Auckland Libraries: Family History Expo 2021 speakers

Family History Expo 2021 speakers

Auckland Family History Expo 2021 welcomes international and local guest speakers who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in researching genealogy.


International speakers

Cassie Gilmartin.Cassie Gilmartin

The Portrait Detective (Australia)

Cassie Gilmartin is co-host of The Portrait Detective podcast  and previously, editor and founder of Inside History magazine. She has worked in publishing for the past 20 years with a particular interest in Australian history.



Emma Maxwell.Emma and Graham Maxwell

Scottish Indexes (Scotland)

For 20 years genealogists Graham and Emma Maxwell have been indexing historical records. These indexes are available for free on their website scottishindexes.com .




Jason Reeve.Jason Reeve 

Ancestry AU & NZ (Australia)

Originally from Adelaide, Jason is Content Manager for Ancestry , and is a passionate advocate for all things history. He works with a range of archives, registries, historical and genealogical societies to uncover new collections and share them with the Ancestry community. He is a regular speaker at events on Ancestry and AncestryDNA genetic testing.


Dr Julia Laite.Dr Julia Laite

UK and Newfoundland

Dr Laite is a Reader in Modern History at Birkbeck, University of London, and teaches on women, crime, sexuality and migration in 19th and 20th century Britain. In her book The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A true story of sex, crime, and the meaning of justice  she reconstructed the life of a missing woman, her traffickers and their prosecutors in the early 20th century.


Dr Leah LarkinDr Leah Larkin 

TheDNAgeek (US)

Dr Larkin earned her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Texas at Austin, using DNA to study species relationships. She blogs at TheDNAGeek.com  and is co-creator of the What Are the Odds? tool  at DNA Painter. She has spoken at RootsTech and regional societies, and addition to taking private clients, is currently working on strategies and tools for dealing with endogamy.


Margot Riley.Margot Riley

The Portrait Detective (Australia)

Margot Riley is a curator based at the State Library of NSW. She is a cultural historian with research expertise in textiles and dress and co-hosts The Portrait Detective podcast .




Mark Bayley.Mark Bayley

TheGenealogist (UK)

As the head of online development for TheGenealogist and company director at S&N British Data Archive, Mark has been involved in genealogy from an early age. He studied Computer Science at university, and developed TreeView for his dissertation. TreeView.co.uk  is a free, online family tree builder that lets you record, display, chart, import, export and share genealogical information.


Michael Higgins.Michael Higgins

FamilySearch (New Zealand and the Pacific)

Mike looks after FamilySearch’s New Zealand and Pacific operations, including training volunteers, creating relationships with government officials and archive leaders in an effort to preserve significant genealogical records sets, and enjoying pleasant tours like this where he gets to engage with others who love this work. He recently graduated with a masters’ degree in business.



Michelle Leonard.Michelle Leonard 

Genes & Genealogy (Scotland)

Michelle Leonard is a Scottish professional genealogist, DNA detective, author, speaker, historian and the official genetic genealogist of #AncestryHour . She runs Genes & Genealogy , specialising in solving all manner of unknown ancestor mysteries with a combination of DNA expertise and traditional research methodology. She also co-authored Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide For Family Historians .


Myko Clelland.Myko Clelland 

Findmypast (UK)

Genealogist, spokesperson & regional licensing manager for Findmypast, Myko regularly discusses family history on television, radio, online and in print. He has Masters’ degree in Genealogy (distinction) and has spoken at Oxford University, The National Archives (UK) , National Library of Wales , RootsTech , The Society of Genealogists , and Who Do You Think You Are? Live.


Local speakers

Elena Fowler.Elena Fowler

Elena comes from a family of keen genealogists. She is representing MyHeritage and Legacy Family Tree Webinars at this Expo as well as sharing her expertise on evaluating Polynesian DNA test results.



Fiona Brooker.Fiona Brooker

Memories in Time

Fiona has served as both President and Treasurer of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists  (NZSG) and convened the 2008 and 2018 national conferences. She holds a Higher Certificate in Genealogy from the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies  and began Memories in Time  to help others trace their family history. She is a co-founder of Talking Family History .


Gail Riddell.Gail Riddell

Gail is a well-known presenter of DNA in the New Zealand Genetic Genealogy circles and contributor to genetic genealogy forums and newsletters in NZ, US and UK. FamilyTreeDNA  aka FTDNA uses her skills by having her foster projects and newcomers. Her forte is Genealogical testing. Now retired, Gail now teaches ‘Using genetics for genealogical research’ in Motueka, Tasman.


Jan Gow.Jan Gow QSM FSG

Both a Past Treasurer and President of the NZSG, Jan was awarded the AFFHO Award for Meritorious Service and is a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists , London. She holds the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for service to genealogy. Jan has spoken at local, national and international conferences, cruise ships and in community education. Visit Beehive Books  and Hooked on Genealogy Tours .


Joan McCracken.Joan McCracken

Joan has worked at the Alexander Turnbull Library  since 1984 and has been the leader of the Library’s Outreach Services team since 2011. The team supports Turnbull’s public events programme, and includes a Field Conservator, who advises community groups on care of collections, and one oral history advisor. Joan has a personal interest in family history research.



Leilani Schmidt.Leilani Schmidt

Leilani is a co-admin with the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Samoa DNA Project and assists Samoans, including Samoans with European, Chinese, Tongan and or other heritage to understand their DNA results.




Liam Appleton.Liam Appleton

Liam is a Research Librarian with Auckland Libraries since 2017 and holds a Master of Arts in History from the University of Auckland. As a librarian, Liam has helped unravel pieces of many family histories, including his own. He also helps support the Auckland Libraries Heritage Talks programme and writes for the library’s Heritage et al blog .



Marie Hickey.Marie Hickey

Marie has been researching her family for over 40 years and working at Research Central (Auckland Libraries) for over 15. A former staff member of the Society of Genealogists in London, she enjoys assisting others with research, and mentoring colleagues in family history. She has taught night school classes in family history, and presented papers at conferences and expos in New Zealand.


Mary Shadbolt.Mary Shadbolt

Mary is the Chairperson of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists  Board of Directors, which has governance and policy oversight of the organisation.





Michelle Patient.Michelle Patient

Scientist and genealogist, Michelle is a past President of the NZSG and current NZ representative of the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS) . She has spoken in New Zealand, Australia, and England, and has an interest in education, surname research, adoptions, methodology, and technology. She set up the New Zealand DNA Users Group  and is a co-founder of Talking Family History .



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