Carol Baxter, the History Detective, is a Fellow of the Society of
Australian Genealogists, an adjunct lecturer at the University of
New England, and an inspirational presenter who teaches researching
and writing skills to genealogists and writers. Her interest in
genealogy and in names began while she was still at school. Later,
her university major in linguistics – which helped her understand
the sounds of surnames – and her years working for the Biographical
Database of Australia as a transcriber – which helped her understand
the letters of surnames – and her access to the BDA’s database of
linked biographical entries led her to explore, with a view to
explaining, the distortions that can make even our most common
ancestor’s surnames difficult to find. She communicates the results
of her research in talks and in books including Help! Why can’t I
find my ancestor’s surname? and The Madness of Mac Surnames.
Carol is also the internationally-acclaimed, award-winning author of six historical true crime thrillers of which one is being turned into a big budget TV series by the producers of Lion, one into a feature film, and one into a computer game. She also tells her true tales of murder, mystery and mayhem on international cruise ships.
a reference librarian at the State Library of NSW and is passionate
about research and genealogy. He trained as an English/History
teacher but has spent most of his working life in libraries. This
includes postings in Britain (Westminster) and Canada (Vancouver),
the latter as a family history librarian on a work exchange.
At the State Library he has led the Family History Team and is active in delivering seminars both at the Library and to family and local historical societies.
has been an archivist with the NSW State Archives for 13 years. In
that time john has worked primarily in the reading room with members
of the public researching in the State Archives collection and other
roles behind the scenes. A former high school teacher, John now
holds a Master of Information Studies from Curtin University. John
has a passion for history with an entertaining style and is a
regular speaker at conferences, workshops and seminars on many
subjects including immigration, probate, and records relating to
is past president and Fellow of the Parramatta & District Historical
Society having served on the Society Council for 24 years. She
initiated the Historic Graves Committee almost thirty years ago, is
still its convenor and is author of the Parramatta Cemetery Series,
a series of five books recording the oldest cemeteries in Australia.
She is currently president of Friends of Mays Hill Cemetery and
Friends of St Johns Cemetery, a Councillor of the Royal Australian
Historical Society and NSW delegate to the Federation of Australian
Judith has received a number of awards including the Australian Centenary Medal, a gold medal in the Women of Australia Award, NSW State Government Award for services to History and Heritage and in her capacity as teacher, achieved a NSW State Government Quality Teaching Award. In 2011 Judith received an Order of Australia Medal for services to history and heritage.
Kerry Farmer B.Sc., B.A.
Farmer is a researcher, presenter and teacher in genealogical
studies and has been teaching family history classes since 1997.
With degrees in both science and humanities, she is on the Board of
the Society of Australian Genealogists and convenor of their
Education Committee. She is Director of Australian Studies for the
National Institute for Genealogical Studies, developing their
Australian Records courses. She is a regular speaker at conferences
and other events. Kerry authored DNA for Genealogists (4th
edn, 2017), Arrivals in Australia from 1788 (2015) and
together with Rosemary Kopittke wrote Which Genealogy Program?
(3rd edn, 2012).
Frew is an award-winning journalist who has worked in Australia and
overseas for Fairfax Media, Reuters and AP-Dow Jones. In 2012, she
was the inaugural editor of University of Technology Sydney magazine
Brink, and in 2014 she established and was the first editor of the
BBC’s Australian online news service.
In 2007, while working for the Sydney Morning Herald, she won the Peter Hunt Eureka Prize for Environmental Journalism.
Wendy has always been fascinated by Australian history and most recently channelled that passion into the search for her Cornish ancestry. Leane Times: One family’s transformation from Cornish farmers to Australian fighters is her first book.
has been researching her family for over twenty-five years. Her
interest in India began after finding information on a Scottish
ancestor’s unsuccessful visit to Melbourne from India at the time of
the Gold rush. Bankrupted as the economy in Victoria crashed, he
obtained a large bank loan before beating a hasty but very
profitable return to Calcutta.
As a result of her research Mary-Anne published The Travelling Scotsman: life and times of Paterson Saunders senior in 2010 in conjunction with a facsimile edition of Two years in Victoria: from 1853-1855 by P. Saunders.
Mary-Anne has been a member of Families in British India Society for some years and is currently their Australian representative. She is a member and volunteer at the GSV where she also convenes the British India Discussion Group. Mary-Anne also volunteered at the Blackburn Family History centre until its closure in 2012 and is a past member of both the AIGS and Tay Valley Family History Society in Dundee.
In 2014 Mary-Anne obtained a post graduate certificate in Local and Family History from the University of Dundee, Scotland. Mary Anne has been a guest speaker at family history societies both in Melbourne and around Victoria.
partner of The Rowan Tree Heritage and Cultural Services.
As a history curator and writer, Gay has researched and interpreted cultural and social histories for 30 years. Content has ranged from Colonial times to the present with an emphasis on women’s stories. Her writing and curatorship has focused on early Colonial Australia. She curated the national award winning Women Transported – Life in Australia’s Convict Female Factories. Her latest writing is Conviction – 1827 Fight for rights at the Parramatta Female Factory.
Curatorial work has included Elizabeth Farm, Rouse Hill House and Farm, Meroogal, Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum, Penrith Regional Gallery, Parramatta Heritage Centre, St George Regional Museum, Tongarra Museum and freelance work.
Consultancy highlights have been: State Archives of NSW, Bundanon Trust, Wollongong Heritage and Stories Museum Digitisation, Blue Mountains Museum Advisor and Villages of the Heart illustrated and oral histories.
