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Presentation Summaries | Unlock the Past

Unlock The Past will be at

Unlock the Past Cruises

Presentation Summaries

Summaries of presentations are included here to help you decide what to attend. 

If you wish to attend more than five main talks by Audrey Collins or ten by others you can save by pre-purchasing a Gold Ticket for $50 - or buying this on the day for $65.

Blogs and genealogy - Jill Ball

Blogs provide a pipeline into the heart of the genealogical community. In this tour of genealogy blogs the questions answered include: What is a blog? How do blogs benefit genealogists? What are the top genealogy blogs? 

Flip-Pal demonstration and Picasa introduction - Jill Ball

Lots of old photos to scan and organise? Learn how to use the light and portable Flip-Pal mobile scanner to capture images of photos, documents and artefacts from tiny black and white images to large maps at home, in libraries or in cousin's homes. In a quick demonstration of Picasa, a free tool from Google, you will see how to organise and label the images you have captured and integrate them with your collection of digital photographs.

Google+ - Jill Ball

Google+, the newest tool on the social media scene, is an alternative to Facebook and Twitter that has been embraced by genealogists around the world. Learn how this simple to use and free tool can be used to communicate and collaborate with distant genealogy contacts.

Webinars for Australians - Jill Ball and Alan Phillips

A webinar is a new means of delivering a genealogy lecture or demonstrations from distant presenters to audience members in the comfort of their homes. All one needs is a computer with an internet connection. Learn about webinar opportunities presently available and exciting plans to deliver webinars from a range of Australian and International presenters specifically designed for an Australian audience.

Insights from how professionals write history - Neville Buch

Although it is not a fact well understood among the general public, there are a group of historians in the community who make a living as professional historians. They have postgraduate qualifications in history, usually a research higher degree (e.g. M.A., Ph.D.), and they are accredited for their history work by the state body within the Australian Council of Professional Historians Associations. How does the writing of a professional historian differ from the writing of history elsewhere? This short session will examine just a few significant pieces of history written by members of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). 

Introducing Find and Connect - Lee Butterworth

Details to come ...

England and Wales: The census - Audrey Collins

Details to come ...

Online newspapers and periodicals for family history - Audrey Collins

Details to come ...

Scandals in the family: A study featuring fraud, deception, adultery, gambling debts ... - Audrey Collins

Details to come ...

The London Gazette: Not just the brave and the bankrupt - Audrey Collins

Details to come ...

The making of the GRO indexes for England and Wales - Audrey Collins

Details to come ...

The will forgeries: Organised crime, identity theft and wrongful conviction in the 1840s - Audrey Collins

Details to come ...

Captain Bligh's other mutiny - Stephen Dando-Collins

The true story of the military coup that turned Australia into a two-year rebel republic. Macarthur’s coup led to a two-year reign of terror in New South Wales, as he and his New South Wales Corps cronies plundered the colony while ruling it as their own little republic.

Bligh, in the meantime, spent a year as a prisoner of the rebels, before escaping to sit off the entrance to Tasmania’s River Derwent for close to a year, acting like a pirate. All the while, he plotted his revenge.

Crack Hardy: From Gallipoli to Flanders to the Somme - Stephen Dando-Collins

‘Crack hardy’ was a saying among Australian and New Zealand troops in the First World War. It meant ‘put on a brave face,’ ‘grin and bear it.’ 

The Searle brothers had to crack hardy. Among the first to join the Australian Imperial Force in 1914, they would fight in some of the toughest battles of the war. From the April 25, 1915 landing at Gallipoli to Lone Pine. In Flanders’ muddy trenches, and at desperate Somme battles at places that would become household names.

What will you find at the Queensland State Archives - Niles Elvery (Queensland State Archives)

An introduction to the collection and services of the Queensland State Archives.  The presentation will provide an overview of the extensive collection of public records that you will find at the Archives and include some examples of the records which may be found in the collection. 

Convicts: From trial to freedom - Kerry Farmer

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. Further links and background information can be found at http://familyhistoryresearch.com.au/courses/Convicts/index.htm.

