Book me for your next geneaevent


Over the last 45 years I have presented seminars and workshops for libraries, societies, genealogy cruises and conferences. There are a wide range of specialist areas within my portfolio for Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland and Ireland. Most talks are approximately 45 minutes long with time for questions at the end . Other topics, longer workshops and all day seminars may be arranged on consultation. Virtual talks via Zoom or other platforms can be arranged. See more below.

What’s Coming Up in 2024?


12  Legacy Family Tree Webinars, 6pm Sydney time, live virtual.

  • My Top 5 Websites for Victorian research in Australia

19  Noosa Libraries, Noosaville 10am in person

  • Ancestors in War Time: discover their stories


3  Bribie Family History Association, Bribie RSL, 9.30am in person

  • Finding Family in Ireland Online



27 Genealogical Society Queensland, 9.00am Virtual via Zoom

  • Discover Lancashire & Yorkshire Online Resources


2   Bribie Family History Association, 9.30am Bribie RSL in person

  • D is for Diaries: immigration & war

3   Caloundra Family History Research, 9.00am Meridan Plains in person

  • Organising Your DNA Matches Without the Headache
  • Looking for Granddad: a case study

5   Monash Library, 10.15am via Zoom

  • Where Do I Start

28  MyHeritage, 12pm Sydney time, virtual live

  • MyHeritage for family history research in Australia


10 Moreton Bay City Libraries, Caboolture Library, 11.00am in person

  • Looking for Families Behind Bars

12  Moreton Bay City Libraries, Strathpine Library, 9.00am in person

  • Gedmatch: Tips and Tricks


12  Moreton Bay City Libraries, Caboolture Library, 11.00am in person

  • Gedmatch: Tips and Tricks


6   Legacy Family Tree Webinars, 12pm Sydney, 11am Brisbane, live virtual.

  • Family History Treasure in Australian Libraries


1-10  Unlock the Past Genealogy Cruise, Sydney, Hobart, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney

  • Australian Genealogy Online
  • Why Can’t I Find It? Tips and Tricks You Might Not Know
  • Australian Probate Records


It is advisable to book a seminar or workshop giving as much advance notice as possible as my calendar fills up quickly each year. There is a speaker fee per talk and expenses such as petrol and overnight accommodation if required need to be met by the host organisation. Arrangements can be negotiated. Virtual meetings via Zoom can also be arranged.


Thank you very much for your wonderful presentation yesterday afternoon. It’s certainly evoked a lot of discussion afterwards. Many members appreciated your doggedness in following all the leads to solve the problems you encountered.
Port Macquarie & District Family History Society Feb 2022

I loved your talk – I always enjoy listening to you and am in awe of your knowledge and experience – VT Caloundra Aug 2021

Shauna Hicks does a professional, informative presentation and by allowing access to her website attendees can look things up from home after the workshop. Moreton Region Libraries May 2021

Good structured guide & practical advice on what to do: Easy to follow, informative and clear. Noosaville Library Mar 2021

As always your presentations are clear and well presented. David B 2020

Thank you very much for all the work that you do…… I have found many helpful avenues. Julie B 2020



Ancestry’s DNA Tools – explores the various DNA tools in Ancestry to assist researchers understand their matches. Colour coding of matches into family groups, ThruLines, common ancestors and searching for surnames are examined. Downloading raw DNA files and uploading to other sites is also discussed. A practical session aimed at those starting to look at their Ancestry DNA matches.

Apps & Tools for Genealogy – 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.

Archives You May Not Know But Should – 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.

Blogging Your Family History – 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.

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

Diaries and Letters: Fleshing out the Family History – 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 – highlights a wide variety of tips and tricks that researchers can use to save themselves time and money when researching their family history.

FamilySearch Tips & Tricks – explores all the various research areas of FamilySearch including Records, Genealogies, digitised records and the Wiki. Search techniques will also be demonstrated.

Finding Female Ancestors: Tips and Tricks – reveals various resources that can assist in tracing women including certificates, newspapers, probate documents, directories and electoral rolls. Often a woman was known my their husband’s name – Mrs Brown or Mrs Thomas Brown. Tips for how to discover a woman’s given name and maiden name will be given.

Google Tools for Genealogy: Are You Making the Most of Google – 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 and Maps.

It’s Not All Online: Where Else Can I Look – 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 FamilySearch – this looks at the various ways that FamilySearch can be used for family history research. Historical records, online trees, digitised images, the online catalogue and the research wiki will all be explored.

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

Organise Those DNA Matches Without the Headache – learn to use DNA matching tools to sort those matches starting with the known to the unknown. Examples from the different DNA websites will demonstrate how different tools can be used effectively.

Using DNA to Find Biological Ancestors – illustrates how to focus unknown matches to help identify a biological ancestor. The talk demonstrates how the speaker found her own biological grandfather.

What Was the Voyage Really Like? – 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 and newspapers.

What’s in a Middle Name? – examines 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. 

Why Can’t I Find It? What Can I Do Next? – this presentation looks at why researchers may not find people in indexes, the census or other online resources. Tips and tricks to find those records you know are there but simply can’t locate.


Ancestors in Church: Using Church Publications – explores a little known resource that can provide information on our ancestors not likely to be found elsewhere.

Asylum Records: A Place to Look for Missing Ancestors – 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.

Australasian Probate Records -examines the value of wills and probate records for family history research. Documents found in probate files include original last will with testator’s signature, a death certificate, inventory of estate, affidavits, and correspondence. Personal examples are given, and all Australian states and territories are covered as well as New Zealand.

Behind Bars: Convicts and Criminals – 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.

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

Convict Ancestors: Fascinating and Frustrating to Research – 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.

Lesser Known Sources for Surname Searching in Australia – highlights the genealogy rich resources of genealogy and family history societies in Australia. Resources searchable online are the focus but other resources are also included.

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

Military Ancestors: Discover Their Stories – 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 – explores how to trace your often elusive mining ancestors and their families and looks at a wide variety of resources.

Researching Australian ancestors – 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 – 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.

Sporting Ancestors: Most families have them, how to find yours – 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

Tips & Tricks for Researching the National Archives of Australia Online – this talk demonstrates various research strategies to make the most of the National Archives online catalogue. It highlights how records might be missed by not looking effectively.

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


English Genealogy Online Resources That You May Not Know but Should – highlights a variety of genealogical resources for England that are online. Paid and free sites are discussed and indexes, databases, digitised resources including maps and publications are examined.

Irish Genealogy Online Resources That You May Not Know but Should – examines a variety of genealogical resources for both Ireland and Northern Ireland that are online. Paid and free sites are discussed and indexes, databases, digitised resources including Irish certificates, maps and publications are examined.

Online Sources for Midlands Genealogy: Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Stafford – discover the rich resources available for researching family history in these four counties. Online resources and websites are the main focus.

Researching the Tail End of England: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset & Somerset – discover the rich resources available for researching family history in these four counties. Online resources and websites are focussed on.

Scottish Genealogy Online Resources That You May Not Know but Should – explores a variety of genealogical resources for Scotland that are online. Paid and free sites are discussed and indexes, databases, digitised resources including maps and publications are examined.