Unlock the Past Cruise Speaker Profile: Geoff Doherty

Voyager of the Seas 01Believe it or we’ve reached the end of our speaker profiles for those who’ll be presenting on the 4th Unlock the Past Cruise, as Geoff Doherty is the lucky last, and it’s nicely timed too, since the ship is due to leave port tomorrow.

Geoff blames his wife, Marg for getting him into family history in the first place, but in doing so it has led to him doing university studies relating to the Boer War for which he has a passion.

Geoff and Marg have been on all the Unlock The Past cruises to date and consider them to be a wonderful way to explore family history and meet new people with a like interest.

And I know the photo doesn’t show Geoff, but if you can see a person standing on deck it could well be him. ;-)


NAME:  Geoff Doherty
HOMETOWN/COUNTRY: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Q1. Think back to your childhood … now what is your favourite memory from that time?
How far back do you want me to go, eh??   I think reading would be a good answer.

Q2. There’s always ‘something’ that sparks an interest in genealogy/history? What was it that sparked your interest?  I think it must be some sort of aerially transmitted STD virus thingy, you know.  I only developed the addiction when I started going out  with Marg.  I accompanied her to the state library one day while she was doing some research for this funny thing called Family History, so I thought I would just sit around and read some books.  Then I got bored and went and had a look over her shoulder, as she was winding through some microfilm records. It turned out that she was looking at my family’s records – checking for skeleton’s in the closet before we got married, I guess.  After watching for a while, I said “I could do that.”  The rest is history!

Q3. How old were you when you developed an interest in this hobby?

Q4. What countries across this big wide world did your ancestors come from?
The usual mix: England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, The Channel Islands.

Q5. Is genealogy/history your main job?
 No, I’m retired, remember?

Q6. Do you have a genealogy mentor or idol? Someone who has deeply influenced you in your research along the way?
No.  Unless you count Marg, but I blame her for getting me into this.

Q7. We all know that your family history can reveal some amazing things. Have any of your discoveries resulted in a life-changing experience?
I got married, didn’t I. Does that count?

Q8. What do you find most challenging about research?
The research, of course.

Q9. If you had a time-machine what relative (past, present or future) would you most like to meet?
The original Clydesdale ancestor who came to Melbourne from Glasgow c.1849, and his Irish orphan wife – neither of them were on the ship he said they both were on, and I can’t find a marriage for them anywhere – so there is a bit of a story there, for sure.

Q10. Still using that time machine, you’ve been propelled into the future five years, what do you see yourself doing?
Still being retired – I hope.

Q11. What value do you think social media plays in genealogy these days?
I don’t know, as I don’t participate, unless forced to, so am not qualified to comment.

Q12. What do you do when you aren’t doing genealogy or history?
Reading Science Fiction.

Q13. What do you hope to get out of a genealogy cruise?
A lot of enjoyment.  And a bit more knowledge.  In that order.

Q14. Share with us a few (up to five) of the genealogy websites that you tend to spend the most time on?
- FamilySearch
- Ancestry
- Findmypast
- GenealogyBank

Q15. Do you have any wise words for those just starting out in genealogy?
Give it a go, it can’t hurt. But it can be expensive at times, so like all things addictive, moderation is the key.


For those of you who are going on the 4th cruise, here is the topic that Geoff is expected to be speaking on, based on the current program:
- Researching Boer War Ancestry

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