :where can I find the resources, how can I write my family history and how do I reference this  diverse range of  source material and construct a bibliography?  Using her book Citing historical sources: a manual for family historians (Unlock the Past, 2013), Noeline will provide some general rules and  guidelines to make your task of working with referencing and the construction of bibliographies as easy  as possible. Her talk will unravel and demystify the rules, conventions and confusions surrounding this aspect of research and writing and set you on a pathway to dealing easily and well with recording the source material collected during your family history research.
  • Forced and voluntary emigration to Botany Bay: how to research women  once they step ashore, marry and move on – The forced and voluntary emigration of women to Australian began with the first fleet. Unassisted and assisted female emigrants arrived in Australia as wives, daughters and mothers, mostly within a family group. While still under sentence convict women can be traced via marriage applications, assignment registers, conditional pardon lists, convict indents, and tickets-of-leave. Immigration records can provide a starting point for researching women as they faced the rigours of living and working in a new land. It is when they were freed and able to marry, travel interstate and re-locate elsewhere, that research becomes more difficult. Using the sources and resources from her book Finding Florence, Maude, Matilda, Rose: Researching and Writing about women in family history (Unlock the Past) Noeline will provide insights, understandings, resources and some questions you might ask to better track the lives of women and children as they leave their place of origin, sail across the seas and then step ashore to disappear into the bush, the family and far flung communities.  Noeline will draw on her many years as a historian of women and the family history to outline some basic techniques for finding the stories of women in this very early period of Australian colonial history.
  • Haven in a heartless world! – The family has been called a ‘haven in a heartless world’ but it is also much more than that; it is the place where women and children are located, where we find them as we go about our family history research . Using the sources and resources from her book Finding Florence, Maude, Matilda, Rose: Researching and Writing about women in family history (Unlock the Past) Noeline will guide you through the range of strategies useful for researching and then writing about the women and children in your family. Thinking about and understanding relationships between men and women, husbands and wives, and parents and children  will help you research and write and place your female characters more precisely in their historical and social contexts. Many of you will want to write about one female ancestor, perhaps to highlight her story within the final family history. The primary aim of this talk is to help you do just that.
  • Writing workshop part 1: getting started writing your family story – By attending this workshop you will learn of and share strategies to organise that mass of material you have collected and shape your stories, and also take away practical and easy approaches to get you started on writing your family history.  Come along and bring your ideas, your stories, your family histories and your enthusiasm to share with other writers in a supportive and lively workshop environment. Noeline will draw on her book Writing family history made very easy(Allen & Unwin, 2007) and there  will be writing exercises  included in the workshop.
  • Writing workshop part 2: creating lives, constructing chapters – This workshops aims to get you writing about characters, events and places and provides practical advice on how you shape your story, construct a manuscript, use and draw on templates for your writing and construction of the text. There will be advice on  adding in images, editing and getting into print.  Noeline will provide examples of her own work and  also  resources and sources from her book How to write and publish your family story in 10 easy steps (NewSouth Books, 2013) to aid your writing, editing and publishing in this ever-changing digital and epublishing environment.

Mike Murray

  • Strangers on the shore: songs and stories … (with Lesley Silvester) – As we sail in this magnificent ship, think about the life at sea that our ancestors endured. Here is a different look at life at sea in the past – songs and stories of shipwreck, settlement, piracy, heroes and villains from Western Australia’s exciting maritime past. Mike and Lesley will entertain and inform with this stirring collection of songs and stories. And we’ll all get the chance to join in with a couple of choruses.
  • Ten top tips for tracing your hard-to-find ancestors – What happens when you can’t find them and you know they should be there in the records? In this demonstration, Mike will take us beyond the obvious and give some tips and tricks to help your research. Thinking like a forensic detective will help you to work from the evidence you already have.

Maria Northcote

  • Using free podcasts – Podcasts are audio files that can be accessed via the internet or your mobile devices. There are many podcasts about family history. In this presentation, Maria will explain how to access free podcasts to assist with your genealogical research. She will give you tips on the best podcasts available and introduce you to her own podcast, Genies Down Under, that has been created especially for genealogists researching family histories with Australian connections.

