History, Genealogy and Heritage Events

Unlock The Past will be at

Unlock the Past Cruises

History & Genealogy National Roadshow - Talks

 General Speakers


The 21st century genealogist: combining both new and old tools to get results - Jill Ball

Genealogists who ignore technology are at risk of missing out on important news, resources and networking opportunities while those who rely on online resources may be in danger of finding unreliable information and missing out on valuable print resources. In this presentation we will examine some  21st century tools and discuss the benefits of using a range of resources to maximise research results.

A 48 hour journey with ScotlandsPeople - Jan Gow

Once upon a time, as all good fairy stories start, your credits on Scotland's People lasted for just 48 hours. But this is a Happy Tale and it is amazing what can be accomplished in 48 hours when you have a fairy godmother (FamilySearch), and some extra fairies (Freecen, Ancestry, Google).  Especially when you are able to go right back to the original story, with pictures. Watch as, page by page, your family history - the facts, not a fairy tale - unfold before you whilst Scotland's People waves a magic wand.  (It's true!).

Can I learn everything I need about records and research strategies online? Genealogical education from a distance... - Louise St Denis

Learning has never been this easy. There are so many sites with such a wealth of information. And then, there are various ways of learning --- reading text, doing exercises, or interactive activities. This session will provide ideas to expand your knowledge base, without leaving the comfort of your home, including articles, blogs, courses and so much more. Find out about the Magic Lens to read old documents! Various online educational programs will also be discussed. PS: This is not an ‘infomercial’ about the National Institute, but everyone who attends will receive a chance to win a package of 9 courses worth approximately $600.00 to be drawn at the end of the session!

Family history and sports archives - Bruce Smith

Family history on the cheap - Shauna Hicks

This talk highlights a wide variety of tips and tricks that researchers can use to save themselves time and money when researching their family history. Areas covered include family sources, archives and libraries, online resources, technology, travel tips and so on. 

Findmypast.com.au: what is there, what is coming and how to use it - Rosemary Kopittke

Findmypast.com.au Learn what a great range of unique records are available for researching your families on this new site, what is coming and learn the best way to do your searching.

Findmypast.co.uk - Elaine Collins

Findmypast.co.uk is perhaps the best known of a family of British online products of great interest to Australians. Working for the organisation, international guest speaker Elaine Collins will demonstrate the website so that whether you are a beginner or an expert, you're guaranteed to learn something new which will enhance your research and help break down those brick walls.

Genetics and family history - Ann Swain

A basic understanding of inheritance mechanisms helps researchers bring out the interesting medical and personal characteristics of each family.  In this talk I will present an overview of genetic procedures which will assist in understanding the Hows and Whys of what makes each individual so unique.

Genie Gems at WAGS - Karen Tregenza

Google Your Family Tree: the basics - Dan Lynch

Google has firmly established itself as an indispensable tool for billions of people worldwide. During the past decade, genealogy and family history research have experienced unprecedented growth due to in large part to the electronic availability of family records via the Internet. International guest speaker Dan Lynch will explain how to use the many powerful capabilities contained within Google to jumpstart a family history search - and does so in simple, easy-to-understand language.

Google Your Family Tree: advanced - Dan Lynch

Building upon the basic overview provided in his first presentation, international guest speaker Dan Lynch will discuss in specific detail more than a half-dozen techniques for dramatically improving the relevancy of your search results when conducting family history research. Attendees routinely report an immediate improvement in the quality of their search results, often turning up long-hidden clues that were online just waiting to be found. It’s time you put to use the full power that Google has to offer, saving you countless hours for chasing down other sources offline!

Google Your Family Tree: images and video - Dan Lynch

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then can you imagine what a video might be worth that deals with some aspect of your ancestors life?  Dan Lynch will continue to expand upon the foundation he builds in his ‘basics’ and ‘advanced’ presentations by sharing specific ways for family history enthusiasts to use Google Images and Google Video (and YouTube), as well as interesting techniques for filtering using foreign language translation in conjunction with these popular Google services.  This is a fun, fast moving session.

Google Your Family Tree: other Google tools for historians - Dan Lynch

Google offers more tools that you might think that are perfectly suited for family history research. Using Google Alerts to delegate the task of repetitive searching so you can effectively search while you sleep, exploring Google Books, the Google News Archive, Google Maps and Google Earth. Each has something special to offer for the family historian willing to venture into new online territory.  We’ll even take a look at the Google News Timeline to see where things may be heading in the future as Google expands upon their company mission.

Government and police gazettes for local and family history - Andrew Peake

Happy hunting grounds: asylums for missing ancestors - Shauna Hicks

Asylum records are an under-utilised resource and it is important to realise that asylums also housed the elderly, the sick, the destitute as well as those suffering a mental illness. This presentation looks at what records are available and how to access them.

