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.

DNA Genetic Research

Learn how to further your research through the power of DNA.


But there's a problem...

DNA Research is extremely complex!

How do you understand it? Where do you start? Which test?

What do the results mean? How confident can I be that the results are accurate?

Can I use it to find unknown parents? Can I find parents of adoptees? Are there tools to help me find more matches?

You will find presentations that answer these and many other questions you have.

What do I get out of the event?

Well that depends on what you’re after.

If you're starting out in DNA research...

You will get a solid introduction and a clear understanding into DNA testing and its usefulness in your research.

Learn what you can reasonably expect from DNA, how to interpret your test results, and what tools are available to help you understand DNA results.

If you're more advanced...

Gain a deeper understanding of how you can use the full potential of DNA as an effective research tool.

Get more out of your DNA test results, and apply those insights to help you solve your family mysteries. Importantly, you’ll learn the finer details of what DNA can and can’t do for you, and the places where it can be used most effectively.

Aside from that, you'll pick up plenty of great tips and tricks PLUS the opportunity to find mutual connections with other researchers!

So what's actually included in the DNA Genetic Research track?

Great question. To be specific:

  • 6 DNA research presentations - streamed via Zoom on Tues 23 March 2021
  • 17 extra recorded presentations - get access from 29 March 2021
  • All up, get 23 presentations - to watch and rewatch at your convenience so you get more from each talk (until 31 July 2021)
  • Access to the Q&A DNA Research Hub - a private Facebook group to share your thoughts, connect with others exploring DNA Research, comment on the presentations, and ask questions
  • Entry into the prize draw - be in the draw for $1000s of prizes
  • Special offers and vouchers - researching isn't cheap. Our sponsors are here to help you save on your research costs!

Want to learn more? Keep scrolling.

Who's presenting? Can I view the program?

Of course! Click here to see the full list of DNA presenters.

Here's a link to view the DNA Genetic Research program.

I'm Interested. How do I book?

It's simple, just click the Book Now button below, and fill out the details requested.

We look forward to having you along for the ride!

DNA Research can break down many brick walls.


Meet the DNA Experts

The DNA Program

DNA Genetic Research

Talks given as webinars on Tuesday, March 23 - times AEDT
DNA testing and family history: advance your genealogical research
Debbie Kennett
9.00am - 10.00am

DNA testing is an essential tool for the family historian and has the potential to provide answers which can’t be found from the paper trail alone. Nearly 40 million people around the world have now taken a DNA test and the large databases are helping to reunite long lost cousins and break down long-standing brick walls. In this talk we will look at the three different types of DNA test and how they can be used to help with your family history research. The talk will be illustrated with real-life case studies showing the practical application of DNA for genealogical research.

The practical applications of DNA testing for family history research illustrated with real-life case studies
Deducing more from your DNA
Kerry Farmer
10.15am - 11.15am

This presentation shows you how to get more out of testing your DNA, by analysing and organising your DNA matches with the goal of discovering which ancestors passed particular DNA to you. The techniques include clustering and grouping as well as integrating information from the different types of DNA. The presentation will also update you on some new tools available.

Four ways DNA Painter can help with your family history research
Jonny Perl
11.30am - 12.30pm

There are now many different tools available at the DNA Painter website. In this presentation, the site’s creator will demonstrate how these tools can be applied practically to several different aspects of genealogy. You will then be in a better position to determine which approaches will assist most effectively when tackling your own research questions.

2021 update
DNA: adoption & unknown parentage
Louise Coakley
1.30pm - 2.30pm

Get setup and started on your DNA search
MyHeritage DNA: taking advantage of MyHeritage DNA tools
Daniel Horowitz
2.45pm - 3.45pm

DNA: working with a plan
Helen Smith
4.00pm - 5.00pm

DNA testing costs money and needs living people (currently). These two factors mean that working with a plan is necessary to do effective testing, even on lines on which you are currently not working. It also increases organisation of DNA information.

Recordings only
Recorded talks available after the conference
Beyond the test: DNA tips, tools, trees & transfers
Louise Coakley

Getting your DNA test results is just the start! Learn what else you can do with your DNA results and DNA data. An overview of options and opportunities – many of which are free!