DNA for genealogists - Kerry Farmer

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?

Links for further reading about the subject as well as for the DNA testing companies and DNA databases can be found at http://familyhistoryresearch.com.au/courses/dna/index.htm.

Brisbane in World War II - Jack Ford

The presentation focuses on the important role that Brisbane played during the Second World War, particularly when it hosted the Headquarters of US General Douglas MacArthur's South West Pacific Area (SWPA) Command during 1942-44. 

There will be an overview of the important wartime events that occurred in Brisbane (e.g. 'The Battle of Brisbane' of November 1942) from 1939 to 1945. Research sources for people seeking information for their family's wartime histories will be explored. 

Ryerson Index - 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.

Because the index was originally created by the Sydney Dead Persons Society, 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. 

Ancestors in church: Using church publications - Shauna Hicks

This presentation explores an underutilised resource that can provide information on our ancestors not likely to be found elsewhere. 

Family history on the cheap: Tips and tricks - 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. 

It's not all online: Where else can I look? - Shauna Hicks

This talk 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. 

Mining ancestors: Knowing where to look - Shauna Hicks

This presentation explores how to trace your often elusive mining ancestors and their families and looks at a wide variety of resources. 

TROVE and other NLA treasures - Shauna Hicks

This talk highlights the National Library of Australia’s resources including TROVE, E-Resources, Picture Australia, and the web archive Pandora. 

Warning Warning: Tips and tricks to avoid common family history mistakes - Shauna Hicks

This talk draws on the speaker's own experiences and provides some tips on avoiding common mistakes when starting out family history research. It also provides some tips and tricks to save time and money when researching. 

How to read old handwriting - Graham Jaunay

You must expect a little difficulty in deciphering the hand writing of old documents. Graham will explain why this is so using a number of examples. He will demonstrate some simple techniques to help resolve these issues. 

Identifying and dating 19th century photographs - Graham Jaunay

When it comes to dating photographs of the nineteenth century, it is the mount rather than the image that gives us the most assistance. Graham Jaunay will work through 5 simple steps to aid family historians date their photographs and hopefully that will provide evidence about who may be portrayed. Graham will also be available to date your old photographs.  

Introduction to family history research - Graham Jaunay

Graham Jaunay will introduce the basic principles of family history research and their significance in ensuring results. Find out about the three essential research tools, the importance of using the recognised conventions, the need to look after your records, the two research streams and much more.

Tracing your Irish ancestors from afar - Graham Jaunay

Unfortunately, researching in Ireland is probably the most difficult exercise most Australian family historians will encounter. Graham Jaunay will demonstrate why this is so and provide some ways to work around the problems. 

Scandinavian and Ancient Genealogy - Steinar Johansen

1. Ways of doing research in Scandinavia. You can go there and visit the archives, get a researcher in Scandinavia, get a researcher here, or do it yourself.

2. Census, Church and other records, what is available in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

3. Ancient genealogy, the advantage of using Icelandic family trees. Examples of ancient family trees will be shown.

Book typesetting and printing - Dan Kelly

This seminar will save you time and money when preparing your manuscript. Some of the basic steps in typing and printing your book will be presented. If this is done correctly at the beginning it will save considerable time and money. 

How to publish your book - Dan Kelly

This short seminar will provide the basics of publishing your family manuscript. The sharing of information has been critically important for families to find and understand their ancestry. Publishing your results will greatly assist future families. 

Internet resources for German research - Eric Kopittke

An increasing amount of material is available about people and places on the internet. This talk explores a range of resources available for places in the former German Empire. 

Locating your ancestor's place of origin in Germany - Eric Kopittke

How to use records from Australia and elsewhere to determine your German ancestor’s place of origin. 

Australian government, police & education gazettes - Rosemary Kopittke

Examines the hidden material in Australian Government, Police and Education gazettes - mostly we consider them to be irrelevant and uninteresting but that is definitely not the case. The gazettes contain information about people we would never find in other records. 