How did they get here?: Locating shipping and immigration records - Cora Num

I found it once, why can't I find it again! - Louise St Denis

Every amateur genealogist learns two facts very quickly: you will accumulate lots a paper and you can't rely on your memory! It is extremely important to document and editing your family histories and the genealogical records. You must cite your sources in a manner that will make finding that source again much easier. Later generations or other genealogists may need to go back to your source --- how will they know where to look, if you have not documented this information properly. You need to report your evidence accurately and that includes your citation!

Irish research in an electronic age - Cora Num

It's not all on-line - searching the original records at Archives New Zealand - Heidi Coglin

Look local: it's not all on the web - Suzie Zada

Netting your ancestors -  Tricia Fairweather & Leonie Hayes

This presentation will focus on family history resources available at the State Library of WA and explain how to get the best results when searching our catalogue. It will also feature some wonderful online material and explain about the huge range of resources in local studies collections in public libraries.

No medicare for them: how our ancestors accessed health care - Helen Smith

Today we have Medicare, the PBS and Centrelink but what options were available for Great-Grandad and his family? What did they do when someone was ill? When the breadwinner died? What medical care was available, how was it delivered?

Peter Grace: An Irish settler in early New Zealand - Geraldene O'Reilly

Ships passenger lists are the main source of information available for locating Irish Immigrants arriving in New Zealand.  However, there are other resources such as British Parliamentary papers, Nominations Lists, Promissory Notes and Treasury Account Books that can reveal additional details.  This paper demonstrates how, using a variety of general Government and Provincial Government records, members of the GRACE family, who migrated from Co. Tipperary and Limerick, prior to 1888 were located.

Researching Australian ancestors - Shauna Hicks

This presentation outlines the major resources for tracing ancestors in Australia including archives, libraries, genealogy and family history societies, military and cemetery resources and more. The emphasis is on resources that are online and easily accessible.

ScotlandsPeople: the place to launch your Scottish research - Rosemary Kopittke

An overview of ScotlandsPeople – the official online source of parish register, civil registration, census, wills and testaments records for Scotland. Containing almost 80 million records, the ScotlandsPeople database is the primary source of information for those researching Scottish families.


The British parish chest- Jeremy Palmer

The Ryerson Index: 2.6 million deaths from Australian newspapers - John Graham

The Ryerson Index is an index to death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers. It also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries. Its strength lies in notices from NSW papers - including in excess of one million notices from the Sydney Morning Herald alone. However, the representation from papers from other states continues to grow, with additional papers being regularly added, so that the index can now truly be considered an Australian index.

Tracing your Irish ancestry- Jeremy Palmer

Wills: a fascinating and valuable source - Suzanne Maiden

Where else can I search for ancestors: you can't do it all online-  Shauna Hicks

This presentation is a reminder that not everything is online and that researchers still need to use archives, libraries, historical societies and museums, genealogy and family history societies and so on. Finding out where our ancestors lived, where they went to school, worked and what their involvement was in the local community are all aspects of our ancestors lives and help us to know them more.

www.familysearch.org: how to find hidden secrets in this great FREE family history website - Mike Murray

Libraries & Archives

Archives New Zealand

  •  It's not all on-line - searching the original records at Archives New Zealand - Heidi Kuglin

Auckland Library

  • The treasures of the Auckland Research Centre - Seonaid (Shona) Lewis

National Archives of Australia

  • Find families in the National Archives of Australia - Marjorie Bly (NAA Perth)

National Library of Australia 

  • Treasures of the National Library of Australia - Tom Foley

Queensland State Archives

  • Getting to know Queensland  State Archives - Niles Elvery, QSA

Public Record Office of Victoria (James McKinnon)

State Library of Victoria

  • Making the most of Australian census records - Katie Flack

State Records Office of Western Australia

  • Getting to know State Records Office of Western Australia - Lise Summers

State Records of South Australia

  • Getting to know State Records of South Australia - Tamara Wenham

State Records of NSW

  • Getting to know State Records of NSW- Gail Davis



The Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies

  • Who we are and benefits of membership - Linda Gray

Genealogical Society of Queensland 

  • How a genealogical / family history society can add value to family history research - Pauline Williams

With the huge volume of resources now available on line, it's easy to discount the value that genealogical/family history societies can bring to your research. However, society members generally develop extensive research knowledge locally, within Australia, and overseas. Many societies have also transcribed or indexed records to make the search easier for others. Best of all, they are willing to share their knowledge and experience. Find out more about how the Genealogical Society of Queensland can help you.

Genealogical Society of Victoria 

  • GSV @ Home - Susie Zada

Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra

New Zealand Society of Genealogists - Auckland

New Zealand Society of Genealogists - Christchurch (Fiona Brooker)

New Zealand Society of Genealogists - Wellington (Brenda Joyce)

Queensland Family History Society

  • What can a family history society do for me? - Sue Reid

Society of Australian Genealogists 

  • The SAG treasure chest: how the Society's collections can help you - Heather Garnsey

South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society (Richard Sullivan)

Western Australian Genealogical Society