Lesley Silvester

  • Finding the poor in 16th and 17th century England – Finding the voices and experiences of our poor ancestors is often a challenge for the genealogist, especially as you move farther back in time. However, there are some little known records that can give an insight into how they really lived and died. This talk travels back in time to 16th and 17th century England and demonstrates what records to look for and where to find them.
  • Lost in London (with Mike Murray) – Almost everyone researching family history finds an ancestor who went to London at some time. The influx of people into London from the mid eighteenth century onwards made researching in London difficult in the past. This has changed in the past few years with the release of many online records. But for successful research, a good grasp of London’s growth and geography are essential, as well as an understanding of the population’s social history. This presentation will briefly look at how London developed, and will then concentrate on what lesser known records are available and how they can help your research.

Helen Smith

  • Document analysis – Genealogists need to use original documents to further their research but are you getting all the details. We will look at how to evaluate your documents so you have squeezed out  every last bit of information. We will also look at some computer programs that will aid in this analysis.
  • MyHeritage for online trees – You can put up a free tree containing up to 2000 names on MyHeritage (for a subscription you can put up unlimited names). With their Smart matching, to other trees, apps for iPad and Android you can take your tree anywhere. Their free genealogy program will also sync between your computer and online tree.

  • Online Queensland research – While not everything is online there are an increasing number of online sites available for researching in Queensland and we will look at some of my favourites.
  • Researching a health history – Genealogical research can help establish the medical health history of a family. This can be important to determine possible health risks. A minimum three generation medical history can be a great help in evaluating potential risk and assist doctors in diagnosing and treating patients.

  • Using timelines as a research tool – Timelines are a great addition to your research toolbox. They can show gaps in your research, can help determine which of two people with the same name in the same place is yours, can show your ancestors’ lives in historical events perspective. There are a number of ways of creating a timeline and we will discuss timelines, ways of creating them and what they can do for your research.

  • Websites for researching in Kent – Many people have research in Kent as the proximity to London and to France has meant it has had both Navy, Army and Coastguard contingents throughout the years as well as being the “Garden of England”. We will look at my favourite online sites for researching in Kent.

Neil Smith

  • Australia’s military heritage: overview & introduction to resources – Never really understood your elusive family ‘Diggers’? Then, when you found them, you couldn’t get your head around the military abbreviations  and jargon used? Well this session will solve those problems and leave you with an improved awareness of our rich military heritage as evidenced by tales of individual Australians who have served from 1788 to the present day. On top of that, there will be heaps of clues on where to look and how to interpret what you find.
  • Researching Australia’s minor conflicts – Australians first went to war in the 1840s and have never stopped since. Apart from the two World Wars there have been a host of other wars in places like New Zealand, South Africa, China and more recently Korea and several conflicts in South East Asia. Find out more about these nation building conflicts and the Australians who fought and died in them.

  • Researching World War Two service personnel – About two million Australians served between 1939-45. Not only were there sailors, soldiers and airmen, full and part time. There was also a host of other players from philanthropic groups, merchant navy and civil support organisations like the Civil Construction Corps, not to mention aliens. Find out where information is to be found on the associated personnel and operational records.
  • Tracing Australia’s British Garrison Redcoats – One of the most difficult aspects of Australian military genealogy is finding and interpreting Redcoat records between 1788 and the 1870s. This session explains what to look for and where. Some records are on the net, others in London and Australia. Regardless, after this presentation, you will know where to go.

  • Understanding your World War One ‘Digger’ – The groundswell in awareness of and the thirst for information on our Diggers is increasing exponentially as the centenary of World War One approaches. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to keep abreast of what you need to know to maximise your understanding of the conflict and those who served.


Other sessions

  • Future Unlock the Past cruises – an overview of cruises coming or planned from 2014 to 2017 – by Alan Phillips (Unlock the Past cruises), Tony Soden (Royal Caribbean) and Anna and Casey Russell (Clean Cruising)
  • Rootstech presentation 1 – topic and speaker to be advised
  • Rootstech presentation 2 – topic and speaker to be advised


Special interest groups

The actual topics covered will depend interest abd the availability of willing conveners of an interest group

  • English county special interest groups
  • Genealogy program interest groups – Legacy, TMG …?
  • State interest groups