Monday, July 21, 2008

FamilySearch Teams with findmypast.com and Others to Broaden Access to All Censuses for England and Wales


Online volunteer indexers sought to improve select collections
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—FamilySearch announced today that it is joining forces with findmypast.com, The Origins Network, and Intelligent Image Management—companies that specialize in providing online access to British family history resources—to make significant British historical record collections more broadly available online. The first joint initiative seeks to publish online indexes to censuses for England and Wales from 1841 to 1901. The 1841 and 1861 Census indexes are the first targeted under the agreement and are accessible now at FamilySearch.org and findmypast.com.

In the agreement, FamilySearch, in conjunction with The Origins Network, will provide digital images for the 1851, 1871, and 1881 Censuses. It will also extend the 1871 Census index. Findmypast.com will provide FamilySearch copies of its English and Welsh Census indexes from 1841 to 1901. The Federation of Family History Societies will help complete the index for the 1851 Census.

Initially, users of FamilySearch.org will be able to do a free search by record type, given name, surname, age, gender, place of birth, and relationship to head of household (relationship was not recorded in the 1841 Census). The free search capability at FamilySearch.org will include additional fields of data in the future. Users will be able to search the full indexes and view original images for free at FamilySearch's 4,500 Family History Centers or for a nominal fee at findmypast.com.

The addition of findmypast.com's English and Welsh Census Collections to FamilySearch's online databases will increase the use of the valuable record sets and increase traffic to findmypast.com.

Jay L. Verkler, Managing Director for FamilySearch, said, "The new images and additional information provided by FamilySearch will significantly enhance and improve the overall English and Welsh Census collection. And its addition to FamilySearch.org will increase awareness of the rich Web resources of FamilySearch affiliates and the likelihood of success for FamilySearch.org patrons doing British research."

Elaine Collins, Commercial Director at findmypast.com, commented, "Findmypast.com is delighted to be working with FamilySearch to launch the British Census Collection online. Censuses are the core building blocks for family historians and genealogists alike, and now, at last, here is the definitive version. This has been a very exciting project for us, and we look forward to collaborating with FamilySearch in the future to bring other important collections to an ever wider international audience."

FamilySearch will utilize its impressive online community of volunteer indexers to add more fields of data to select censuses. When finished, the improved census indexes will be available on FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, and Originsnetwork.com. Individuals interested in volunteering as online indexers for British historical projects can do so at FamilySearch.org.

Ian Galbraith, CEO of The Origins Network and Upal Rahman, President of Intelligent Image Management (IIM) Inc. said, "The FamilySearch England and Wales Census project is clearly a milestone initiative in the history of genealogical research. It heralds a new era of easier accessibility to a mountain (literally!) of genealogical material available hitherto only to the privileged few, if at all. We are delighted to be working with FamilySearch and proud that they have chosen for the FamilySearch Website the 1841 and 1871 UK censuses—the most accurate available—which The Origins Network and IIM jointly developed."

Media Contacts:
Paul Nauta
FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager
nautapg@familysearch.org

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization that maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources. Patrons may access resources online at FamilySearch.org or through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. FamilySearch is a trademark of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and is registered in the United States of America and other countries.

About findmypast.com
Findmypast.com is the leading UK family history Website (formerly 1837online.com) and has been instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today. It has 800,000 active registered users, millions of historic document images, and 600 million records online dating back to 1538. The comprehensive collections include military records, census, migration, occupation directories, current electoral roll data, birth, marriage, and death indexes.

It manages the ancestorsonboard.com Website for The National Archives of the United Kingdom and offers a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily. Findmypast.com's parent company is brightsolid (formerly Scotland Online).

About Intelligent Image Management, Inc (IIM)
Intelligent Image Management, Inc., helps companies of all sizes reduce the challenges and high costs of managing data processing and other labor-intensive, back-office operations. It has a proven track record of delivering accurate, reliable offshore outsourcing operations, for a growing list of leading global firms and growing enterprises. It has delivered superior results for highly demanding clients in a wide variety of industries since 1996. IIM has 1400 dedicated full-time employees and is comprised of privately owned companies in the U.S., India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. All onshore and offshore companies are 100 percent owned.

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