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.

Wayne Shepheard


Following retirement as a geologist, Wayne’s time is mostly occupied with genealogical research. He has authored over 30 articles, made several presentations and published a book titled, Surviving Mother Nature’s Tests, relating natural phenomena and family history. Wayne writes two regular genealogical blogs: Discover Genealogy and Mother Nature’sTests. Wayne lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Wayne Shepheard graduated in Geology from the University of Calgary and spent over 40 years applying his knowledge andexpertise in the exploration for oil and gas, primarily in Western Canada. Following retirement, he has spent much of his time involved with family history research, exploring families in North America, continental Europeand the United Kingdom.

Wayne is active in expanding his interest in and writing about natural phenomena and their impacts on people and communities. His view is that humankind has always had to adapt to the ever-changing physical environments in which they lived. In his genealogical work, Wayne has been particularly mindful of stories concerning families that were both negatively and positively impacted by changes to their habitat and to disasters which sometimes overwhelmed them.

Wayne published a book (Surviving Mother Nature’s Tests) that relates many of the situations observed in nature to the lives of families who experienced or endured them, primarily over the past several centuries.

He volunteers as an Online Parish Clerk, handling four parishes in Devon, England. Wayne is the author of over 30 articles published in family history journals and magazines and has made presentations to many groups related to a variety of subjects.  Information about these articles and talks can be found on his two regular genealogical blogs, Discover Genealogy and Mother Nature’s Tests.


More about

Genealogy and the Little Ice Age
Wayne Shepheard

Some of the most important records we find were created during the time of the Little Ice Age (1300 to 1850 AD). Because the 14th to 19th centuries encompass the time frame that most coincides with genealogical research, it is important to understand the physical conditions under which people lived in order to assemble the most complete histories of families. The Little Ice Age was a cool climatic time period, a time in history when, from a physical or environmental standpoint, in comparison to the warm periods that preceded and followed: • temperatures around the globe were substantially cooler • weather was mostly unstable • food production was especially challenging • living conditions overall were difficult and harsh. All these factors had enormous impact on the lives and livelihoods of people and contributed to famine, spread of disease, injury to being and habitat, untimely deaths, social unrest and, in many cases, migration. The presentation offers information and perspective important in studies related to the living conditions families faced during the inhospitable era of the Little Ice Age.

My Talks


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

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