4th cruise - Julie Goucher 2Julie Goucher is another of our overseas guest speakers on the 4th Unlock the Past Cruise, and she’s coming all the way from England to be a part of it.

I haven’t had the chance to meet Julie as yet, but certainly look forward to doing so on the cruise as I’ve been following her through social media for a couple of years now. And even without meeting her, I admire her passion for genealogy and her knowledge.

Having recently been featured in “May I introduce You To … ” series, between that and the questions below, you’ll learn a little bit more about Julie.


NAME: Julie Goucher

There’s always ‘something’ that sparks an interest in genealogy/history. What was it that sparked your interest?
I have always loved history and started researching my own ancestry in the summer of 1986 following a sense of needing to know who I was.

I had grown up making regular visits to sisters of my Grandfather so it felt very comfortable to ask them questions. By then my surviving Great Aunts were into the 70s and 80s and more than happy to chat about the old days. Some of my fondest memories are of Saturday afternoons with my Great Aunts, who I think were slightly bewildered as to my interest, scribbling notes and asking question after question.

I am deeply proud of my roots, I am a Surrey girl whose maternal ancestry is deeply embedded into the fibres of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, although one of my Great Grandfather’s was from Warwickshire. On my maternal line I have roots to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India.

Turning to my paternal line I knew next to nothing when I started researching in 1986. Information was in very short supply and I contemplated ways around the numerous barriers I was facing. My paternal line stems from Sicily and as a way to research more into this line I made the decision over a decade ago to register with the Guild of One Name Studies and research all occurrences worldwide for the name of ORLANDO. Furthermore, over the last 20 years I have recorded any reference to the Sicilian commune that my family hails from and will in due course register that commune with the Society for One Place Studies.

If you had a time-machine what relative (past, present or future) would you most like to meet?
I have an ancestor called Esther Bellasis. Esther was married to a chap called George Bridges Bellasis who was employed by the Honourable East India Company. George was charged with killing a man via a duel for protecting the honour of one of Esther’s sisters. George was sentenced to 7 years in Botany Bay and with his wife they sailed on board “The Fly” in 1801. George was eventually pardoned, but Esther left behind in Australia a lovely picture which is houses at the Mitchell Library in Sydney. Her work is reported to the earliest in Australia. I would so like to meet Esther and her sisters. I would like to ask her how she felt about her time in Australia and did she paint other material. Why did she leave one in Australia? So many questions!

Is genealogy/history your main job?|
Following my pharmacy training I have a career in pharmacy management, and took a side step into pharmacy training and various areas roles for the company that I worked for. I have a history degree, completed as a mature student and am starting now to get the life work balance a little more equal. Making the decision to leave pharmacy full time was not as difficult as one might expect, as I suddenly realised, sadly, that the profession was not what it once was.

I am now making the transition into writing, researching and presenting and spent several months towards the end of 2012 writing and developing a series of presentations called “The Book of Me, Written by You” and during the early part of 2013 I delivered that presentation to a professional group as a series of workshops and have several upcoming groups booked. A revised set up of those presentations is about to commence online and further details are available via my webpage.

I write a regular genealogical monthly column called Across the Pond for the In-Depth Genealogist which is a digi magazine (http://www.theindepthgenealogist.com/)

Do you have any wise words for those just starting out in genealogy?
Don’t leave your own grandchildren wondering as to who you were.


For those of you who are going on the 4th cruise, here is the topic that Julie is going to be speaking on, based on the current Program:
– One Place Studies



Twitter – @juliegoucher