Hi, I’m Alison Dennison

Family historian | Interviewer | Researcher | Writer | Editor | Champion of the importance of storytelling

With over 20 years research and writing experience and formal qualifications as a family historian, my goal is to help families celebrate the stories that make them unique.


Sometime before the turn of this century, my Dad gave me a dot-matrix print out of a family tree he had painstakingly compiled in the 1970s the old-school way…by writing to relatives across the world and asking for the names and dates of the members of their branches of the tree. I stored it away in a steel filing cabinet.

In 2002, I became aware that genealogical research was rapidly advancing on the Internet, and I started investigating what records were available on-line. I pulled that family tree out of the filing cabinet and used it as a starting point.

Armed with the original print-out and a lot of patience, I explored the search functions of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and slowly started piecing together further details. It was the start of an addiction. It’s now been about 20 years since those first experimental searches on the IGI, and genealogy on the Internet has exploded dramatically, with digital access now available to datasets researchers half a world away could only dream about back then.


Over that time I have plugged away at various twigs on my own family tree as well as others’, always aiming to flesh out the various characters. It’s the stories of our ancestors that draw me in to family history research. The names, places and dates are the scaffolding, but it’s the detail of their lives (and our own!) that really fascinates me. It’s also this detail that captures the imagination of the younger generations.


I’ve discovered a variety of ways to present these family stories. I have many years of experience in working with words and images in all manner of genres, from business report editing and corporate magazine production through to blogging and on-line writing. I love it all! I’m happiest when I have a research question to investigate, and an unearthed story to tell.


I have a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in History) from the University of Western Australia, a Diploma of Family History from University of Tasmania and TAFE qualifications in Professional Writing and Editing. I’m a member of the Australasian Association of Genealogists & Record Agents, and I’m also on the editorial team of the Genealogical Society of Victoria’s Ancestor journal. Relevant other memberships include Writers Victoria and Oral History Victoria. I’ve been researching my own family stories for over 20 years, and have helped out others with theirs. I have even more years’ experience in writing and editing. As an experienced office manager of a small economic consulting firm, I approach all family story projects with the same professionalism corporate clients expect.

I live in Melbourne in a house full of photo albums, art and books, with my family and two badly-behaved Bengal cats.

Let’s chat about how I can help you celebrate your unique family stories. Email me: info@alisondennison.com

Acknowledgement of Country

I was born in Western Australia to Scottish migrant parents and grew up on the lands of the Wadjuk and Ballardong people of the Noongar nation.  Now,  I live and work in Melbourne on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin nation.  I pay my respects to all their elders past and present.

I also acknowledge the important role elders everywhere play in maintaining the tradition of storytelling.

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