Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Ever Family Tree Week Launched in UK

The following is from FindMyPast.

Start Your Family Tree Week runs from 26 December 2010 until 1 January 2011

The 26th December 2010 will see the launch of the UK's first ever family history awareness campaign, Start Your Family Tree Week, at a time when family is at the forefront of the nation's minds.  Taking part in Start Your Family Tree Week are,,, Eneclann, the Society of Genealogists, My History, BBC Who Do You Think You Are Magazine, Your Family Tree and Family Tree magazine and the week is supported by the Federation of Family History Societies and the UK's digital champion Martha Lane Fox.

Although the popularity of family history has grown dramatically in the UK over the past decade, with 42% of the population now saying they have started researching their ancestors, one in three people say they would like to start delving into their family's past but have no idea where to begin*. Start Your Family Tree Week has been launched to encourage people to discover more about their ancestors in a fun and exciting way. The week, which will run until the 1st January 2011, will show people how to take their first steps in family history research with free guides and charts to download, competitions, special offers on participating websites and daily family history activities for all the family.

Further details on Start Your Family Tree Week can be found at:

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at, said: "Start Your Family Tree Week will help people make the most of Christmas family gatherings to pass on their family memories across the generations, and to share in brand new discoveries by using online family history resources.
The internet has made it so much easier to trace your family tree and learn about your family's own unique story, full of colourful, real-life characters from the past. Every family has its intrigues, well-kept secrets and heart-warming tales, and I believe we could soon see family history becoming the traditional Christmas pastime for all the family."

Rhoda Breakell, head of Genes Reunited, comments: "Grannies sinking sherries, dads taking an afternoon nap and siblings squabbling is a typical Christmas Day for most, but it makes you wonder whether your family has always been like that. With this year's yuletide festivities just around the corner it's a great time for you to think about your family's roots. Start Your Family Tree Week is an ideal time to start exploring your family history, whether it's tracing great-grandparents' names, searching military records or even discovering that you have a famous sportsperson in your gene pool, the resources and offers available from 26th December will make it an easy and fun journey."

Martha Lane Fox, UK Digital Champion comments: "I think's'Go ON: Start Your Family Tree Week' is a great idea. Whilst the internet
has become a gateway to the future for many it is also an amazingly powerful tool for uncovering the past and reconnecting people in ways that were once unimaginable. Christmas is the perfect time for families to explore their history and encourage older relatives to go online for the first time - I hope that this initiative is a great success and urge everyone to get involved."

Else Churchill, Genealogist at The Society of Genealogists added:  "The Society of Genealogists has been helping people discover their roots for 100 years. Hence we are delighted to support Start Your Family History Week and introduce as many as we can to the fascinations of genealogy."

---------*Research conducted by Opinium Research via 2,030 Online Interviews (UK Nat. Rep) between 26th and the 29th November 2010

The promotions run through to New Years Day, when people will be encouraged to make growing their family tree online their New Year's Resolution and an exciting new hobby for 2011.  The initiative is part of Race Online 2012 - helping the 9 million people currently not using the internet to go online.

Leading UK family history website (formerly was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.  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. 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 launched the microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.
In April 2007,'s then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement. 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. In 2010 completed a three year project to scan, transcribe and publish online for the very first time British Army Service Records dating from 1760 to 1913 in association with The National Archives.

About Genes Reunited
Genes Reunited was launched in 2003 as a sister-site to the Internet phenomenon Friends Reunited. Since then it has grown to become the UK's largest genealogy website. It marked a revolution in genealogy and ancestry by combining them with Internet social-networking. Members are able to build their family tree by posting it on the site and investigating which ancestors they share with other members. They can also search historical records such as census, birth, death, marriage and military records. Genes has over 11 million members and over 750 million names listed. One new name is added to the site every single second.

About the Society of Genealogists
The Society of Genealogists was incorporated under Licence of the Board of Trade as the Society of Genealogists of London on May 8th 1911. Its objects were to "promote, encourage and foster the science and knowledge of genealogy and topography by all lawful means and in particular by forming a reference and lending library, a safe depository for pedigrees and other manuscripts, and preparing indices". The SoG's first premises were in the rooms of one of our Founders George Tudor Sherwood at 227 Strand, London. The Society is now in its fourth building.  The Founding Fellows, Members and Associates would, we hope, be proud of the Society's modern achievements as it has grown to be the UK's National Library and Education Centre for Family History.

About Race Online 2012
Race Online 2012 is a challenge to everyone in the UK with the ambition to make the UK the first nation in the world where everyone can use the web.
Technology links us together like never before.  The UK has 40 million adult internet users, with 30 million people using the web every day. However, there are 9 million adults in the UK who have never used the internet - the combined size of the entire population of our five biggest cities.
Four million of those are among the most disadvantaged:
.       39% are over 65
.       38% are unemployed
.       19% are families with children.
We are calling for urgent action to inspire, encourage and support millions more people online by the end of the Olympic year 2012 through partnership with government, industry, charities and individuals.

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