Growing up in Sydney, Michelle spent many hours at her grandmother’s knee hearing family stories. First dipping her own toes into genealogy research in 1994, she became seriously addicted during a wet 1999 summer, and it has been her passion ever since.
With ancestry ranging from Australian convicts, 1860s New Zealand economic migrants, through to the post-WWII Royal Naval Support offered to the Royal Australian Navy, her personal research covers a wide range of the British Isles diasporas.
With a degree in Pure and Applied Chemistry followed by technical qualifications in Geology, Michelle has a love of data, facts and research. Working for many years in civil engineering laboratories before moving into programming databases for marketing projects, she has spoken to various community and work-related groups since the 1970s.
A Ryerson Index volunteer since 2008 Michelle is a member of the NZSG, Society of Australian Genealogists, GOONS and SoG. Michelle has also been a full time volunteer for the NZSG since 2010, working on the New Zealand’s Family History Fair (NZFHF) planning committee and as the NZSG Facebook Administrator.
Michelle has been published in various magazines: Sydney PC Users Group magazine PrintScreen, writing the regular “Information for New Users” (IfNu) column, Australian Family Tree Connection Magazine and Royal Australian Historical Society’s History Magazine. Up until her election as President of the NZSG, Michelle (aka patientgenie) wrote the column “Genie and the Net” for The New Zealand Genealogist.
Recent Genealogy related presentations include:
The Royal Australian Historical Society:
Hat Manufacturing, the Uther Family in Australia
At various venues around New Zealand:
Benefits and Limitations of the Internet
Using Facebook for Genealogy
Uncorking the Genie from your Computer
The Value of Surname Studies
Who are we? – the New Zealand Society of Genealogists
Australian Research Tips
In between her genealogy activities Michelle manages to squeeze in a bit of needlework and is particularly interested in antique samplers.
Shackles, Shekels and Shrapnel – the Exodus to the Southern Seas
Convict, Gold and Military migration to Australia and New Zealand. Changes in Britain post the 1776 War of Independence, along with Capt James Cook’s mapping of New Zealand (1769) and New South Wales (1770), led to convicts and marines being sent to Botany Bay in 1787. So began British migration to the Southern Seas.
Factors driving various waves of migration (economic, political, family ties, adventure) will be discussed, along with the effects the British diasporas had on the Aboriginal and Māori Communities and their environment. Tips on tracing those missing down-under branches of your tree will also be covered.