Sponsored by Family Tree DNA

Chromosome mapping
Jonny Perl

Chromosome mapping is a technique that allows you to map segments of your DNA to the specific ancestors you inherited them from. This webinar introduces what it is and how you can do it, along with a summary of what it can and cannot help you achieve. Some examples using the DNA Painter website will be included.

How to do it, why to do it, and what you can and can’t accomplish with it
DNA FAQ: real frequently asked questions
Janine Cloud

Real frequently asked questions like "Why did my sample fail?" and "Why don't I recognize the names of my matches?" to "What happens to my test if I die?" Sponsored by Family Tree DNA

Great great DNA: extracting DNA from family artefacts
Louise Coakley

Genealogists recognise the power of testing older generations but often regret not having DNA from their deceased ancestors. DNA can be extracted from objects such as envelope and aerogramme seals, stamps, photo corners, and more. Resulting raw data files are compatible with GEDmatch. Learn what you can test, at which companies, how much it costs, the limitations and risks involved, and important ethical and privacy considerations

Solving cold cases with genetic genealogy:can we, could we, should we?
Debbie Kennett

Family historians have long known the power of genetic genealogy, but it was the arrest of a suspect in the Golden State Killer case in April 2018 which brought our hobby to the world’s attention. Since then genetic genealogy has been used to solve over 200 cold cases in the US, bringing closure to victims and making a society a safer place. But it has sparked a fierce debate about whether the end justifies the means with concerns raised about privacy and informed consent. Is this the start of the slippery slope and where do we draw the line? In this session we will look at the developments over the last two years, provide an overview of the major players in the market and discuss some of the latest research findings.

Everything you want to know about law enforcement usage of genetic genealogy databases
Who dunnit: a case study in German paternity research
Professor Robert Heimann

The case study describes a way of trying to use DNA research in order to identify the biological father of an ancestor that was born out of wedlock in 1861 in a Pomeranian village. Despite the absence of reliable vital records, DNA match lists are used to explore genetic networks which in combination with traditional genealogical research can supply valuable clues to answer the question "whodunnit“ – who might have been the father of a child that was born about 160 years ago, even if this person‘s name was never recorded.

Additional sponsored recordings
Available after the conference
A little bit of earth: land grants in colonial Australia
Imogen Wegman

Sponsored by University of Tasmania
A window to the world: Queensland Family History Society
Alex Daw

A plethora of information and data is available for you at the Queensland Family History Society’s website. Step through and glimpse the world from it’s website!. Sponsored by Queensland Family History Society

Auckland Libraries’ online
Seonaid Lewis

From the 300-page Addresses to Sir George Grey, to the Pioneer Women's Honour Roll, the Old Colonists Association Register to the C. Little & Sons Funeral Director cards, Auckland Libraries continues to digitise all manner of items for Aucklanders to enjoy. Join family history librarian Seonaid Lewis on a tour of these treasures and learn about the stories behind them, the information held in them, and how you can access them on Kura Heritage Collections Online.

Breaking down brick walls in your family history research
Mark Bayley

”Breaking down brick walls in your family history research” looks at how to resolve stumbling blocks in your family history research using new and unique search strategies to find those missing relatives. Techniques covered include searching for a family using just the individuals' forenames, keyword search tools (using criteria other than a name to search on) and other advanced search techniques. The talk also covers unique data sets such as Tithe records, Occupational Records, Non-Conformist records, Will images, Parish Records, Military Records, Directories, Newspapers and more. This talk is suitable for all levels, for those with an interest in online research Sponsored by TheGenealogist.

