The following announcement was written by Findmypast.com:
The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) has today announced that it is joining forces with premier UK family history website findmypast.com to host the FFHS’ pay per view data service at www.findmypast.com.
Until now the FFHS has provided online access to data submitted by local family history societies at its own pay per view website www.familyhistoryonline.net. These records will now gradually be transferred to the findmypast.com website, joining a collection already exceeding 500 million records.
The partnership with findmypast.com offers a number of benefits to contributing family history societies. By integrating Family History Online with the findmypast.com site, the local societies’ data will become searchable in the context of a much wider range of records and will benefit from a significant marketing budget covering online and offline advertising, search engine marketing, sponsorship, PR, outreach and events.
The individual societies will continue to receive royalties each time their records are accessed. Each society will be acknowledged on the findmypast.com website whenever its records are displayed, and the societies will be able to promote themselves on the findmypast site to a wider audience, for example by adding information on becoming a member and a link to their own websites.
Elaine Collins, Commercial Director at findmypast.com said “Family History Online has a valuable data collection that deserves to be brought to the attention of a wider, international audience. We are very excited by the prospect of adding quality records which predate 1837 to the existing findmypast collection.
As the largest UK-based provider of online genealogical data, findmypast.com can provide the appropriate platform to drive much greater traffic and usage to the data. This will result in greater awareness for currently underused datasets such as the National Burial Index, generating increased revenue and recognition for the Federation’s member societies.”
Family historians accessing the FFHS data from its new home on the findmypast website will also benefit. Findmypast.com has earned a strong reputation for the quality of its data and transcriptions, and particularly its customer service. The availability of telephone support and customer transcription error reporting facilities, as well as email support and automatic password reset facilities, sets it apart from other commercial genealogy websites.
Geoff Riggs, Chairman of the Federation of Family History Societies, added: “The Federation’s Executive is extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with findmypast.com to secure the future of our member societies’ online data. We see this as a very timely opportunity to raise significantly both the revenue and the profile of those societies by capitalising on findmypast.com’s undoubted expertise. We are working in harmony with the findmypast.com team to realise our shared aim of bringing our member societies’ records to a growing audience worldwide.”
Findmypast.com (formerly 1837online.com) 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.
Findmypast has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 500 million records dating as far back as 1664. 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.
As well as providing access to historical records, findmypast 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.
Over 1.7 million people in the UK have researched their family trees and findmypast.com has over 800,000 active registered users, revealing the mass appeal of genealogy and findmypast.com’s position as the leading family history website based in the UK.
In April 2007 findmypast’s parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement.
In November 2006 findmypast 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.
About The Federation of Family History Societies
The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is an educational charity formed in 1974. Over the years, membership has grown to over 200 societies throughout the world, including national, regional and one-name groups. The principal aims of the Federation are:
- to co-ordinate and assist the work of societies or other bodies interested in family history, genealogy and heraldry
- to foster mutual co-operation and regional projects in these subjects
- to represent the interests of its member societies, and family historians in general, on numerous national and regional bodies involved in such pursuits. The Federation provides an authentic, audible, and respected voice for the many thousands of individual family historians.
Membership is open to any society or body specialising in family history or an associated discipline. Full membership is open to properly constituted organisations in the British Isles and associate membership is available to overseas family history, genealogical and heraldic groups as well as to other bodies within the British Isles for whom family history is a secondary interest.
Education is a vital element within the Federation. This is achieved informally through regular meetings, fairs, seminars and national conferences conducted by member societies and FFHS committees; also formally through the many courses on family history organised around the world. Excellent publications too are produced which cover family history and genealogical subjects at both national and county level. To encourage member societies to produce their own high quality journals and websites, the FFHS presents awards each year to those making the best contribution to family history.
Achievements in national and regional projects is something the FFHS takes great pride in with millions of records transcribed and indexed by local experts for the benefit of all family historians. FamilyHistoryOnline was established by the FFHS to publish online these records which include indexes or full transcriptions for such as baptisms, marriages and burials; monumental inscriptions; census returns for the counties of England and Wales; and other specialist subjects.
The FFHS looks forward to the challenges in the future of supporting its members, ensuring the continual preservation of, and access to, archives, and encouraging new family historians to join a family history society so as to discover and enjoy the fascinating journey into their past in the company of other enthusiasts.