Announcing the Unlock the Past Conference in Seattle

Unlock the Past has announced a major, unique genealogy conference to be held in Seattle, Washington on Thursday, September 6. There are several unique aspects about this one-day conference:

1. It is a one-day genealogy conference program that will feature no less than 10 presentations in two streams – a DNA stream and an Irish/general stream, presented by four of the top international genealogy and DNA experts of our time:

Blaine Bettinger (USA)

Dr Maurice Gleeson (UK)

Cyndi Ingle – best known for her famous web site, Cyndi’s List (USA)

Wayne Shepheard (Canada)

2. The conference is very international. Not only do the four speakers come from three different countries, the hosting company (Unlock the Past) is based in Australia but is well known for hosting genealogy cruises all over the world.

3. It is a one-day conference being held on a weekday (Thursday), something that is unusual amongst genealogy conferences.

4. The conference is being held in Seattle, Washington, the day before Unlock the Past holds a genealogy Cruise to Alaska that departs from and eventually returns to Seattle. Conference attendees certainly are invited to join in the cruise! However, cruise attendance is not required; the one-day conference in Seattle is open to anyone and everyone.

By the way, I also plan on attending both the conference in Seattle and the following Cruise to Alaska. Will I see you at either event?

Here is the conference announcement from Unlock the Past:

Adelaide, South Australia, 24 May 2018 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces Unlock the Past in Seattle, a full day two stream “land conference” in Seattle, a companion event to our 14th Unlock the Past cruise to Alaska. It is open to all – whether on the cruise or not.

Date & time: Thursday 6 September 2018, 9am-5pm Venue: Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA Cost: AU$57 (approx US$45, £33, CA$59, NZ$62)

The conference program will feature 10 presentations in two streams – a DNA stream and an Irish/general stream. There will be an exhibition with supporting/sponsoring partners, plus prizes totaling over AU$1000.

The presenters (also see the Presenters Page)

• BLAINE BETTINGER (USA) – Blaine is a professional genealogist specialising in DNA evidence. He is the author of the long-running blog The Genetic Genealogist and the books The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.

• DR MAURICE GLEESON (UK) – Maurice was voted Genetic Genealogist of the Year 2015 (SurnameDNA Journal) and Rockstar Genealogist, Ireland 2016 (Anglo-Celtic Connections). He runs a variety of Y-DNA Surname projects and organises the DNA Lectures at Genetic Genealogy Ireland.

• CYNDI INGLE (USA) – Cyndi is the creator and owner of the award-winning web site Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet, a categorised index to more than 333,000 online resources. In its first three years, Cyndi’s List was voted the best genealogy site.

• WAYNE SHEPHEARD (Canada) – A retired geologist, Wayne now spends most of his time on family history research. This has resulted in the pioneering publication Surviving Mother Nature’s tests: The effects climate change and other natural phenomena have had on the lives of our ancestors.

For details and bookings go to

The cruise – the 14th Unlock the Past cruise to Alaska departs from Seattle the day after this land conference. It will offer 40 topics by 18 presenters in three streams during the 7-day cruise to Alaska. There are still places. Why not join us and 150 other cruisers in our group?

About Unlock the Past
Australian based Unlock the Past was established in 2009. It is the event and publishing division of Gould Genealogy & History which has served family and local historians since 1976. It is a collaborative venture involving an international team of expert speakers, writers, organisations and commercial partners to promote history and genealogy through innovative major events and a new publishing brand. It also maintains general and events directories online. Since 2010 Unlock the Past has run over 130 events, including expos, roadshows, regional seminars, history and genealogy cruises around the world – even Australia’s first ever battlefield tour. They’ve published over 100 guide books and handy guides for researchers, all of them offered in print and ebook editions.


Dick, your comment “The conference is very international” – this is very true. The conference is open to all including those from our cruise. Our cruise group mix is nearly 40% each from the US and Australia and the rest evenly divided between Canada, the UK and New Zealand. I suspect this will, percentage-wise, be the most internationally diverse genealogy event ever. And this will apply, though with a somewhat higher US proportion, to the Seattle conference as well.


Some of the speakers of the Seattle Conference and/or the Alaska Cruise are following it up with a visit to Kelowna, B.C. for the KDGS Genealogy Conference from Sept 28 to 30, including Cyndi Ingle, Blaine Bettinger and Helen Smith. I would have loved to join you all on the Alaska cruise but the timing didn’t work for me. Please say hi to Alan Phillips, Alona Tester and Ed Thompson for me when you’re out at sea.


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