AGRA conference a ‘resounding success’


05 October 2023
AGRA Experts lead the panel discussion on destinations
From Britain and France to as far as New Zealand and Jamaica, the 2023 AGRA Conference lived up to this year’s theme of Navigating Your Family History – Journeys with Ancestors.

The third conference delivered by the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) welcomes AGRA Members, Associates and public guests to Downing College, Cambridge to learn, connect and celebrate. 

The programme of guest speakers began with an after-dinner speech from Dr Sam Willis. Dr Helen Doe delivered the Keynote address, covering the importance, amount and accessibility of sources on 19th-century shipowners, including examples of highly successful women who thrived in the shipping industry. 


This year saw two new elements to the conference. For the first time, the conference was also streamed. Additionally, delegates could choose from three panel discussions covering the topics of the Merchant Navy, Destinations and Joining AGRA. All panels were well received, breaking up the usual conference format and allowing delegates the opportunity to openly discuss topics with the panels of experts.  

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Conference Delegates in the Howard Theatre

AGRA Chair, Gill Thomas said: ‘Feedback from delegates has been overwhelmingly positive, and the organising committee led by Sarah Pettyfer are to be congratulated in delivering such a successful event – Judy Lester, Cathy Soughton, Lucy Browne, Vicky Manners, and Carolyn Alderson.

Especial thanks to our sponsors – to headline sponsor Family Search, as well as IHGS, Pharos Tutors, the Halsted Trust, University of Strathclyde, Ancestry ProGenealogists, as well as Who Do You Think You Are and Family Tree magazines.’