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.