We recently posted about MyHeritage’s involvement in the Making History UK schools pilot project.
We now have exciting news to share about famous ancestors and interesting historical connections that the pupils have discovered including:
-- A family connection to Samuel Morse (of Morse Code fame).
-- A relative who was in the Titanic's orchestra when it sank.
-- An ancestor who fought at Trafalgar and died on the same day as Nelson.
-- A family connection to Dame Peggy Ashcroft.
-- A grandfather in an Asian POW camp.
-- A great-grandfather who was a daredevil stuntman who dived into blazing tanks of water and worked once with Evil Knieval.
-- A great-grandfather who was a Hussar in WW1.
The pilot project included a number of sponsors and partners, including MyHeritage, who helped pupils trace their ancestors and also provided the platform on which pupils could input and print out their family trees. The students said that they loved using MyHeritage Family Sites and commented on how easy it was to use.
MyHeritage believes in the importance of passing down the pleasures of genealogy to the younger generations so that –one day - they will be able to take the reins of their unique family histories and make it their own.
We've previously posted encouraging younger children interested in genealogy. Our family sites have also proven very popular with children, thanks to the intuitive interface.
When we received a call from UK television actor Colin McFarlane about assisting in a National Schools Project, we knew we had to be part of it.
The Making History project has just completed a six-month pilot program helping students at a number of UK schools reveal their family histories and trees. MyHeritage has played a key role in the project.
The project is supported by a number of actors including Jim Broadbent, Miriam Margolyes and Rudolph Walker. Nick Barratt - author, broadcaster, historian and genealogist - best known for his work on the "Who Do You Think You Are?" series, has also been taking part as the project's genealogy advisor.
The students have opened MyHeritage family sites to help grow their family trees, and MyHeritage has also provided hands-on support to a number of participating schools. Naturally inquisitive, many students have made use of the family site statistics, reports and timeline features to understand the demographics of their ancestors.
The students also enjoyed making their own family crests, playing the family game and using their iPads to upload images of documents and old photos to their MyHeritage family sites using Family Connect. They've also discovered a few Smart Matches along the way.
MyHeritage UK's head of genealogy Laurence Harris, who has been working on the project with me, said:
The surprised and delighted look on the students’ faces when Smart Matches uncovered new relatives and ancestors was just amazing. This proves that that family history can be made relevant, personal, and exciting for the younger generation, and makes this project so worthwhile.
The project's pilot stage ends on 14 December, at the British Film Institute, when video footage recorded during the students' research will be shown as a series of films chronicling their journey.
We MyHeritage are extremely proud to be part of this truly inspirational project. We look forward to working with the Making History team as the project expands to schools across the UK.