Jane Ison is a member of Newcastle Family History Society and assists with the administration of their website and their Facebook page. For some years she was the editor of their journal. She learned the hard way that family history can often take researchers off on tangents.
In 2009 her Family History led her into a detailed study into the first arrests and admissions to the Newcastle Industrial School, opened after the passing of the 1866 Act for the Relief of Destitute Children, which was one such tangent. This research is ongoing.
Jane’s research into Newcastle and the biographies that she wrote remembering the lives of the first girls sent there, enabled her to uncover gaps in the records. Some records had not survived so had never reached NSW State Archives. Her research has enabled her to identify the names of both girls and boys who do not appear in official government pre-1887 records.
The resulting lists of names may be found on her website: (www.nis.wikidot.com)
Lautrec works at the Society of Australian Genealogists as the
Education Officer, where she plans and delivers the Society’s
program of lectures, workshops, webinars, tours and conferences. She
is also the Society’s Archives Officer and manages the Society’s
manuscript and image collection. Danielle’s particular interests are
the methodology of historical research, 18th and early 19th century
Sydney and British Jamaican genealogy. She has degrees in history,
archaeology, environmental studies and town planning.
Madsen has had a long career in Information Technology using GIS
(Geographic Information Systems) software to prepare maps for
Government, private enterprise and family stories. His recent
interest in genealogy highlighted that maps and historical geography
can enhance a family tree to become more than just names and dates.
The Spatial Services Portal is but one of many websites where maps can be obtained for use in family history and stories. He has extensive knowledge of the information that can be obtained from Parish maps and how this can lead to improvements in your family story.
Advanced skills in digitising records were acquired when left the legacy of a large collection of records consisting of World War 1 diaries, glass negatives, photo albums, celluloid negatives and 16mm movies needing to be archived.
He is currently managing the digitisation of manuscript material for the Society of Australian Genealogists.
is an enthusiastic genealogist, who has been researching since 1985
and enjoys finding out interesting things about her ancestors and
helping others find their ancestors, as well.
She has had articles and photographs published in Australian Family Tree Connection magazine and in 2017 published a book about her Vaughan/Chasmar ancestors. Lilian is a regular contributor to the Surname Society’s newsletter.
Lilian has completed a Certificate in Genealogical Research from the Society of Australian Genealogists and has also completed her Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies: Australian Records, with The National Institute for Genealogical Studies, Canada.
To keep her skills up to date, Lilian regularly attends seminars, talks, webinars and lectures. In both 2016 and 2017 she attended RootsTech, in Salt Lake City, Utah, attending lectures on a wide range of topics.
Lilian is the co-ordinator of the Society of Australian Genealogists, Writing Discussion Group and General Secretary of the Botany Bay Family History Society.
Parton is a presenter for FamilySearch in their Outreach program. He
also gives technical support to 145 Family History Centres
Australia-wide. He has had an interest in family history for more
than 45 years. Paul was a professional trainer prior to his
retirement as Pacific Area Director of Information Technology
Services with FamilySearch's parent organisation.
Reeve joined Ancestry in August 2016 as the Content Manager for
Australia and New Zealand. A passionate advocate for all things
history, Jason works closely with a range of archives, registries,
historical and genealogical societies to uncover new record
collections and share them with the Ancestry community.
|Laurence, or Laurie as he is generally known, has had a long interest in family history. His grandmother first sparked this interest when she began showing him old family papers and photos as a child. These documents had survived from the mid 1800’s, with some coming from England and Scotland when the family arrived here.
Laurie was a teacher “in another life”, and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in History, a Diploma of Education and is an Associate in Music (Piano). He completed the Archives Course through State Records and the Family History Diploma through the Australian Society of Genealogists. He has been a transcription agent and professional family history researcher for many years now.
On his mother’s side, Laurie is a First Fleeter and can claim a connection with four people who made this journey in 1787 and 1788. His prime interest has been Ann Colpitts who had a relationship with three men who also came to Australia on the First Fleet: John Colethread a marine, Thomas Smith her husband and Joseph Hatton with whom she spent the bulk of her time here.
Through his research and that of other family members, Laurie has come to question the long held view of where Ann Colpitts came from. This will be made clear in his talk about her.
is currently Vice-President of the NSW/ACT Association of Family
History Societies and a member of a number of family history
societies and holds the Diploma in Family Historical Studies from
SAG. She has been a family historian for nearly forty years and has
seen the incredible development of research methods and facilities,
from dusty boxes of records to the ultra modern facilities of the
internet. However, without the support of the local family societies
many of her brickwalls would have never crashed. Also most family
historians never seem to be able to stay focussed on one task and
tend wander all over the place or serendipity throws us a curve
ball, which was the case for researching the convict women from the
ship Elizabeth arriving in January 1828.
Dr David Wright
David Wright, M.A., Ph.D., F.S.A., F.S.G., was born and bred in the
English county of Kent and is a Fellow of the Society of
Genealogists and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He has over
four decades of experience in genealogical and historical research,
and has written numerous books, including East Kent Parishes, The
Kentish Census Returns, Kent Probate Records and Tracing Your Kent
Ancestors. He has also taught classical and medieval Latin and
Yeats is the President of the Royal Australian Historical Society,
President of the National Council of the Independent Scholars
Association of Australia (ISAA) and the Chair of the NSW Chapter of
ISAA. In addition, Christine convenes the Assessment Committee of
The UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register.
An archivist by profession, Christine is a researcher and professional historian with a particular interest in Australia’s colonial history. Her current research projects include Australia’s Romani, colonial women silk growers and the botanist Sarah Hynes.
Christine has contributed to a wide range of publications; spoken at national and international conferences and presents talks and workshops for local and family history groups across NSW.