Unlock the Past Researching Abroad Roadshow

Unlock the Past is known for bringing the world’s best speakers to you, and they’re doing it again, with the “Researching Abroad: Finding European and British Isles Ancestors” Roadshow.

This time Unlock the Past are bringing Chris Paton from Scotland and Dirk Weissleder from Germany, who are both leading international genealogical speakers, down south to tour around Australia and New Zealand sharing their expert knowledge with you.

The Roadshow will be visiting 7 cities over a 2 1/2 week period in August 2017. These one and two day seminars will allow those attending to learn from the experts on how to research your British Isles and European (particularly German) ancestors.

Chris Paton will teach you all about Irish, Scottish and British research. He will cover getting started in British and Irish family history research, delves deep into the British and Irish newspapers to find the stories that add flesh to the bone. All about the Scottish records to look for prior to 1800, what websites you should and shouldn’t be using for your Irish research and he will enlighten you about the terms and records available for “ancestral crisis”. Abandonment, murder, suicide, illness or plague, a fire, flood or other catastrophe, or even when the debts piled up and bankruptcy took over – these, and a whole heap more, all fit into the “ancestral crisis” category. Use these events to your advantage, and find what records can help you in your search.

Dirk Weissleder brings his vast knowledge on what primary and secondary records are available for German research and what you should be looking for. He’ll introduce you to the International German Genealogical Partnership and explain what its role is, he’ll give an introduction to European research, discuss research trip activities and examples in the ancestral home village, and give an overview of various archives, libraries and institutions in Germany.

The local societies and libraries in each city will also give short talks highlighting just what British Isles and European resources they have available, and how they can help you with your research.

If the speakers and talks alone aren’t enough, each venue will have special “Roadshow-only” offers, a prize draw (see below), and a number of exhibitors there, so you can check out the latest titles.

1 day $57, 2 days $87 (see the links for each city below for booking)

A prize draw for all who pre-book will be held with $1200-$1500 or more in prizes in each city.



BRISBANE – Tue-Wed 8-9 Aug 2017
Kedron-Wavell Services Club, Chermside South – 9am-4.30pm each day
CLICK HERE for Brisbane program and other details

AUCKLAND – Fri-Sun 11-13 Aug 2017
Fickling Convention Centre, Three Kings, Auckland
(Auckland Expo organised by the Auckland Library)

SYDNEY – Tue-Wed 15-16 Aug 2017
Parramatta RSL, Parramatta – 9am-4.30pm each day
CLICK HERE for Sydney program and other details

MELBOURNE – Fri-Sat 18-19 Aug 2017
Veneto Club, Bulleen – 9am-4.30pm each day
CLICK HERE for Melbourne program and other details

CANBERRA – Mon 21 Aug 2017
The Harmonie German Club of Canberra, Narrabundah – 9am-4.30pm
CLICK HERE for Canberra program and other details

ADELAIDE – Wed-Thu 23-24 Aug 2017
The German Club, Adelaide – 9am-4.30pm each day
CLICK HERE for Adelaide program and other details

PERTH – Sat 26 Aug 2017
State Library of WA, Perth – 9am-4.30pm
CLICK HERE for Perth program and other details


Chris Paton
Originally from Northern Ireland, Chris Paton is a Scottish based professional genealogist, running the Scotland’s Greatest Story ancestral research service (www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk). He is a regular contributor to several UK and Ireland based family history publications, and author of numerous family history books. He also writes the daily The GENES Blog (GEnealogy News and EventS) at www.britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk, as well as his own personal genealogy blog https://scotlandsgreateststory.wordpress.com/blog

A holder of a Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies, Chris has tutored for the University of Strathclyde’s postgraduate genealogical studies programme (www.strath.ac.uk/genealogy), and teaches online Scottish genealogy courses through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd (www.pharostutors.com). He has lectured across Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, US, Portugal and on genealogy cruises.

He currently serves as a member of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland user forum and a director of the Scottish Archive Network.

Chris was the featured presenter at the Unlock the Past Sydney Expo in October 2010 and has been a presenter on three Unlock the Past genealogy cruises. He will also be a lead presenter on our 2018 Alaskan cruise.

www.forum-familiengeschichte.de (in German – but can be translated)
Dirk is a genealogy consultant and national chairman of the Deutsche Arbeisgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände – www.dagv.org. This is the umbrella organisation of the genealogical and heraldic associations in Germany. DAGV has 67 member associations with more than 22,000 members. He is President of the Federation of Family Associations (Bund der Familienverbände, BdF).

As national chairman he is developing partnerships with relevant German organisations worldwide. In May 2015, together with colleagues in Minnesota the German-American Genealogical Partnership (GAGP) was established and in 2016 the German-Australian Genealogy and History Alliance (GAGHA). The German-American partnership has just been renamed International German Genealogical Partnership. It will host the 2017 International Genealogy conference in Minnesota 28-30 July 2017.

phone: (08) 8263 2055
email: inquiries@unlockthepast.com.au