Services & Events


Shauna Hicks has been presenting seminars and workshops for over 35 years. She has a range of specialist areas and an existing portfolio of talks. Most talks are approximately 45 minutes long with time for questions at the end of the session. Other topics may be arranged after consultation.

What’s Coming Up in 2018?


14 May Cooroy Genealogical Society & Noosaville Library, Cooroy, QLD

  • Convict Ancestors
  • Missing an Ancestor

26 May Gold Coast Family History Seminar, Nerang, QLD

  • Archives You May Not Know But Should
  • Skeletons in the Family: Convicts, Prisons & Asylums


8-9 Jun Unlock the Past  2 day seminar, Perth, WA

  • Online Newspapers: new pathways to finding ancestors (Australian and overseas)
  • School Days: education records for family history
  • Family History on the Cheap: tips and tricks
  • Mining Ancestors: knowing where to look


11 Jul Pine Rivers Heritage Museum, Pine Rivers, QLD

  • A Fishy Look at Bribie Island


4 Aug Family History Centre, Family History Day, Palmwoods, QLD

  • Weaving Your Family History on the Web
  • Australian Archives & Libraries: Free digital genealogy resources online


7-14 Sep Unlock the Past Alaska cruise, Alaska, USA

  • TBD
  • TBD


23 Oct Moreton Regional Libraries, Strathpine Library, Strathpine, QLD

  • Blogging Your Family History

27 Oct Genealogical Society of Queensland Annual Seminar, Brisbane, QLD

  • My Favourite Source Online: Probate Records


19 Nov Moreton Regional Libraries, Caboolture Library, Caboolture, QLD

  • Blogging Your Family History

Online copies of some presentations given can be found on the Resources page of this website.

Requesting a talk/seminar/workshop

It is advisable to book a talk giving as much advance notice as possible as Shauna’s calendar fills up quickly each year. Expenses such as petrol and overnight accommodation if required needs to be met by the host organisation.

Lecture Portfolio

Ancestors in Church: Using Church Publications – This talk explores an underutilised resource that can provide information on our ancestors not likely to be found elsewhere.

Archives You May Not Know But Should – This talk highlights a variety of archives that researchers may not be aware of for genealogy research. It seeks to make researchers more aware of archival resources that may or may not be online.

Asylum Records: A Place to Look for Missing Ancestors – This talk looks at the availability of asylum records in Australia and outlines the type of information that can be found and how useful these records are in finding ancestors who simply disappeared.

Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP): Still Relevant in an Online World – The AJCP is a huge microform resource for material held in the UK National Archives and the county record offices that relates to colonial Australia and especially the convict years. While some of this material has now been indexed and digitised, it is still extremely useful to be aware of what is not online and how it might hold information on your ancestors.

Australian Public Curators: Guardians of Family History Treasure – this presentation looks at records created by the Public Curator/Public Trustee and how they can be used for family history research.

Behind Bars: Convicts and Criminals – This talk explores a wide range of resources for those with convicts or criminals in the family and draws on the speaker’s experience in researching her own family history. All Australian states are covered.

Blogging Your Family History – this presentation looks at sharing your family stories online by blogging. Examples of family history blogs and why they are successful in helping to find distant cousins will be discussed as well as how to set up your own blog.

Brief Introduction to Family History Research – This talk looks at how to start by looking at family sources, archives and libraries, what’s online, useful books to read, the benefits of joining genealogy and family history societies and recording and organising your research.

Bring Your Ancestors to Life: using Court of Petty Session records – this talk shows the family details that can be found in minute and deposition books as well as other court records.

Caring For Your Family Archives – This talk addresses three areas – organising your family records and memorabilia, storing and preserving your family archives and finally, sharing the results of your research with others and the long term future of your research and records.

Convict Ancestors: Fascinating and Frustrating to Research – This talk looks at resources available for researching convicts in both Australia and the UK. It draws on the speaker’s own experiences in researching her own convict ancestors.

Demolishing Brick Walls: Tips & Tricks – Everyone comes up against a brick wall at some point in their research and this paper outlines some search strategies that might assist in getting past that brick wall.

Diaries and Letters: Fleshing out the Family History – This talk reveals the availability of letters and diaries and how they can add context to your own family history even if they are not written by direct ancestors.

