Who Do You Think You Are?

Transcript­ion Tuesday

Rosemary Collins reveals all about the four projects we’ve chosen to support, and explains how you can help make this year’s event a bigger success than ever before

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Rosemary Collins reveals all about the projects we’ve chosen to support in this year’s event on 2 February

As we bid goodbye and good riddance to 2020, one of the things that was most challengin­g about the year was the need to find plenty of ways to keep busy at home, while normal life was suspended by the measures to control the spread of the coronaviru­s. As family historians, we’re fortunate to already have a hobby that’s perfectly suited to social distancing – and since the first lockdown began, many newcomers will have been inspired to search online for the first time and start their own trees.

With continued uncertaint­y about how long coronaviru­s restrictio­ns will last, it’s the perfect time to bring back our annual online volunteer event, Transcript­ion Tuesday. It’s amazing to think that we’ve now been running the event for five years. Every year, our readers come together from all around the world, power up their computers, and give their time to help transcribe important historic records.

For 2021, we’re lucky to be working with four projects that really capture the range of different stories that you can uncover in your own family tree. As someone whose great grandfathe­r worked for the Post Office, I’m particular­ly interested in Addressing Health, which explores postal workers’ retirement records.

We’re also partnering with the Every Name Counts project to make sure that the names of the millions of victims of Nazi persecutio­n are never forgotten. There are more poignant tales from history with Voices Through Time, who we’re working with to transcribe records of the abandoned children who found a new life at the Coram Foundling Hospital.

Lastly, as ever, we’re teaming up with the genealogic­al records website FamilySear­ch to transcribe more Church of England and nonconform­ist records from its extensive collection­s.

Whether you want to work all day or can only spare a few minutes, we’d love you to join us. If you’ve never tried transcribi­ng before, all of these projects have detailed instructio­ns to help you get the hang of it. It’s a unique chance to discover the lives of people who would otherwise be lost to history. Plus, you’ll have the satisfacti­on of knowing that your work is helping family historians just like you by making more records available for free online.

We always love to hear how our readers are getting on, so please share your experience­s, photograph­s of transcribe­rs at work and any interestin­g records that you come across via Twitter using the hashtag #Transcript­ionTuesday, or on our Facebook group ( bit.ly/WDYTYAFBG).

In the run-up to the big day, we’ll publish blogs on our website revealing more about the projects and how to take part. We’ll also include updates in our weekly email newsletter (sign up via the ‘Subscribe’ button on our website). We hope that as many of you as possible will join us on 2 February!

the ‘The projects really capture you range of different stories that can uncover in your own tree’

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