WW1 pro­ject in­spires young­sters

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - ON THE RECORD -

More than 400 school­child­ren are re­ceiv­ing help with their fam­ily his­tory re­search thanks to a new pro­ject.

Ed­u­ca­tional char­ity Mak­ing His­tory, founded by ac­tor Colin McFarlane, has been work­ing with 15 schools in Lin­coln and Lon­don to en­able stu­dents to trace their links to the First World War.

As well as sup­port from web­sites MyHer­itage and Find­my­past, the chil­dren are be­ing given one-to-one ad­vice from men­tors in­clud­ing Neil Fraser from Heir Hun­ters and for­mer Who Do You Think You Are? ge­neal­o­gist Dr Nick Bar­ratt.

Par­tic­i­pants are also mak­ing short films based on their find­ings, with the three best from each school be­ing shown at lo­cal screen­ings. High­lights from those will then be taken to the Bri­tish Film In­sti­tute in Lon­don, where they will be shown later this year.

“Gen­er­ally, the av­er­age age of some­one re­search­ing their fam­ily his­tory is 55,” said Colin McFarlane, best known for his role as Com­mis­sioner Loeb in the Bat­man film se­ries. “This pro­ject rips up that statis­tic by in­volv­ing the whole fam­ily and em­pow­ers and in­spires chil­dren to fol­low their dreams.

“Un­der­stand­ing where you come from is vi­tal for a sense of be­long­ing, and shar­ing th­ese dis­cov­er­ies helps break down bar­ri­ers be­tween class, cul­tures and gen­er­a­tions – con­nect­ing us all.”

The ini­tia­tive fol­lows a suc­cess­ful pi­lot pro­ject in Lin­coln three years ago

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