30 January 2012

Genealogy Rock Stars: Australia and New Zealand

There are several hundred thousand estimated family and local historians in Australia and maybe 2 to 3 times that number with a casual interest in the subject. That's information from Unlock the Past. The survey results are based on the votes of 63 people who gave their residence as Australia or New Zealand.

There was a tie for the person with the most votes, 30 votes each:

1. Shauna Hicks is based near Melbourne,Victoria, and runs Shauna Hicks History Enterprises, described at her website as "a small personal part time business specialising in local and family history research. Established in August 2009, it seeks to assist people in researching their own family and community histories. One of the primary projects I am involved with, as lead presenter, is Unlock the Past which is a series of history and genealogy events in Australia and New Zealand."


1. Judy WebsterGrad.Dip. Local and Applied History, is an accredited researcher with many years of experience in genealogy / family history research, especially at Queensland State Archives.
Judy Webster's Genealogy Advice website is crammed with content, especially for those researching in Queensland. It includes a name index to various sources at Queensland State Archives.
Judy is perhaps best known on the larger stage for developing the Genealogists for Families project, which makes $25 loans that enable borrowers without access to traditional banks to expand their businesses, support their families, save for the future and raise themselves out of poverty. The project received the 2011 GeneaBlog Award for Best New Community Project having gained more than 135 members in 9 countries helping over 290 individuals or groups.

3. Chris Paton (28), although based in Scotland, has gained profile recently visiting Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. That's in addition to being well known through his widely read British GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) blog and teaching online Scottish courses through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd.

Others who gained at least half as many votes as the winners were:
4. Heather Garnsey (22)
5. Kerry Farmer (20)
5. Martyn Killion (20)
7. Nick Barratt (19)
8. Dan Lynch (16)
8. Dick Eastman (16)
10. Michael Gandy (17)
11.Thomas MacEntee (15)

New Zealand's Jan Gow, recently awarded the Queen’s Service Medal "For services to genealogical research," attracted 10 votes, especially notable considering the ratio of population between Australia and New Zealand.

Remember that 63 is a small sample. Three votes separate 5th and 10th rank so don't place much emphasis on the rankings.


Judy Webster said...

John, thanks for mentioning the project. At least eight of the twelve people on this list are members of our Genealogists for Families team. (I say 'at least' because some people join anonymously).

I would not have achieved much in the genealogy world without Martyn Killion - my mentor, friend and genealogical role model since the 1980s. Heather Garnsey deserves a special mention too, because she brought a shy little me out of my shell at the first genealogy conference I ever attended.

Bribie Family History Association said...

Great to tie with long time friend Judy but also lots of other good speakers here in Oz & NZ who didn't even get on the list (possibly because take up of social media here is still quite poor).

Anonymous said...

Way to go everyone, we are not worthy :-)

Keep up the great work.
Michelle aka patientgenie