Mocavo Acquired by Findmypast / DC Thomson Family History

June 22, 2014 – The following news release was received from Cliff Shaw, founder of Mocavo.com:

Today is an exciting day for genealogists everywhere as we’re announcing that Mocavo has been acquired by Findmypast/DC Thomson Family History. This is a groundbreaking development for the industry and a major turning point in Mocavo’s quest to bring all the world’s historical information online for free. The wonderful folks at DC Thomson Family History share our vision of the future of family history, and we couldn’t be more excited to join them.

For the past few years, the Mocavo team and I have dedicated ourselves to bringing innovation and competition to an industry that is sorely lacking in both. From the very beginning of Mocavo’s history, we had this burning desire to figure out how to organize all of the historical information disparately spread across the Web. Not long ago, even with a hard-working and incredibly talented team, our service wasn’t resonating with users and our business wasn’t working. In October of last year, we decided to do something audacious and bold – something never before tried in the industry. We launched our Free Forever revolution and this became the day when Mocavo’s soul was born. Everything turned around once we put a stake in the ground and stood for free genealogy (and now Mocavo is growing rapidly, putting more than 1,000 free databases online every single day and more users discovering us than ever). We have our loyal and supportive users to thank more than anyone!

One of the immediate benefits of the acquisition is that we’re putting the complete US Census index online for free (forever!), making us the first commercial provider in history to ever do this. Search the United States Federal Census Now.

The next few months are going to be incredibly exciting as we bring together two companies with enormous resources, content, and technology to bring you more of what you love. I’ll also note that nothing on either site will be going away – just getting better (and quickly!).

Lastly, we could not have done this without the support of our loyal community members. We appreciate your dedication and patience, and we look forward to helping you discover even more of your family’s story.

Best regards,
Cliff Shaw, Founder

Just in case you were wondering…
Is Mocavo’s Free Forever movement going away?

Not remotely. It’s only getting better. As part of our commitment, we’re now putting the US Census index online for free. No commercial provider has ever done that in the history of this industry, and we’re just getting started.

What will change about Mocavo?
Mocavo and Findmypast will only get better as we merge an enormous amount of technology with vast amounts of content (and great people on both teams).

FindMyPast Buys Origins.net

The following press release is from Myko Clelland. Content Lead, DC Thomson Family History:

FINDMYPAST BUYS ORIGINS.NET

London, UK, June 17, 2014. Findmypast.co.uk, the leading British family history company, announced today that it has bought Origins.net, one of the early pioneers of online records.

The first company to set up a pay-as you-go model for online family history records, Origins.net specialises in unusual and often hard to find British and Irish records. Its many early records include rare marriage indexes, apprentices and poor law records. Another key strength is its National Wills Index, which, combined with collections currently on Findmypast and those in development, will provide the largest online resource for UK wills and probate material.

Origins will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Findmypast. Ian Galbraith, founder of Origins, will continue to work with Findmypast on collection development. The extensive record sets from Origins will be brought into Findmypast over the next few months and the Origins website will continue to run as usual.

Elaine Collins, Partnership Director of Findmypast said: “We are delighted to bring Origins and its founder, Ian Galbraith, into the Findmypast group of family history brands. By joining together, we are able to offer customers the most comprehensive collection of British and Irish online records. This rich collection will help descendants of early North American settlers to bridge the gap to the old country, as well as anyone with UK ancestry looking to delve beyond 19th and 20th century records.”

Ian Galbraith, founder of Origins, said: “The partnership with Findmypast makes perfect sense for both companies and their customers. We have had a long association and together we can offer a broader family history experience and help people to fill in the blanks on the family tree and enrich their family story.”

About Findmypast
Findmypast has been a leading family history website for more than 10 years. In April 2003 the company was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, Findmypast has digitised family history records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. With more than 1.8 billion records online, Findmypast offers access to military, census, immigration, education, occupation, and parish records from around the world. In partnership with the British Library, Findmypast is part of a 10 year project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive – allowing digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. Recently, the company won the competitive bid to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online from The National Archives. Findmypast is the leading brand in the DC Thomson Family History portfolio.

About Origins
Origins.net pioneered the provision of web access to genealogical data, starting in 1997 with Scotland’s official births, marriages and deaths records, in partnership with the General Register Office for Scotland. This was the UK’s first governmental ecommerce service and the first time pay-per-view had been used on the web. The Origins approach to this service has been followed by nearly all subsequent online services of this type. Origins has since specialised in providing access for the family historian to very rich but less well known and hard-to-get material, including apprenticeship records, poor law records and, especially, probate records. In 2010, in association with the British Record Society, Origins launched the National Wills Index (www.nationalwillsindex.com), a collaborative project to create a single, dedicated, online resource for pre-1858 probate material for England. The National Wills Index website, developed and hosted by Origins, is the most extensive online resource for English probate material, and contains indexes, abstracts and digitised images of probate documents from all over England.

