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.

General & Methodology

Getting it right and adding richness to your family story


... but we rarely stop to consider how we're searching.

We rarely ask ourselves, "Why am I doing this?", or, "Is there a better way?", or even, "Is there anything out there that can help me research more effectively?".

The reality is that there are a huge number of tools and resources available for you.

Not only do they make researching easier, save you time, help you to keep track of everything ... but some actually help you to bring your ancestor's story to life in a richer way.

We also know that researching your family can be an expensive and time consuming activity.

  • Often we follow paths and trails that go cold
  • Sometimes our problem is organisation—just how do we keep all our information organised?
  • Other times we just keep hunting and hunting for a breakthrough, but can't seem to get it

The way you research and organise is called Methodology. The method, or approach, you use to search for answers and records.

And getting this right saves you a lot of time and resources. Now, and in the future.

Think of yourself like a detective, solving mysteries and leaving no stone unturned. You'll want to:

  • Know where the answers lie to avoid going down rabbit holes
  • Know what questions to ask to break through dead ends
  • Keep track of all the clues in an organised way so as to paint the whole story

If we don't think carefully about the way that we research ... then we end up in a mess.

In this track, you will get a great foundational understanding of how to go about your research. To highlight just a few, we'll look at:

  • Apps and tools for genealogy
  • Proving more than one source
  • MyHeritage advanced technologies

Add to this a range of other presentations to help you research more effectively, go deeper, and build a more complete picture of your relatives' stories

  • Cousins: the key to unlock your family tree
  • Hidden ancestors: finding females
  • Visualising family history data
  • Photo restoration for family historians
  • Following an ancestor’s journey using Google Earth

PLUS a handful of interesting talks like:

  • Genealogy mysteries
  • The future of family history

Sounds useful? We sure hope so.

What do I get out of the event?

You get an extensive day of talks on a range of General subjects and Methodology topics, be sure to look below at the program for a list.

Learn about the best tools and tips for researching your family history designed to arm you with an understanding of the tools you can use. They'll help you make progress faster.

You will get an insight to some of the best practices to use when hunting for your ancestors, as well as ways to get that breakthrough.

You will be able to interact with others on the private Facebook group, share the things you learnt from the presentations and, of course, ask questions. The presenters and others will be there to help. You will have the opportunity to find mutual connections!

Importantly you will also learn how to ask better questions, find more answers, and discover richer stories. Stories that can be passed onto the next generation.

After all, isn't that the whole point behind why we're researching?

So what's actually included in the Methodology and General track?

Great question. To be specific:

  • 6 General subjects & Methodology - presentations streamed via Zoom on Thurs 26 March 2021
  • 20 extra recorded presentations - get access from 29 March 2021
  • All up, get 26 presentations - to watch and rewatch at your convenience so you get more from each talk - until 31 July 2021
  • Access to the Q&A General & Methodology Digital Hub - a private Facebook group to share your thoughts, connect with others exploring General subjects and Methodology, 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 General subjects and methodology presenters.

Here's a link to view the General & Methodology 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!

We're all searching for answers to our research...


Meet our Methodology & General Research Experts

The Methodology & General Program

General & Methodology

Talks given as webinars on Friday, March 26 - times AEDT
Novelising intrigues in genealogy
Nathan Dylan Goodwin
9.00am - 10.00am

Following an introduction as to how he came to be writing genealogical crime mystery books, Nathan will explore the actual process of writing. Using books from his genealogical crime mystery series as a basis for case studies, Nathan will talk about the progression from development of the initial idea, explore the real genealogical research methodology involved, through to the writing of the novel. Nathan will also discuss the issues and problems of combining the use of such authentic genealogical methodology and research methods with fiction-writing.

The journey and process of writing genealogical crime mystery stories
Hidden ancestors: finding females
Cathie Sherwood
10.15am - 11.15am

How can we as family historians locate someone who seems to be almost ‘invisible’? The problem isn’t that there are few records available, but rather how thoroughly we investigate and analyse the sources we do find. This presentation outlines ways we can look “outside the box” when searching for the women in our families.

Visualising your family history
Helen Smith
11.30am - 12.30pm

Humans are visual beings, particularly those not interested in family history. Part of this talk will be on how to capture your family history to entice them. The other will be ways of visualising your data, your research thoughts and research problems to help you the researcher.

Photo restoration for family historians
Mel Hulbert
1.30pm - 2.30pm

This talk introduces the basics of photo restoration using the program Photoshop Elements. Learn how to repair scratches and tears, and how to bring out details in older photos, using some simple techniques. Managing your photo collection will also be discussed along with how to add metadata and watermarks to your photos for use on websites and social media.

A history of calendars for the genealogist
Jenny Joyce
2.45pm - 3.45pm

Every family historian needs to understand about calendars and their history. Without this knowledge you can’t understand why someone who died on 27 December 1724 could be buried on 3 January 1724, why the 10th September 1752 didn’t exist and what “1 July 25 Henry VIII” means. This talk will cover the Julian Calendar, the Gregorian Calendar, Regnal dates, dating by Saints’ days and Quaker dates.

The future of family history
Dr Nick Barratt
4.00pm - 5.00pm

Dr Nick Barratt dusts down his crystal ball and casts his eye to the near future, using current trends that are shaping the way we research and write genealogy to predict some of the changes we might reasonably expect to take place. This talk will also look at some of the post-pandemic opportunities that are emerging in the UK where we might collaborate with other groups to help support and rebuild communities that have been disrupted – genealogy as a force for global good.

Recordings only
Recorded talks available after the conference
Apps & tools for genealogy: how and why they are useful
Shauna Hicks

This presentation looks at how various apps and tools for phones and tablets can be used for genealogy. Commercial and free subscription sites to record and share family trees online, genealogy software, photo scanning, organising research notes, uploading cemetery information and more will be demonstrated. It is recommended that you trial free versions to see which apps and tools suit your research needs.

Cousins: the key to unlock your family tree
Caroline Gurney

A common mistake in genealogy is to concentrate on direct ancestors and ignore their siblings. This excludes one of the most useful resources for family historians, the descendants of your ancestor's siblings, your cousins. This talk explains how they can enrich your family history and break down your brick walls.

Following an ancestor’s journey using Google Earth
Sharn White

MyHeritage advanced technologies
Daniel Horowitz

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

Proving more than one source
Allan Murrin

Avoid taking the wrong track with only one document or sidestepping research with shortcuts.

The genealogist’s toolbox
Mel Hulbert

Are you just starting your research or perhaps you need a refresher or some new ideas? This talk looks at basic fundamentals and the different tools and technology we can use for researching our family history. From the basics of organisation and charts to technology, apps and DNA, I discuss what I keep in my toolbox along with other options for you to start building your personal toolbox for research.

Using the genealogical proof standard
Ben Hollister

Do you get sick of seeing family trees with incorrect assumptions? Tired of having to explain your reasoning over and over? Can’t remember where you found that piece of information? Too much conflicting information? You need to the Standard. The Genealogical Proof Standard. GPS. Find your way.

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 family history

General & Methodology is the theme for the fourth day of FHDU2021. You will hear from some of the most experienced family historians around.

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.

Remember, you get access to recordings of the 6 presentations shown on the day, and 20 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 Researching Abroad discussion.

Ask questions relating to the presentations, methodology, and more. 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 20 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

General & Methodology

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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