Now that FHDU 2021 is past, we are currently updating this site.

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Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are currently restructuring this event and website as a virtual event. Stay tuned, we'll have more information for you within a few days!

COVID-19 Update

In the wake of Covid-19 difficulties in hosting a live event, we are currently restructuring FHDU 2021 for a virtual event.

Sadly, the ongoing COVID-19 saga has caught up with FHDU 2021. We have reluctantly decided to change our in-person event into a fully virtual online event instead. We were all looking forward to a real, live, in-person event. Unfortunately, that is not to be.

But this gives us the opportunity to significantly re-format FHDU 2021. We are looking at this as a positive opportunity. We can now bring a significantly more valuable event to people around the globe.

Dr Janet Few


An experienced and qualified family, social and community historian, Janet has lectured throughout the English-speaking world. She is also well known for her performances as her seventeenth century alter ego Mistress Agnes and as the author of family history books and articles.

Janet is an experienced family, social and community historian who lectures regularly on these subjects throughout the English-speaking world. She also tutors family history courses for Pharos Teaching and Tutoring has written numerous articles and books on subjects related to family history and was responsible for editing the most recent edition of the classic handbook FamilyHistorian’s Enquire Within. Recently, Janet has put her research skills to a rather different use and has turned to writing historical novels that are based on real individuals and events.

Janet is particularly interested in encouraging others to place their ancestors in their social and geographical context and is an advocate of one-place studies. Her particular specialisms include the seventeenth century, the history of medicine, migration and the south-west of England.

Working as an historical interpreter, Janet spends time living in the seventeenth century as her alter ego, Mistress Agnes. Her book, Coffers, Clysters, Comfrey and Coifs: the lives of our seventeenth century ancestors, describes the social history of the period. She is the manager of Swords and Spindles, a company providing living history presentations for schools, heritage sites, history societies andsocial groups.


More about

Our embarrassing ancestors
Dr Janet Few

Not all our ancestors were paragons of virtue. Some behaved in a manner that we now find unacceptable or abhorrent. Are we embarrassed by those family members? What aspects of the lives of our ancestors might make us feel uncomfortable? Does it matter when the ancestor lived; is there a point at which some actions become exciting or interesting, rather than alarming? Have genealogists’ reactions to certain conditions and behaviours changed over time? Are we tempted, like genealogists of the past, to remove them, or their mis-demeanours, from the record? This presentation is a thought-provoking and hard-hitting look at our reactions to ancestors who might have been a source for embarrassment. Some sources for discovering those ancestors will also be mentioned

A to Z of family history
Dr Janet Few

When tracing a family tree, the temptation is to use the more well-known sources; those which are available on-line via the major data providers. In this presentation, the author of the classic handbook "Family Historian’s Enquire Within" introduces a variety of less well-known sources, that can be used to enhance and extend a pedigree or provide valuable context for the lives the family. The original records, databases and online records discussed will range from Absent Voters’ Lists and Asylum Records, through Farm Surveys and Hearth Tax Records, to Valuation Office Records and ideas for inspiring young people to take an interest in genealogy. The aim is to make the audience aware of sources covering the seventeenth to twentieth centuries and point to ways to find out more. There should be something new for everyone.

An alphabetical journey through some less well known British sources

My Talks


If you're considering buying a package of recordings from Family History Down Under 2021, here's some useful information.

Purchase Recordings

Book for specific tracks individually
Save 35% by booking the megabundle
Get immediate access to over 70 recordings
Be included in the AU$10,000 prize draw
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