Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - NEWS - Sarah Wil­liams, Ed­i­tor sarah.wil­liams@im­me­di­ate.co.uk

I can’t be­lieve it has been ten years since I launched this mag­a­zine. So much has hap­pened over that time in the world of fam­ily his­tory. I re­mem­ber the ex­cite­ment when the 1911 cen­sus went on­line and more re­cently the 1939 Reg­is­ter.

I have also mar­velled at the trea­sures be­ing re­vealed by the digi­ti­sa­tion of news­pa­pers. When we started Who Do You Think You Are?

Mag­a­zine, news­pa­pers were used mainly to check the ‘hatched, matched and dis­patched’ col­umns be­cause, un­less you had a spe­cific lo­ca­tion and date to search, you didn’t stand a chance. Now we can search mil­lions of pages in a mat­ter of sec­onds.

An­other ma­jor de­vel­op­ment has been the digi­ti­sa­tion of par­ish reg­is­ters. I re­mem­ber some­one telling me, in our early days, that there were sim­ply too many par­ish reg­is­ters for them all to go on­line. Well, I’m feel­ing a lot more op­ti­mistic now. An­ces­try’s digi­ti­sa­tion of Lon­don par­ish reg­is­ters has trans­formed re­search in the cap­i­tal and new col­lec­tions are com­ing on­line all the time. Look out for ma­jor new ad­di­tions to Fam­i­lySearch.org as they con­tinue to digi­tise their col­lec­tion of mi­cro­films.

Over the past ten years I have seen re­search trans­formed. The in­ter­net has en­abled us to ac­cess richer con­tent and break down brick walls more eas­ily than ever be­fore. But the core val­ues of fam­ily his­tory have stayed the same. It’s about un­der­stand­ing the diver­sity of where we come from and hon­our­ing the mem­ory of those who came be­fore us. Here’s to the next decade!

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