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

Find out more.
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.

Researching Abroad

Learn how to track down your elusive international relatives


... and unfortunately, the challenges get bigger once we begin to research outside our country.

Take for instance,

  • Being unfamiliar with the language of the country we're researching
  • The different types of records (even what are they called in specific countries)
  • Simply getting access to those records
  • Knowing and verifying the official document trail
  • What historic events might have impacted your relatives

and the list goes on. Now you're probably thinking...

"Wait, we can find anything with the internet, right?"

Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but only a portion of all records are available online. The internet is a great start... but it doesn't have everything.

And then, even when you are searching through what is available, you can waste countless hours following dead ends and not getting any closer to the answers.

So, how do we make progress with our overseas research? Where do we turn?

To people who have done this before. Learn from the experts who specialise in specific countries.

In this track you will find presentations that will guide you on your research journey of discovery across the waves.

What do I get out of the event?

You get an extensive day of talks on various overseas research topics. Be sure to look below at the program for a list.

Learn the best places and resources, online and offline, to look for the records for each country.

Also, you will be able to interact with others through the Researching Abroad digital hub—a private Facebook group where you can:

  • Ask questions. Many presenters and others will be there to help
  • Interact with others researching the same topic
  • Share the things you learnt from the presentations

Importantly, you will be inspired and discover not only new ways track down your elusive overseas relatives, but sources that reveal the depth of their stories.

And aside from all the great tips and tricks you will learn, you will have the opportunity to find mutual connections with other researchers!

So, what's actually included in the Researching Abroad track?

To be specific:

  • All up, get 28 presentations - to watch and re-watch at your convenience so you get more from each talk - until 31 July 2021
  • Access to the Q&A Researching Abroad Hub - a private Facebook group to share your thoughts, connect with others exploring international research, comment on the presentations and ask questions
  • Entry into the prize draw - be in the draw for $1000s of prizes
  • Exhibition & special offers - researching isn't cheap. Our sponsors are here to help you save on your research costs!

If you want to know more keep scrolling...

Who's presenting? Can I view the program?

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

Here's a link to view the Researching Abroad 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!

Most of our relatives came from over the waves...


Meet our Researching Abroad Experts

The Researching Abroad Program

Researching Abroad

Presentations from Wednesday, March 24
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
Agricultural labourers in 19th C. Wales
Charlotte Sale

An overview of the life and lifestyle of Welsh agricultural labourers in the 19th century, including habitations, diet, wages, migration and agitation for change.

Breaking down brick walls
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.

Breaking down brick walls in your family history research
British and Irish given names
Carol Baxter

Have you noticed that the given names of our eighteenth and nineteenth century British ancestors were drawn from a surprisingly small pool? But how small a pool? How common were our ancestors’ given names? John for example was carried by one in every five English males. The four most popular male names were carried by one in every two males. And the top thirteen male names were carried by 87% of the male population indicating that all of the other male names in use at the time were together borne by only 13% of the population. That being the case, the usual popularity lists found on the internet – those that record the top 10, 20, 50 names – are unhelpful unless they provide frequency statistics. This seminar focuses on given name popularities, changes in popularity, and the reasons for such changes. It also covers spelling variants, abbreviations and diminutives. For example, if you don’t know that Polly was a diminutive of Mary or that Nellie was a diminutive of Ellen and Eleanor and Helen, you may struggle to find your ancestors’ entries. Our ancestors’ names provide the gateway into tracing our family history. Learning more about their names may prove useful in determining their ancestry or finding other family connections.

Popularity, spelling variants, abbreviations and diminutives
Chapel and Church in Wales
Charlotte Sale

This talk briefly describes church and nonconformism and the major challenges for a genealogist in locating baptisms, marriages and burials in Wales.

English & Welsh civil registration records
Mike Mansfield

This lecture will focus on the real-life account of how genealogist and writer, Nathan Dylan Goodwin worked to try and uncover the truth about his grandmother’s wartime romance; a romance which led to the birth of an illegitimate child, who was then adopted soon after her birth. Nathan will discuss each step of the complex process and methodology behind his research to identify that child’s biological father, sifting through official documents and revealing long-hidden family secrets. He will explain the range of genealogical methodology approaches, archives and services exploited, including DNA-testing, which assisted and ultimately confirmed this three-year search's discoveries.

