Unlock the Past Cruises


Paul MilnerMilner

A professional genealogist and lecturer, specialising in British Isles and US research for over 30 years, Paul was born and raised in northern England and settled in the US in 1975. He is a nationally recognised speaker for British Isles research and migration. He is the author of Genealogy at a Glance: England Researchplus co-author of A Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your English Ancestors and A Genealogists Guide to Discovering Your Scottish Ancestors. He teaches the week-long English and Scottish research tracks at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama. He is a past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG); Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS); and Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG); and past president of the British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois (BIGWILL). He is currently the book review editor for the FGS Forum and BIGWILL.

Paul has a portfolio of about 70 topics, specialising in, but not limited to, the British Isles. We will benefit from a good selection of these.

Bob VelkeVelke

Bob is the president of Wholly Genes, Inc., the makers of The Master Genealogist (TMG) and other family history software tools since 1992.  He is also the president of Archive CD Books USA, a partner company in an international Archive CD Books Project which digitises old books, maps, and other materials of interest to genealogists. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), a former Board member of GENTECH, Inc., a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, a participant in the Lexicon Working Group, and a co-author of the GENTECH Genealogical Data Model (GDM). He has been involved in the Member Ancestor Chart (MAC) and other NGS projects.

Bob received a B.A. in Criminology from the University of Maryland, where he later taught that subject and trained police departments on research and analysis techniques. He is a frequent lecturer at family history conferences on technology issues and is a genealogical researcher of some 30 years, with a special interest in the American Civil War and southwestern Virginia.

Bob will give up to five TMG presentations/workshops and be available on occasions in the Research Help Zone for small group or one on one help sessions


Rosemary KopittkeRosemary

Rosemary has been tracing her family in Australia, England and Scotland since 1985. A statistician by training, she has worked as an hydrologist, teacher an
d biometrician though now works as a consultant for Gould Genealogy & History and Unlock the Past. Rosemary is a regular presenter at Unlock the Past events and genealogy groups; she spoke at the New Zealand Family History Fair in 2011 and presented at the New Zealand Society of Genealogists Conference at Taupo in June 2012. She is the author of The New findmypast.com.au: gateway to the world collection  and co-author of Which genealogy program? books; edited Queensland Founding Families: biographies of families living in Queensland prior to separation from New South Wales; and has published numerous indexes but is probably best known for Emigrants from Hamburg to Australasia 1850-1879 which she compiled with husband Eric.

Rosemary has served the Queensland FHS as President for three years and in various other capacities for 25 years. She is a current member of the AFFHO Council and the Queensland FHS Management Committee, a Fellow of QFHS and, in 2006, received the AFFHO Award for Meritorious Services to Family History. More details, including a list of topics Rosemary offers.