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.”
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.
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.