Talks and Workshops

I have a number of talks and workshops that I can present. These are listed below in three categories: DNA; Beginners; and General Topics, which covers everything else. I am also preparing new talks and it may be possible to develop a talk or workshop if you have a specific need.

Talks are available in person (when safe to do so) or online. I can provide my own Zoom account to support online talks and events.

If you would like to book me for a talk or workshop for your group or your event, or discuss your requirements further, please contact me via the form on the About page.

Talks

DNA

  • Introduction to DNA for Family Historians – this hour long lecture is a high level overview of how DNA can help with family history research. Covering the basics of the types of DNA tests available and what information you can gain from DNA testing to help your family history. This talk is designed for experienced family historians who have not yet used DNA to support their research.
  • Before Taking a DNA Test – this talk is designed to help the audience decide if taking a DNA test is for them. It talks about what can be found by taking a DNA test and discusses possible concerns people may have. It will help focus the questions that need to be considered before deciding to take a DNA test.
  • DNA Test Taken, Now What? – this talk is for people who have taken a DNA test but need guidance on how to explore the results at the various companies and learn where to find the relevant information from the results.
  • Starting to Use Your DNA Results in Your Family History – this talk allows you to start taking the results and actively incorporating them into your family history research. With hints and tips on how to discover more about your DNA matches and working out how they are related to you.
  • Hunting through matches – practical examples of how to investigate unidentified matches – similar to the previous talk, this covers similar material but uses specific examples to illustrate the methods for identifying your DNA matches and working out how they fit into your family tree.
  • DNA Test Plan – Considering the Options – once you have done an initial DNA test for yourself, you start to consider who else to test or where else to test to increase the information you can gain from DNA. This talk discusses the considerations when decided who, what, where, when and why to test.
  • Solving genealogy brickwalls case study – finding a great grandfather – this talk uses an example from my own family history where I have progressed a brickwall using DNA alongside traditional genealogy research. The path to solving this brickwall had a number of surprises along the way with forgeries, quick marriages, criminal ancestors and often more questions than answers. In telling the story, methods and tools for using DNA to break down brickwalls are provided.
  • Moving DNA to the Next Level – this talk provides information on more advanced tools and techniques for analysing your DNA results. Covering chromosome browsers, clustering, triangulation and X-DNA this talk takes your use of DNA for family history to the next level.
  • Examples of using WATO and other tools to help analyse a set of matches – practical examples of how to use key tools useful for analysing your DNA matches including What Are The Odds? (WATO), chromosome mapping and auto-clustering.
  • DNA Q&A – sometimes your group may just want to be able to ask open questions on DNA. I have held a DNA for Beginners Q&A session however the Q&A session can be adapted to work to fit your group’s needs.

Beginners

  • Family History – What Is It All About? – this talk is designed to introduce family history to people who have not done any family history or are at the very start of their genealogy journey. This is ideal for groups such as the Women’s Institute, Rotary, Probus, etc. This can also be adapted for a younger audience such as a Scout or Guide group. See the Introduction to Family History handout on Information page.
  • An Audience with a Genealogist – a question and answer session with an experienced genealogist. After a brief introduction about who I am and what I do, the floor is opened up to the audience to ask questions regarding any aspects of family history from DNA testing to how to get started researching, privacy concerns and what have been the most interesting ancestors that have been found.

General Topics

  • What Did They Do?Sources for Trades, Occupations and Professions – this talk covers a range of sources for your ancestors’ occupations as well as considerations when researching their occupations. A version is available which specifically highlights the occupation collections at the Society of Genealogists as well as a version which concentrates on online sources. See Occupations handout on Information page.
  • Hidden in Plain Site this talk looks at free online sources that are often overlooked in preference for the main commercial websites. This talk gives ideas of where else you could go to expand your hunt for your ancestors’ life story. A recording of this talk is available free to subscribers of Family Tree Magazine (UK) or for a small fee (link to video).
  • The Treasure Trove that is the British Newspaper Archive – an insight into the wealth of information that is available at the British Newspaper Archive as well as hints and tips for getting more out of searching and finding useful articles within the newspapers.
  • Irish website sources – there are increasingly more Irish sources coming online – and not all sets of record types are in a single place. This beginners’ talk takes you along the path through the various sites (noting many are away from the commercial sites) to find the records you may need for your research in Ireland.
  • Ask the Experts Q&A Panel – I have taken part in a small number of Q&A panels and am available to support panel discussions on any of the subjects covered by talks or workshops.

Workshops

These are examples of workshops that I have previously held however it is possible to design a workshop for your group or organisation depending on your needs on any of the subjects that I also talk on. These can be held in person or facilitated online through Zoom and the use of breakout rooms. Further information about the workshops that I can facilitate are provided on the Genealogy Services page.

  • DNA workshops – using example exercises and/or specific discussion topics, facilitated workshops on DNA can be carried out. In addition, small group question and answer sessions can work in a workshop setting.
  • Census workshops – taking a number of examples of census returns, the workshop allows the participants to answer specific questions about each census example to help them successfully read and interpret census records for family history – see Census handout on Information page and report on a census workshop I carried out at Family Tree Live on my blog
  • Brickwall workshops – facilitated sessions where a small number of brickwalls are reviewed by the group with everyone providing ideas and sources to help solve the brickwall. The brickwalls can be provided by members of the group or by myself to aid learning of tips and techniques for breaking down brickwalls.

Where have I talked?

I have provided talks and workshops for a number of organisations and groups including:

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