Conference Announcement: “Hidden Voices of our Ancestors”, 31st August-2nd September 2018

Four major genealogical organisations in the UK are coming together to host a major family history conference to be held from Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September 2018 at  the Jury’s Inn, Hinckley Island Hotel Watling Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire LE10 3JA.

The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA), The Guild of One Name Studies, the Halsted Trust and the Society of Genealogists invite speakers to submit talks.

The conference lectures will be aimed at family historians interested in tracing ancestors who may be less represented in mainstream records, whose voices are difficult to hear or who might be overlooked or indeed elusive.

The conference lectures and after dinner talks are expected to feature nationally and internationally known genealogical speakers but the organisers will also look favourably on new talks and subjects that have not been presented before. To learn more about forthcoming news on the conference see the Secret Lives of Our Ancestors web pages

Deadline for Submissions:­ 30 Sept 2017

Conference Themes

We are inviting submissions for papers and presentations on a variety of themes and suggests submission topics and these to include, amongst others:

  • Bigamy
  • Divorce
  • Marriage breakdown from 18th-20th centuries
  • LGBTQIA Lives, social history, records and current research
  • Criminal under class
  • Bagnios and Bawdy Houses. Prostitution in 18th Century London
  • Fallen Women – Victorian Prostitution and Reform
  • Victorian Detectives, Police and Crime
  • Transportation
  • Social deprivation in London and other urban areas
  • Social deprivation and life in rural areas
  • Researching Women ancestors
  • Ecclesiastical or Bawdy Courts cases
  • Litigation and civil and equity court  records case studies
  • Migrant communities – Jewish Manchester, Irish Liverpool
  • Workhouses and other institutions inmates
  • School and institutions for poor children
  • A poor person’s death – Funeral Clubs and Friendly Societies

These are just some ideas the conference organisers thought of. We are sure you can suggest others and look forward to hearing them.

Sessions will generally be limited to fifty minutes plus a ten-minute question-and-answer session.

Sessions will be video recorded and made available after the conference to attendees and non- attendees.

ALL lecturers are expected to provide a synopsis of the lecture and biographical information as part of the submission. If accepted this, along with a photograph will be published and used for publicity purposed. ALL lecturers are expected to provide syllabus material (hand-outs, notes or copies of slides or presentations as word documents or PDF files) which will be made be available to attendees in electronic form either through the conference webpages or as a conference CD. Syllabus materials will be due by July 31 2018 and are required for each lecture or workshop presentation


Anyone wishing to submit a talk for the conference should contact the Secret Lives of Our Ancestors conference programme secretary Else Churchill by email on who will supply a conference proposal form as a word document which will require the following information:

  • Speaker’s full name, address, telephone and email address.
  • Lecture title, not to exceed fourteen words, and a brief but comprehensive outline
  • Short summary of the lecture; word count not to exceed 100 words, which will be used in the program and pre conference publicity if selected.
  • Brief speaker biography, not to exceed 100 words.
  • Resume of recent lectures given by the speaker. Those who have not spoken previously at a regional or national conference are encouraged to submit an audio or video tape of a recent lecture.

Speakers are expected to use an electronic presentation program, such as Powerpoint. The conference will provide the laptop, data projector, VGA cable, stand and power. Talks using OHPs will NOT be accepted.

Individuals may submit a maximum of 5 proposals.

Completed proposal forms must be e-mailed by 30 Sept 2017 to Else Churchill with the subject: Secret Lives of Our Ancestors

Speakers selected by the conference and who are not sponsored elsewhere, will receive a speaker’s fee and reasonable travel expenses, within the UK, agreed in advance with the Trust after acceptance of the submission. Speakers may also receive complimentary day delegate conference registration in lieu of fees.

Sponsorship opportunities

Sponsorship for individual lectures and lecturers may be agreed with the Halsted Trust. Speakers who have their sessions sponsored will receive a complimentary day delegate conference registration. Compensation and travel expenses are at the discretion of the sponsoring organization.

Questions. Contact the Conference Team on

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