RQG member- Dr Penny Walters

9 Sep, 2018

RQG member- Dr Penny Walters

Dr. Penny Walters has been a University Lecturer for 30+ years, teaching Undergraduate and Masters Psychology, and Business Studies throughout the UK; and has been the External Examiner at 2 Universities (Cumbria and Birmingham). Penny’s PhD (2001) investigated ‘Ethical Dilemmas in Health Promotion’ (Brunel).


Penny was adopted at birth, and her ancestral search has taken her back from the UK, through south Wales’ coalmines, to the Irish Famine, specifically to the southern counties of Cork & Kerry. DNA testing revealed that Penny is 71% Irish heritage, which supported the paper trail of ¾ of her ancestors coming from Ireland. This information has now led to many recent visits to Ireland, to get the feel of where her ancestors had to leave. Penny has 6 mixed race children, who have all undertaken DNA tests, revealing fascinating insights into their own cultural heritages.


Penny obtained the Post. Graduate Certificate in Genealogy from Strathclyde University, and was recently the Editor of the Journal of the Bristol & Avon Family History Society. Penny will be appearing on the forthcoming series of the Channel 4 television series ‘Genealogy Roadshow’.


Penny lectures internationally and writes articles about the following genealogical topics: ethical dilemmas within genealogy; the psychology of searching; adoption; diaspora; Irish heritage; mixing DNA results with a paper trail; Ivory Coast ancestors (slave history); the professionalization of genealogy; family history in Egypt; and genealogy tourism.


Recent lectures have included ‘Searching for Ancestors when you’re adopted’ FFS Annual Conference, Bristol; ‘Searching for Ancestors when you’re adopted’ & ‘Mixing DNA results with a paper trail’ The Name Event, London; and Genealogy Tourism’ at the Irish Famine Summer School;  ‘Black British family history research’ at the UK Secret Lives Conference.


Forthcoming lectures include ‘Ethical dilemmas in adoption research’ at the Society of Genealogists; ‘The Psychology of Searching’ at the APG Professional Management Conference, Kansas City, USA; ‘Searching for Ancestors when you’re adopted’ Glamorgan FHS; ‘What does the future hold?’ Register of Qualified Genealogists Conference; ‘Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy’, East London FHS; ‘Hidden Ethnicities in Black British Heritage’ Wiltshire FHS and Birmingham FHS; ‘Mixing DNA results with a paper trail’ and ‘Discovering un/ expected ethnicities in DNA tests’, Society of Genealogists; ‘Mixing DNA results with a paper trail’ Bath FHS; ‘The Psychology of Searching and Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy’, Guild of One Name Studies Annual Conference, Leicester.


Please get in touch if you would like Penny to lecture or facilitate a workshop at an event,

Contact: penny_walters@talk21.com

website: http://www.searchmypast.co.uk/

FB Business page: https://www.facebook.com/searchmypast/

Follow on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/penny.walters/?hl=en

Join Network on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-p-walters-19702759/

Clare O'Grady