Family Photo Book - Rosemary Kopittke

Why just leave your photographs on your computer. 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 or any special occasions. Share your travels with pictures, write a journal, create a stunning business portfolio or presentation - the possibilities are endless.

Findmypast Australia / New Zealand - Rosemary Kopittke

Learn what a great range of unique records are available for researching family and local history on this new site and learn the best way to do it. Currently 55 million records but soon to more than double! 

Findmypast World Collection - Rosemary Kopittke

An overview of the growing suite of findmypast sites - UK, Ireland, Australasia and USA - with a look at the key records, what is new and what is coming. 

MyHeritage - Rosemary Kopittke

Founded in 2003, MyHeritage has grown to be one of the world's largest social networks and genealogy sites. It focuses primarily on connecting families offering SmartMatches to link families together. It also offers tagging of photos, free genealogy software, web research and more - in 38 different languages. 

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

ScotlandsPeople - what it is, what records are available, how to search effectively and what are the charges.

Google your family tree: The essentials - 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: A smorgasboard or taster of what else Google can do - Dan Lynch

Details to come ...

From Ireland to Longreach: Who was the real Captain Starlight? - Cassie Mercer

Harry Readford, aka Captain Starlight, was a notorious cattle duffer in Australia in the mid-1800s. He became part of outback folklaw when in 1870 he stole 1000 head of cattle and one white bull from Bowen Downs in Queensland, and drove them successfully through largely unexplored country into South Australia. When he was captured and tried in Roma some two years later, the jury were so impressed with Readford's droving skills they refused to convict him. Readford descendant Cassie Mercer will talk about the man and the myths, and new family research tracing Readford's family back to an infamous highwayman in 1790s Dublin. 

Writing local and family history: Books, magazines & newspaper articles - Cassie Mercer & Beryl Roberts

Where do you find local history ideas to research and write about? Is there an audience for what you have written? After the major effort put into researching, writing or compiling a book the really hard part is selling it! 

Finding Frank and Horace - Geoff Morgan

The talk will trace the path taken to discover unexpected details of the lives of two great-grand-uncles – using Online Resources, Certificates, and data CDs available in the Queensland Family History Society’s Library.

FamilySearch: A million new records every day - Paul Parton

FamilySearch, a free website, adds an average of a million records online per day. Discover where these records come from and how to search them for best results. Learn of other FamilySearch tools now available. 

FamilySearch: 2012 and beyond - Paul Parton

See a demonstration of Family Tree, our next major feature not yet released to the public. Learn about "my-tree-itis". See how you can make corrections to this great new feature. 

Google Earth for the family historian - Paul Parton

See what Google Earth can do to enhance your research and presentation of family history. Make your impression on "the earth".

Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise 2013 - Alan Phillips, Terri Bettany and Tony Soden

A cruise on the Voyager of the Seas from Sydney to the beautiful ports of Noumea, New Caledonia and Lautoka in Fiji hosted by a team four international presenters and seven from Australia and New Zealand. It will include 120 topics over 8 days. Come and learn more from Alan (Unlock the Past), Tony (Royal Caribbean International) and Terri (Clean Cruising). 

Genealogy cruises 2014 and 2015 - Alan Phillips and Judy Webber (Classic International Cruises)

Cruises for 2014 and 2015 under consideration are a southern Australian ports cruise in 2014 taking in Tasmania and Adelaide at least - and a cruise somewhere around mid 2015 - out of the UK to the Baltic and touching on northern Europe and Scandinavia. Come and learn more. Judy Webber from one of the candidate cruise lines will be present to tell us what they have to offer.  

My ancestor died in Queensland: How can I find more about him at the Queensland FHS - Sue Reid

Queensland Family History Society, Inc. holds a wealth of information on individuals who lived and died in Queensland (or elsewhere). This talk will demonstrate how to use that information to discover more about our Queensland ancestors. 

Australian land records - Carole Riley

Lands Departments hold many documents of interest to family historians, and many of them are available online. This talk will demonstrate the search for land titles, deeds, maps, plans and other documents by using the Lands Department websites where possible and by visiting the office in person when necessary. 

