International Speaker

Listed below are a range of talks that I am happy to present to family history societies or at genealogical conferences.  If you would like to find out more then please contact me.

Presentation Topics

 The hidden secrets of the 
1939 National Register of England & Wales


The 1939 National Register has been compared to an additional census for England and Wales.  However, it is so much more than this.  The register may have been assembled in 1939, but the Government constantly updated the 1939 National Register over time to take account of changes of name, deaths or other important information.


Some changes are plain to see, but others are hidden within the annotations and codes written next to entries.  In this presentation we will see how to decode these scribbles which are scattered throughout the pages of the register and gain a greater insight into their meanings.  Learn how to search the register and learn all its hidden secrets to further your family history research.

Mind Mapping and its place in organising and guiding your genealogical research


This presentation aims to introduce you to the skill of Mind Mapping in relation to genealogical research. Mind maps are not a new invention; they have been around for centuries.  They are basically a hierarchical diagram used to visually organize information.


Mind maps can be as simple or complex as you want them to be, however they help organise your planning and thought processes by visually mapping the information.  We will explore how they can be used at each stage in your research: planning, problem solving, reporting and even writing up. We will use practical examples to show how they can prove invaluable in breaking down brick walls and also discover how they can clearly show up conflicting data issues in your research and likewise gaps in your research plans.  Once you implement mind mapping into your skill set you’ll find it invaluable.

Starting out in Family History research:

Beginning with the basics 


When you first decide to start researching your family tree it can seem a minefield.  There are so many different websites to navigate, lots of new terminology to understand and often it can seem very daunting.  Do you need to pay to join websites?  Do you need to buy new software?  How on earth do you actually begin?


We will look at how to start your family history research from scratch, using real examples and real records.  Learn about the different types of records available, how to access them and how to use them in your research.  This is a talk for real beginners, so even if you not started your research, this is for you!

Buried deep but not lost forever:

Discovering your Ancestor’s final resting place


Finding an ancestor’s death record is often the last search we carry out on an individual.  However, locating their final resting place and any gravestone or marker can yield so much more information which you could be missing out on. 


This presentation will show you how to narrow down the search area when seeking the burial site of your deceased ancestor.  We will also look at the types of records available to help in your search and where you will find them.  Through an analysis of online sites and communities you will see how to access records which you might not have been able to, due to geographical constraints.  We will also investigate the variety of information you can find and the usefulness of the information will be explored.  Finally we will look at how to share this information with others and how to preserve both the markers and the data itself.

Help! What do I do before 1837?:

Researching your Ancestors before Civil Registration


So, you've been happily working your way back through census records and tracing your ancestors through civil registration.  Maybe you've ordered birth,marriage and death certifciates to help you on your way.  Then you hit the 1841 census and ....... where do you go from there!


We will look at the types of records available to you to extend your research prior to 1837. You may have thought of Parish Registers, but where do you find them and how can you access them?  What information do they give you?  We will discover all this and more!  There are many other records which can help your research before 1837.  We will look at the records available to you and through an analysis of actual record samples, follow a family from the 1851's back through to the 1700's.  You'll discover that it's not as difficult as you thought it was!

Ragged, poor and mischievous or young thieves and Street Arabs: Researching criminal children



You may well think that this session doesn’t apply to you because you don’t have any “criminals” in your family.  However, this is one area of genealogical research which can turn up a wealth of information on an individual and their family and background, and it is also one of the most overlooked.


Children throughout history have been mischievous, but their acts oftentimes meant they were classed as criminals.  The wealth of records available about these children is phenomenal.  This presentation seeks to show you both where to find these records both online and in archives, and the type of information you will discover.   The substantial treasures you can uncover reveal a real wealth of social and genealogical information unique in its coverage and depth.

 Looking for your Irish ancestors?

It's easier than you think!

Irish genealogical research has unique challenges.  Although many documents were destroyed, there is still a wealth of records existing to help you research your Irish ancestry.  


We will explore civil and church records available online, as well as census returns and census substitute records to cover those periods where documents no long exist.  By looking at valuation records, burial and probate records, passenger lists and newspaper archives you can endeavour to trace your Irish roots and locate your ancestors home town.  Learn what's in these different records, what they might teach you about your ancestors and how to navigate them simply.

 Researching your French ancestors with little or no French

Yes, it is possible!

Researching your ancestors in your own language can be difficult enough, but finding out you have French ancestors to find, when you don't speak a word of French, can seem like a daunting task.

The organisation of French records and archives can seem a bit strange when you first start, but by learning how the records are organized and where they are stored you will see that it's not that difficult to locate your ancestors. Many civil and church records are available online, so we will explore the options available to you when locating these records.   We will also look at resources which can help you decipher these French records without resorting to hiring a translator.  By learning how to find and use these records, you really can find your French ancestors and should you need some help, we will look at resources freely available to you if you really do get stuck!