8 Million Newspaper Pages Online at The British Newspaper Archive

The following is from Amy Sell with DC Thomson Family History:

British-Newspaper-Archive-220pw

You can now explore 8 million newspaper pages at The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) after the website reached a major milestone today.

While adding editions of the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Cheshire Observer and The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, the counter on the homepage ticked over to display 8,000,000 pages.

Double the amount available at launch
The amount online has doubled since the website launched with 4 million pages in November 2011. The time period covered now stretches from 1710 – 1954 too, much broader than at launch.

If you’ve tried searching for a person, event or place before without success, it’s well worth trying again now. Visit www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk to try a search for free.

More added all the time
Thousands of pages are added every week, so your chance of finding something amazing increases all the time. 825,000 new pages have already been added so far this year.

You can see a list of the newspaper titles that have been added or updated in the last 30 days at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/home/LatestAdditions

The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership project between the British Library and DC Thomson Family History (formally known as brightsolid online publishing). From November 2011 to 2021, up to 40 million pages from historical newspapers across the UK and Ireland will be uploaded to the website www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection.

Scottish Property Valuation Rolls for 1920 Go Online

The following News Release is from Grant Millar, marketing executive for DC Thomson Family History (formerly known as brightsolid online publishing)

Scotland's People

‘Homes fit for heroes’? New historical records offer a fascinating snapshot of Scottish society in the wake of the First World War

The names and addresses of more than 2.6 million people living in Scotland during the post-WW1 period will be published online at 10am on Monday 28 October, as records of Scottish properties in 1920 are released on ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk, the government’s family history website.

Comprising over 76,000 digital images taken from 169 volumes, these new records – known as Valuation Rolls – cover every type of property in Scotland that was assessed as having a rateable value in 1920. As the records contain details for the owners and occupiers of properties, they will offer genealogists and historians fresh insight into Scottish society in 1920.

Each Valuation Roll entry on the website is fully searchable by name and address, with the records listing the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property – in many cases occupations are also included. As the Rolls include all types of property, from castles and mansions to crofts and tenements, in turn, the records also include people from across the whole social spectrum.

The Rolls also reveal some fascinating trends in Scotland’s social history at this time, such as the building of the first council housing estate, and the growth of urban allotments and gardens cultivated by working-class gardeners to achieve self-sufficiency. The Rolls also reveal the widespread disposal of land by owners who faced new tax and other burdens from 1918 onwards, and the opportunities for tenant farmers to buy their own farms.

Researchers at the National Records of Scotland have also been spotting celebrities (and family ancestors of famous people) in the records, and have highlighted entries for Muriel Spark’s father, Sir William Burrell, Sir Harry Lauder, Sir Matt Busby, Bill Shankly, Samuel Peploe and the great-grandparents of The Proclaimers. The researchers have even found a quirky entry for a cottage in Dunblane, named for a poem by Robert Tannahill, the contemporary of Burns.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in the Scottish Government, said:
“ScotlandsPeople is a wonderful resource that enables Scots, those of Scottish descent and anyone with an interest in Scotland to discover more about our nation’s fascinating family and social history. The release of the Valuation Rolls for 1920 strengthens the digital tapestry of Scotland’s story that is available through Scotland’s national archive.”

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:
“The release of the Valuation Rolls for 1920 will be of enormous help for family and local history research, enabling people to discover ancestors and where and how they were living almost a decade after the Census of 1911. The newly-available records are part of the commitment by the National Records of Scotland to improve our service to the public and provide researchers with the resources that they need.”

Annelies van den Belt, the CEO of DC Thomson Family History (formerly known as brightsolid online publishing), who enable the ScotlandsPeople website on behalf of the National Records of Scotland, said:

“We’re very pleased to add this fourth set of Valuation Roll indexes and images to the ScotlandsPeople website – bringing the current total of index entries on the website to over 94 million. These new records will complement the 1895, 1905 and 1915 Valuation Rolls, which have been published over the past 20 months, and will also help family historians who are looking to fill in gaps after the 1911 Census.”

The 1920 Valuation Rolls will be available on the ScotlandsPeople website (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, and at local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick and Inverness.