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Lockdown sees surge of Brits exploring their family history

It’s of no surprise that genealogy site, Findmypast, saw new users double during the recent lockdown, as thousands of families across the UK carried out research into their family history. I’ve also seen a big increase in enquiries to Family Tree Genie over the last 12 months with more people finally finding the time to get their family trees in order.

I suppose whenever we’re faced with such life-changing events such as Covid-19 – something most of us have never before experienced in our lifetimes – it can be a stark reminder of how precious life is and how, subsequently, important family is. My wife Clare and I have certainly felt that way and have cherished seeing our children and wider family whenever it’s been allowed and safe to do so.

What’s interesting is my customers today are eager for us to research their entire family line, whereas before, we might have started with the male line, or the male and female line. I must admit, it has been a welcome distraction and a pleasure to uncover so many interesting family stories. The only sad aspect of the last year is that I’ve not been able to meet my customers face-to-face to personally handover all that I’ve uncovered. I’m sure those days will return soon.

According to Findmypast, interest in online research has been growing steadily since the beginning of 2020 – as these days, various apps and websites allow much of the work to be carried out without leaving your home. Some of my customers will be taking advantage of all these new resources, too, but often get stuck and require help in delving further. This is where I can happily step in, offering my three decades of experience to uncover what you’ve not yet been able to find.

As you’ll see from many of my testimonials, even the most dedicated family researcher will face a brick wall. Nick Marsh is a client from Knutsford, whom I’ve stayed in touch with. He said: “I have been researching my family tree for the last ten years, in fits and starts, focusing on my four grandparents. Over the years, I have amassed a large amount of information but realised last year that I needed professional help to pull it all together, and also hopefully discover more information in that process.

“I felt I needed to find a local researcher so that we could meet, hand over my information and seek advice concerning the best way to present it to family members. Some of my ancestors moved to Australia in the early twentieth century, and I was particularly keen to prepare suitable family trees to give distant cousins, with whom I am in touch, on a recent visit to Australia. My children are also eager to have charts for themselves.

“I found Family Tree Genie as a local service on the Internet and was delighted to meet David. His advice from the start was most helpful, and once he started his research, he was able to find, and prove, my father’s family back yet another generation to the mid 18th century. Over some months David prepared suitable charts which I had printed and took to Australia, and in addition, wrote the story of our family for all my grandparents. Although I had provided much of the research information, I could not have presented it in such a clear and concise manner.

“I still require more charts for various other family members, including my sister for her 70th birthday, and will be in touch with David again later this year for his help and guidance. I have found his service quite excellent, at a very sensible price, and I have no hesitation in recommending him to others.”

So you see, if you’ve been carrying out some family research during lockdown and you’ve got a little stuck, I’d be happy to take a look and provide a free, no obligation quote on my services. It’s sincerely a pleasure to help you unlock the many fascinating secrets of your past, giving you something to cherish forever.

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