: the search for the father of an illegitimate wartime child
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.

Genealogy in the Netherlands 101
John Boeren

This introduction in Dutch genealogy shows how to search for people in the Netherlands, what records to use (civil registration, censuses and church books) and where online to look for them.

Getting started in German research
Eric Kopittke

Finding a birthplace is essential for doing German research! This presentation aims to show you how to use local information together with online maps and gazetteers to help you locate the place of origin of your German families. Once this is known the next step is to the relevant repository for the actual records and this presentation provides some suggestions as to how to take this step. The presentation shows some of the structure and contents of German civil and church records.

Manorial records: 800 years in the lives of your ancestors
Caroline Gurney

Manorial records are a rich source of information about individuals and communities in England from the 12th to the 19th centuries, yet they are seriously underused by family historians. This talk gives an overview of the manorial system, the types of records available, and where to find them.

Mapping your ancestors
Mark Bayley

Mark demonstrates the map record collections and tools that are available for researching your British roots. The talk features Tithes, The 1910 Land Survey, Surname Maps and an innovative tool to view these maps in relation to modern-day maps - MapExplorer.. Sponsored by TheGenealogist

Maps and gazetteers: essential resources for German research
Eric Kopittke

The use of maps and gazetteers is essential in your family history. A good map will tell you a lot about your ancestor’s home village and its surrounds. This presentation shows you how to access a variety of maps, many of which can be downloaded to your computer. These will help you understand more of your ancestor’s life and times. Use of Meyers Gaz website is also explained. This website gives access to a comprehensive gazetteer that was published a few years before World War 1 when the German Empire was at its greatest extent and it has links to scans of historic maps of the area.

Medieval genealogy
Jenny Joyce

Have you got your ancestors back to the start of parish registers? You may still be able to go further back, by looking at records related to death, land and the law. Learn what records are available online for researching back into the medieval period.

Researching Ancestors in British India
Mary Anne Gourley

This talk follows the history of the East India Company, the records they created, where these are found and how to access them using examples found during the speaker’s own research.

ScotlandsPeople and other resources
Rosemary Kopittke

Discover the wealth of resources at ScotlandsPeople to get you started on your Scottish research and a host of other websites you can use to build a great story of your family in Scotland. Make it personal – not just a collection of names and dates.

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. Skill level - all levels Sponsored by Findmypast.

Stop thief!: British crimes and punishment
Carol Baxter

‘The law is a ass, Sir!’ (Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist). This presentation begins by discussing the big picture question of the British criminal justice system, including the contemporary attitudes to criminals and the policy of transporting them abroad. It then covers the types of records that deal with the crimes and punishments of British criminals.

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.

When Golinski isn´t Golinski
Professor Robert Heimann

This presentation discovers sources and methods that will prove helpful for genealogical research in Poland today. It deals with aspects of Polish history, different forms of Polish family names and Polish church records in a specific part of Poland which historically was called Prussian Poland. This is roughly the area of Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) today, around the cities of Poznan and Gnieszno.

A study of family names in 18th and 19th century Prussian Poland
You can’t research Irish ancestors
Susie Zada

For decades we’ve heard the statement – you can’t research your Irish ancestors – all the records were destroyed. This throw-away-line is still around today and is still incorrect. Many presumptions are made about Irish records but when we look at them in detail there are so many available on the Internet either free or through subscriptions. Ironically people still talk about records that were destroyed in 1922 when they were never available in the first place. It’s time to have another look at just what is and isn’t available for Irish family history research.

All the records have been destroyed. WRONG!
A little bit of earth: land grants in colonial Australia
Dr Imogen Wegman

Imogen will be discussing the practicalities of land granting in the early years of an Australian colony. She will explain how people got land and the differences between grants made to convict and free settlers. This talk will share tips about finding and using historic maps, and equip you to interpret maps that add to your own research. Sponsored by the University of Tasmania.

