Speakers Topics


Carol Baxter - Stop Thief 




Kerry Farmer How to use DNA to confirm your Traditional Research




Martyn Killion - Using the State Archives with Conviction







Perry McIntyre -

Dr Hamish Maxwell-Stewart -

Jason Reeve -




Clive Smith - With Conviction: Finding the 1821 Volunteers

                         When the penal settlement was established at Port Macquarie in 1821, the first                                   contingent of convicts, in March 1821, were 60 volunteers who were promised tickets                           of leave or pardons after 18 months if their work at building the necessary                                         infrastructure was satisfactory. No list of these men has survived (there is a list of                              an additional 10 men sent in June 1821 on similar conditions). For the bicentenary of                       the establishment of the penal settlement, it seems high time the workers should be recognised. Following clues in the surviving convict records, over 40 of the men have now been identified, with conviction (or beyond reasonable doubt). This paper will outline what records were trawled, how data elements from different sources were matched, and how it became possible to convert circumstantial evidence into conclusive proof (one way or the other)



Dr Penny Walters  - Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy

                     I’m a nice person. ‘I’m just compiling our family tree, what possible problems                      could there be? Researching a family tree traditionally involved asking                                grandparents and relatives about their lives, drawing a tree and                                       undertaking a paper trail, but it now involves finding new records and dealing                      with strangers on the internet. Ethical dilemmas came to the forefront since

                   law enforcement utilised information from GEDMatch to apprehend a suspected serial killer, which created a division in the genealogy field about invasion of privacy. Ethical dilemmas unfolding include discovering other people’s secrets, lies, enslavement, unexpected ethnicities, indigenous cultures, convict ancestors, criminality, new DNA relatives, and finding that some relatives aren’t now related. People can study accredited courses and join professional bodies which have Codes of Ethics and Conduct, responsibilities and accountability. What information should and shouldn’t you include on your tree? Attendees will benefit from reflecting on their own ethical dilemmas and considering ethical issues with empathy, sensitivity and diplomacy. www.searchmypast.co.uk


While most people are familiar with the wonders of the State Archives Collection, are you using it as effectively as you could for your research?

In this session, we will be challenged to think perhaps more analytically when we conduct research into the State Archives – who created the records, how did the system work and how does that all help with family history research?

This seminar 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.

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