Social media for family historians - Carole Riley

Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, blogs, what does it all mean? Is it a waste of time? Is it safe? This talk will provide some answers.

This talk gives a broad overview of social networking sites: definition and description of social networking, the advantages, the dangers and how to overcome them, communication sites and sharing sites, a look at a few of the most popular sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and a few blogs. 

Family history at the State Library - Stephanie Ryan

The State Library is providing more online from images and documents to extensive databases and guides. It also holds onsite a large and special collection of microform, print and electronic resources. There is also a free research service of 2 hours per enquiry for those outside Brisbane. Learn more in this talk. 

Military records for World War I and II: A select list - Stephanie Ryan

An increasing amount of digitised material is available on the servicemen of World War 1 and 2. It is usually easy to use. This presentation will look at records at the State Library of Queensland, National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial and consider some ways to explore their resources and the developing trends in website presentation. It will also include some case studies linking these sites to other relevant material and indicate the many resources available. 

Shipping and immigration to Queensland - Stephanie Ryan

It can be a challenge finding immigrants arriving in 19th and 20th Century Queensland. This session will explore the places to look in addition to the official Queensland lists and the problems to resolve in searching the indexes and lists. It will also be an opportunity to look at more recent availability of information. 

Guild of One Name Studies - Helen Smith

One Name Studies are a neglected resource for family historians. In a One Name study information about a specific surname is collected and collated from a wide variety of sources. From these family linkages are established where possible. This presentation shows the wide range of material that is available in most One Name studies and explains how the author does her One Name Study of the name Quested. It also explains ways of finding if a One Name Study exists for your surname of interest. 

Help! I'm stuck: Breaking down brick walls - Helen Smith

At times it seems that our ancestors are unable to be found, almost as if they are deliberately hiding from you. This presentation looks at reasons why this occurs and ways of demolishing the brick walls so your research will be back on track. 

Just what did cause their death? - Helen Smith

Death certificates, while fantastic documents providing essential information, were never designed for family historians. Establishing the cause of death is important for completion of our research but also for establishing a medical health history of a family. However unfamililar terms are common. Exactly what does marasmus, apoplexy, scrofula inanition mean as the cause of death?

This presentation explains the evolution of the death certificate, the advances in medical knowledge and shows how some of the pitfalls of death certificate research can be avoided. 

Online learning - Helen Smith

There comes a time in your research where you want to enhance your research skills. This presentation shows the range of options available online both free and fee based that will allow you to customise your education. 

Researching Scottish Ancestors - Ann Swain

Scotland’s greatest export industry was its people and many Australians will find Scottish connections. There are several factors in Scottish family history research which differentiate it from elsewhere in the UK; for example in Scotland the women maintained their individuality legally and Scotland generally maintained its own administrative systems. This talk will cover the homework needed before you tackle Scotland, techniques which will help with Scottish research and resources such as gazetteers, Scotland’s People, LDS Genealogical Locality Catalogue, old parish records and useful websites.

Immigration records at the Queensland State Archives - Saadia Thomson-Dwyer (Qld State Archives)

An introduction to the collection of records relating to immigration held at the Queensland State Archives. This presentation will explore the numerous series of public records which will assist in the research of immigrants into Queensland. Included will be the indexes available on the website, guides to the collection and how to locate items.

Black sheep and vanishing relatives - Judy Webster

Sources and strategies for researching the 'black sheep' of the family and people who disappeared (either temporarily or permanently). Problems and sources to be discussed include unregistered deaths; aliases; family stories that hide the truth; identifying the father of an illegitimate child; mental asylum records; electoral rolls; inquests; and various police, prison and Court records. This talk uses mainly Queensland examples, but many of the research strategies work equally well in other States. 

Researching your family history at the Genealogical Society of Queensland - Pauline Williams

Learn about the resources and assistance available at GSQ to research your family history.

Writing your family story at the Genealogical Society of Queensland - Pauline Williams

You've done your research, now it's time to write your family's story. This presentation focusses on the resources, support, and guidance available at GSQ to help with this process. 



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