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. Sponsored by Auckland Libraries.

DNA FAQ: real frequently asked questions
Janine Cloud

In this talk, go beyond the basics of DNA testing and which test does what. We’ll look at pre-testing questions such as the differences between testing companies, privacy concerns, and what happens to your sample once your test is complete. We’ll also look at post-testing questions such as why you may not match someone you think you should, why you don’t recognize the name of people you do match, and the truth about “ethnicity” estimates. Sponsored by Family Tree DNA.

Exploring FamilySearch
Lesle Berry

A look at what is available at home and at Family History Centre/Affiliate Library. Millions of names and records to extend and verify your research – or take you further. From countries around the world digitized images and indexes are available. Help is available and easily accessible for most countries. Original records covering many topics that can be researched by name, place and time. Sponsored by Family History Connections.

From there to here
Marie Hickey

This presentation will include where to find passenger lists - but what about those ancestors/relatives who do not appear on a passenger list; how do you find out when they arrived in New Zealand? We will discuss some of the records available which may help ascertain approximately when and where your ancestor/relative arrived so that you can at least estimate the arrival. Some of the methods used to find arrivals in New Zealand may also apply to other countries too. Sponsored by Auckland Libraries

A brief look at resources to find how your ancestor arrived in New Zealand
How genealogy software helps bring your family tree to life
Doug Elms

Doug Elms, VICGUM President, will review the types of records and information which can be obtained during family history research. He has also included an introduction to using a genealogy program – Family Tree Maker. As one of the main reasons for using a computer program is to generate family stories his presentation illustrates how to: commence a tree, add data to the tree and also to produce charts, reports and books. Sponsored by VicGUM.

MyHeritage Library Edition
Lesle Berry

MyHeritage is a genealogy platform established in 2003. With millions of records available to search and download, some unique to this site. The Library Edition allows access to search names, families and records of various events. With partnerships with many well-known sources of information and research this is definitely a valuable tool for researchers. Sponsored by Family History Connections.

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.

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. Sponsored by the University of Tasmania.

Y-DNA Testing from Y-37 to Big Y
Janine Cloud

Many people know that Y-DNA follows the paternal line, but that’s about as far as they get. This talk looks at Y-DNA from the entry level Y-37 test to the comprehensive Big Y test. We’ll look at what results you should expect and help you determine which level is best for you and your research needs. Sponsored by Family Tree DNA.

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

Shut the door, sit down, and don't forget the popcorn! Grab your notebook and relax in your own home while you enjoy up to 70 recorded webinars.

Each track has a focused theme from some of the best family history experts. The include DNA, Researching Abroad, Australia & New Zealand, and Methodology & General.

Learn at home in style

An innovative solution to help you interact with speakers and other family historians – four exclusive digital hubs (Facebook groups), one for each track theme.

Ask questions relating to the presentations and themes. Speakers and others with expertise are encouraged to participate.

Have your questions answered

Play and pause these presentations to your heart's content, so that you have time to implement all that you're learning.

Get immediate access to all recordings and review them at your convenience until 31 July 2021.

Rewatch Recordings

Get in the draw for $1000's of prizes for a huge range of family history resources.

Among the special offers from our exhibitors, there will be prizes drawn every two weeks. So buy now and don't miss out!

Exhibition & Prizes

Researching Abroad





Recordings Access

Until 31 July

Bonuses & Prizes



Via Facebook Group







Recordings Access

Until 31 July

Bonuses & Prizes



Via 4 Facebook Groups

The Complete
Family History Bundle



SAVE $205

Bundle & Save

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
Ask questions on the dedicated Facebook Groups

DNA: Genetic Research

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

DNA: Genetic Research


Researching Abroad

Learn from the experts about British Isle and European research

Researching Abroad


Australia & New Zealand

Learn from experts about Australian and New Zealand research

Australia & New Zealand


Methodology & General

Learn from the experts about a wide range of general topics

Methodology & General

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