FINDMYPAST.CO.UKTO DIGITISE MANCHESTER RECORDS o Two year project to scan 8,000,000 records o First time these records have ever been made available online Findmypast.co.uk, the UK family history website, has been awarded the contract by Manchester Archives to digitise cemetery registers plus institutional (gaol, school, workhouse) records of Manchester and will work with FamilySearch International, the world's largest repository of genealogical records, to make them fully searchable online for the very first time. Findmypast.co.ukand FamilySearch will be digitising an estimated 130,000 images and 8,000,000 records over the next two years. The records will cover all of Manchester and some parts of Lancashire, due to boundary movement over the centuries. The records will include entries going back to the sixteenth century. In the collection being released the 19th century prison registers of the area will also be made available. Every record from cemetery registers and institutional (gaol, school, workhouse) records of Manchester will be available free at any City of Manchester library. The records available will include: o Manchester Overseers of the Poor Apprenticeship Indentures o Giles Shaw transcripts for parish registers including Oldham St. Mary: Baptisms 1662-1796; Marriages 1662-1816; Burials 1662-1826 o Private cemeteries (now closed) o Ardwick Cemetery: burial registers, 1838-1950 o Rusholme Road Cemetery: burial registers, 1821-1933 o Cheetham Hill Wesleyan Cemetery: burial registers, 1815-1968 o Workhouse Records o Withington Workhouse: Creed registers 1869-1898, birth registers 1857-1911, death registers 1857-1949 o Withington Workhouse: Creed registers 1898-1911 o Withington Workhouse: Interment Registers -1898-1915 o Withington Workhouse: admission registers o Manchester Workhouse, New Bridge Street, 1881-1899 o Manchester Workhouse, New Bridge Street, Creed Registers 1900-1911 o Manchester Industrial Schools: admission registers 1866-1912 o Manchester Schools: admission registers c.1870-1915 o 19th cent. prison registers FamilySearch will scan original images of the registers forfindmypast.co.ukto then make available online atfindmypast.co.ukwith an index search on FamilySearch.org. Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager atfindmypast.co.uk, said: "It is fantastic that we will be able to make these records available to search online for the very first time. Manchester is one of the largest cities outside London, and by making these records available online family history researchers will be able to discover even more about the lives of their Mancunian ancestors. "We are looking forward to working with Greater Manchester County Record Office and hope this is the first of many partnerships. We are also very happy to be working with FamilySearch again on such an important project." Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council's executive member for culture and leisure said: "We are continually developing our library and archive services to make them much more accessible and easy to use. We're really excited to be working withfindmypast.co.ukand FamilySearch to digitise these records so that they will be easily available to everyone at the simple click of a button." Findmypast.co.ukwas the first company in the world to put the complete Birth, Marriage and Death indexes (BMDs) for England and Wales online in 1 April 2003. Previously these were only available offline on microfiche or in registry books, at a selected number of locations. This landmark achievement was recognised in 2007, whenfindmypast.co.ukwon the Queen's Award for Innovation.
Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today.
Findmypast.co.uk has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 750 million records dating as far back as 1538. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.
In November 2006 findmypast.co.uk launched the ancestorsonboard.com microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.
As well as providing access to historical records, findmypast.co.uk is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.
In April 2007, findmypast.co.uk's then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement.
Findmypast.co.uk was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the company who were awarded The National Archives' contract to publish online the 1911 census, which it launched in January 2009.
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organisation in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. For over 100 years, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide and operates over 4,500 family history centres in 70 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
About Manchester Archives
Manchester Archives holds a wide range of archive material relating to the history of the Manchester area, its people and communities. It is part of Manchester Library and Information Service, Manchester City Council. Original archive collections can be accessed at the Greater Manchester County Record Office. Digital and microfilm sources can be accessed at the Manchester Room @ City Library.