Journey of Genealogy, in association with Ancestry.

Commemorating Mayflower 400.

August 14 - 21, 2020, Queen Mary 2.

Queen Mary 2’s Journey of Genealogy returns in 2020, and this special crossing will mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage—one of the most influential journeys in global history, and a defining moment in the shared history of Britain, the US, and the Netherlands. In 1620, the first English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, set sail from England to the New World. Prior to leaving the ship they signed the Mayflower Compact, a document that established a rudimentary form of democracy and legal order.

Events on board will commemorate the significance of this iconic journey, and we will welcome back Ancestry for their second crossing.

Ancestry experts will host talks themed around the historic Mayflower voyage and the stories of the passengers on board, take a look back at the descendants of our founder Sir Samuel Cunard, and offer the opportunity to trace your family tree through the centuries and find out how your DNA connects you to the world.

Special guests on board.

Conrad Humphreys.

Conrad Humphreys is a professional yachtsman and motivational speaker with a sailing career spanning three round the world races. He competed as the youngest entrant in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race (now Volvo Ocean Race). As skipper, he led his team to victory in the BT Global Challenge, and became the fifth British yachtsman in history to complete the legendary Vendée Globe: sailing single-handed, non-stop around the world without assistance. Conrad has spoken for many of the world’s leading companies and specializes in designing innovative leadership programmes for executive teams. Most recently, he was the professional skipper on board the tiny 23ft open boat Bounty’s End in the recreation of Captain Bligh’s epic story of survival, Mutiny on the Bounty, for Channel 4.

Hugh Paton.

Hugh Paton is the great, great, great grandson of Sir Samuel Cunard. He is descended from Samuel Cunard through Sam’s daughter Mary (Cunard) Peters, Arthur Peters, Margaret (Peters) Paton and James Paton. Hugh lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada with his family, including sons Samuel and Benjamin, who together with the crew of the Queen Mary 2 unveiled the Samuel Cunard statue in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2006. The deed to his family home in Charlottetown showed it was once part of Samuel’s daughter Mary’s family estate, named Sidmount, still standing today. Hugh is a self-employed human resources consultant, and is happy to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean on QM2, having tried twice previously to cross by sailboat - unsuccessfully!

Jenny Deeprose.

Jenny Deeprose is an international cheese judge and a member of the worldwide Guilde des Fromagers. As well as her passion for cheese, Jenny also judges in the UK's Great Taste Awards whose distinctive logo and stars denote quality food from mainly specialist producers. This has led to many opportunities to learn more about Mediterranean regional delicacies, and the heritage of food and local specialities - not just the countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, Croatia and France, but the Islands with their distinctive food as well.

Valerie Prince.

Valerie Prince is a professional genealogist for AncestryProGenealogists, based in Dublin, Ireland, and specializing in American, Irish, and Scottish research. In her previous life, she spent 15 years in software development and now applies her analytical problem-solving skills to identifying immigrant families’ origins within Ireland and Scotland. Valerie is a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States, with deep ancestral links to Dublin, Ireland; Orkney, Scotland; northern Mexico; and Calabria, Italy. The most rewarding part of genealogical research for Valerie is guiding clients to make an emotional connection with their ancestors, the way she helped her own mother discover the rich lives of her Leinster forebears.

Deena Darst.

Deena Darst is a professional genealogist and research manager for AncestryProGenealogists, specializing in forensic genealogy to locate living persons through both DNA analysis and traditional genealogical research methods. She assembles the puzzle pieces to accurately determine kinship in complex cases with legal implications or unknown biological parentage. As an author, speaker and court-qualified expert witness, she is passionate about connecting the past, present, and future generations—by uncovering those relatives who were previously lost to history.

Brian Schellenberg.

Brian has worked for Ancestry since 2012 and is a United States immigration expert who manages a team of researchers with expertise from coast to coast in the United States and Canada. As with most Americans, Brian’s ancestry is full of immigrants - his father emigrated from Hungary in the 1940s, and he is descended from one of the original Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam in the 1600s. His family story has given him a passion for researching immigrants of all periods. Brian has also appeared as a featured expert on several episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?