My Up and Coming Overseas Research Trip to Britain and Europe.

In a couple of months or so I will be on board the Marco Polo, cruising around Great Britain. I am attending an Unlockthepast Family History Conference Cruise and am particularly looking forward to the many presentations on a great range of topics. Check out for all the details.

As a large number of my husband’s, as well as my ancestors are from the Emerald Isle, I will be attending as many of those presentations with an Irish connection as I possibly can. I also believe a couple of my Irish families originally came from Scotland, so I will hopefully gain some ideas from the Scottish presentations too.

It is not only the lectures that attracted me to this Family History Conference Cruise, but a daily segment called ‘Research Help Zone’, which is a one on one or small group session with an expert, which is designed to help conference participants break down those stubborn ‘brick walls’. Helen Smith’s excellent  blog at ( informs us about the Research Help Zone and advice on how to prepare for this segment of the cruise. It is great advice for everyone wanting to get the best from the cruise.

This is not my first cruise with Unlockthepast and Gould Genealogy. I attended the 2nd Cruise, Auckland to Sydney in 2011, which also had a Scottish and Irish Theme with many wonderful presenters over 14 days of cruising.

I not only gleaned many research follow up ideas from the lectures, but I also participated in the Research Help Zone sessions and received great advice from Perry McIntyre, Keith Johnson and Chris Paton, which enabled me to make further progress with my Irish research, when I returned home.

I also caught up with many friends made over forty years on my family history journey, as well as making many new ones. Many people are happy to attend conferences on land, but these are always very busy and somewhat rushed as everything has to run to a strict timetable. On a cruise there is a timetable, but you can always find time after hours to continue to converse with like minded people on your favourite topic and of course listen to others family history stories and problems. Sometimes you can even make some suggestions which might help them in their ancestor hunt too.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you how I am preparing for not only the Unlockthepast Cruise, but other tours in Britain and Europe and extensive research sessions in libraries and archives I’m planning, especially in London.