Family Tree Maker topic 1 TBA
Doug Elms

Sponsored by VicGUM

Mapping your ancestors
Mark Bayley

Sponsored by TheGenealogist

New Zealand topic TBA
Seonaid Lewis

Sponsored by Auckland Libraries

Researching your New Zealand family connections online
Seonaid Lewis

People from all around the world left their homes in search of a better life. Apart from those who came direct, many arrived In New Zealand having tried out Canada, the US, South Africa or Australia first. Let’s take a tour through New Zealand’s resources online available to help you find that lost Kiwi connection. Sponsored by Auckland Libraries

Scottish Family History Resources on Findmypast
Myko Clelland

Findmypast is one of the UK’s largest family history websites and has the fastest growing collection of Scottish records online. With many more on the way, join resident genealogist Myko Clelland as we explore some of the key collections and expert techniques to get you further, faster. Let me know if you need anything else or if that's good - and if it is, I'll get on the recording and the rest of the preparations! Skill level - all levels Sponsored by Findmypast

Tracing your Victorian British Ancestors
Myko Clelland

The Victorian era is one of huge change in British society. Mass migration, the creation of new record types, and new technologies, all transformed our ancestors lives. This presentation will explore the records created during this period and how to get the best out of these on our genealogy journey. Skill level - all levels. Sponsored by Findmypast.

UTAS Diploma of family history: putting your ancestors in context
Dr Kate Bagnall

An overview of the online Diploma of Family History at the University of Tasmania – covering the course structure, what you’ll learn, and how we teach online.

Access recordings until 31 July

According to learning experts, the first time you hear or watch something you only take in 20% of the information, at best! And we don't want you missing a beat!

So we're making sure that you have access to the recordings of every talk in the track(s) you book for. So don't stress—you can watch, review, and take in all the great content our experts are bringing you.

Take a deep dive into DNA Research

Shut the door, sit down, and don't forget the popcorn! Grab your notebook and relax in your own home while you enjoy a full day of streamed webinars.

DNA is our Day 1 focus theme. You will hear from some of the best experts. And remember you not only get access to recordings of the 6 presentations shown on the day, but get 17 more (from 29 March) to watch in your own time and space.

Learn at home in style

An innovative solution to help you interact with speakers and other family historians – an exclusive digital hub (Facebook groups), dedicated to DNA research discussion.

Ask questions relating to the presentations and DNA research. Speakers and others with expertise are encouraged to participate for up to a week after the conference date. This is a much stronger Q&A forum than just a few minutes at the end of a talk, and it is open to those who don’t “attend” the conference itself.

Have your questions answered

Too much to watch in a day? Clashes with other commitments? Time zone doesn’t suit? No problem!

All conference sessions will be recorded and available to you to review at your convenience. Whether you join the conference on the day or not, you get full to access to those presented at the conference and about 17 more in addition. All are available for viewing until 31 July 2021 – at times convenient to you.

Rewatch Recordings

As we’ve reshaped and rebuilt FHDU 2021 through the difficulties of COVID-19, we are immensely thankful for your patience.

A virtual event opens up the opportunity for more value. The benefits include:
 • a high value prize pool
 • more special offers from our sponsors and other partners
 • attend from anywhere in the world

Bonuses, prizes, and more

DNA Genetic Research

Tracks / Days




Recordings Access

Until 31 July

Bonuses & Prizes



Via Facebook Group



Tracks / Days




Recordings Access

Until 31 July

Bonuses & Prizes



Via 4 Facebook Groups

The Complete
Family History Bundle



SAVE $205

Bundle & Save

If you're considering booking for Family History Down Under 2021 here's some useful information.

Open for Bookings

Book for specific tracks individually
Save 35% by booking the megabundle
Get access to recordings till 31 July
Be included in the AU$10,000 prize draw
Ask questions on the dedicated Facebook Groups
DAY 1  |  TRACK 1

DNA: Genetic Research

Learn the latest on DNA Research from experts around the world.

DNA: Genetic Research

DAY 1  |  TRACK 1
DAY 2  |  TRACK 2

Researching Abroad

Learn from the experts about British Isle and European research

Researching Abroad

DAY 2  |  TRACK 2
DAY 3  |  TRACK 3

Australia & New Zealand

Learn from experts about Australian and New Zealand research

Australia & New Zealand

DAY 3  |  TRACK 3
DAY 4  |  TRACK 4

Methodology & General

Learn from the experts about a wide range of general topics

Methodology & General

DAY 4  |  TRACK 4
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