As popularity in family history surges in Australia, Ancestry launches a new initiative to help people discover their ancestors’ stories
2 June 2020, Sydney Australia: Ancestry, the global leader in family history, has today announced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to access the expertise of some of the world’s best genealogists for free, as data shows a growing appetite amongst Australians to learn more about the lives of their ancestors.
Recent statistics indicate that family history is a growing hobby amongst Australians, with a 78% increase in mentions of ‘family history’ on Twitter across April and May1 and online search data showing the terms ‘family history’ and ‘ancestry’ reaching a peak in April, when compared to the previous six months.2
This trend coincides with the current airing of season 11 of SBS’s popular show Who Do you Think You Are? which sees some of Australia's most well-known faces trace their ancestry, discovering secrets and surprises from their past.
In support of this heightened interest in genealogy, Ancestry is lending experts from its world-class research division - AncestryProgenealogists – to five lucky Australians. Each participant will start a journey to learn more about the people in their family tree, through 20 hours of in-depth exploration by the experts. Similar to experiences seen on Who Do You Think You Are?, winners could learn whether they are related to British aristocracy, a war hero, a Hollywood celebrity or even solve a family mystery and find long lost or unknown cousins.
Brad Argent, family history expert at Ancestry says the renewed popularity in genealogy may be due to people looking to find stability in an ever-changing world.
“We noticed there was an increased interest in online family history research when heritage travel became a big trend a few years ago, and we’ve seen a similar pattern this year. People have had a chance to sit back and reflect on their identity and what makes them who they are, in our highly transient and uncertain world.
“Unlocking your past can be a fulfilling experience and knowing where we come from also brings comfort to people. By providing access to our expert family history researchers, we hope to help people better understand what has shaped who they are today”, Mr Argent said.
AncestryProGenealogists are recognised as some of the world’s leading genealogists. Boasting more than 500 years of combined experience, a family history project with one of these experienced researchers can cost several thousand dollars.
Debra Carter, Research Team Manager at AncestryProGenelaogists says that genealogy research can be a life-enriching experience:
“Tracing your family history can be a highly emotional experience, as the stories you discover are about people in your family who paved the way for you. Our team of global researchers have helped celebrities, royalty and business magnates uncover stories – and sometimes secrets - from their past and in doing so, have taken them on a personal journey of self-discovery. We’re excited to be able to offer the same service for free to a few lucky Australians.”
The research project on offer includes a one-on-one kick-off consultation, 20 hours of in-depth research tailored to each person’s unique research goals, an online family tree built out for them by the experts, and a six-month subscription to Ancestry.com.au.