Family History on the Cheap: Tips and Tricks – This talk highlights a wide variety of tips and tricks that researchers can use to save themselves time and money when researching their family history.

Google Tools for Genealogy: Are You Making the Most of Google – This talk looks briefly at basic search strategies and how researchers can maximise their search results. It also addresses more advanced tools such as Alerts, Blogs, Books, Library, Images, Videos, Maps and Picasa.

It’s Not All Online: Where Else Can I Look – This talk is a reminder that not everything is online and that researchers still need to use archives, libraries, historical societies and museums, genealogy and family history societies and so on.

Making the Most of Archives: Tips for Using National and State Archives – This talk looks at family history resources available in Australian state and federal archives focussing in particular on indexes, databases and digitised records available online.

Military Ancestors: Discover Their Stories – This talk looks at tracing military ancestors in Australia from the Boer War plus WW1 and WW2 and draws on the speaker’s own research for her military ancestors. Online resources are highlighted.

Mining Ancestors: Knowing Where to Look – this talk explores how to trace your often elusive mining ancestors and their families and looks at a wide variety of resources.

Missing an Ancestor: Try Looking Behind Bars! (prison records) –  This talk looks at resources available for researching prisons and prisoners in Australia (does not include convicts).

Online Newspapers: New Pathways to Discovering Ancestors – This talk looks at digitised Australasian and overseas newspapers online and how to find information on your ancestors beyond the usual BDM and funeral notices.

Online Sources for Queensland Family History – This talks looks at what is available online including state and local government archives, libraries, historical societies, cemeteries and specialist websites.

Online Trends in Family History – This talks looks at various Web 2.0 technology and how it can be used for family history research. In particular, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, nings, RSS and wikis will be discussed.

Researching Australian ancestors – This presentation outlines the major resources for tracing ancestors in Australia including archives, libraries, genealogy and family history societies, military and cemetery resources and more.

School Days: Education Records for Family History – This talk looks at how education records can add context to family history research and sources such as admission registers, correspondence files, newspapers, school histories and so on will be looked at.

Skeletons in the Family: Looking at Convicts, Prisons and Asylum Records – this talk looks at records useful for finding ‘skeletons’ in the family by briefly reviewing available resources.

Sporting Ancestors: Most families have them, how to find yours – this talk examines how to discover if your ancestors played sports (cricket, football, tennis, croquet, fishing, shooting and every other type of sport) and looks at the type of information you can find out about them and their communities

The Best Apps & Blogs for Family History – this presentation explores a range of apps that can be used for family history and looks at what blogs may be useful for your research

To Blog or Not to Blog, That is the Question! – this talk looks at blogging, why do it and how to go about creating your own blog.

Trove & Other NLA Treasures – this talk highlights the National Library of Australia’s resources including Trove, E-Resources, Picture Australia, and the web archive Pandora.

Victorian Resources for Family History Research – This talk looks at resources available for anyone with Victorian ancestors. Topics covered include archives, libraries, historical societies, cemeteries, newspapers, mining records and some lesser known resources.

Warning Warning: Tips and Tricks to Avoid Common Family History Mistakes – This talk draws on the speaker’s own experiences and provides some tips on avoiding common mistakes when starting out. It also provides some tips and tricks to save time and money when researching.

What Was the Voyage Really Like? – This talk illustrates how researchers can find out details of an ancestor’s voyage using resources such as passenger lists, on board reports, medical officer’s reports, ship’s diaries, logs, newspapers etc.

What’s in a Middle Name? – this presentation looks at the importance of middle names and how they can be used to solve brick walls. Two case studies highlight a range of resources used to trace the usage of middle names.

Where Do I Start: tracing family history for beginners –  as the title indicates, this is aimed at beginners who may not be familiar with resources or how to go about recording their research. It may also be useful as a refresher for those who have been doing their family history for some time.


  1. News from MyHeritage Australia – 14 December 2011 - - English blog - [...] Another way is to subscribe to or view at your local library genealogy magazines such as Australian Family Tree…
  2. AFFHO Congress Speaker Interviews - TravelGenee - […] Hicks frequently speaks on a range of family history topics and is a director at Shauna Hicks History Enterprises,…

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