Click to enlarge.
Findmypast.com means what it says. Back in February while attending the RootsTech 2012 conference, I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid, the parent company of Findmypast.com. [Video interview at end of post.] In our interview, Mr. van der Kuyl explained his plans for Findmypast.com and his vision of its entry into the American market. And today marks the momentous fruition of that vision.
I've taken a preliminary look at their site, and I'm very impressed. With it's clean website design, Findmypast.com brings with it a much needed breath of fresh air. Being uncluttered, the Findmypast.com site allows users (especially budding genealogists), to easily navigate its site.
I'm really pleased by the "Get Started" tab wherein a new genealogist can find the correct steps to take in getting started with their family history research. Clearly having D. Joshua Taylor, himself a professional genealogist, on board as Findmypast.com's North American Business Development Manager has made a big impact.
According to one of their press releases sent to me today, Findmypast.com has done their homework:
The launch of findmypast.com follows growing global demand for the records and functionality offered by findmypast’s other sites, says van der Kuyl: “Last year, we had 4.5 million visits to findmypast.co.uk from other countries, led by the U.S., while 55% of findmypast Ireland visits came from outside Ireland.”
Findmypast.com will enter the U.S. market, armed with the unique wealth of its British and Irish genealogical records, as well as its unrivalled ease of search technology and its more flexible payment options.
“We aim to become the go-to family history site, first for Americans of British and Irish descent, and eventually for all Americans”, says van der Kuyl.
Over 40 million Americans or 13% of the total US population report British ancestry, according to the American Community Survey of 2009, although other estimates put the figure as high as 72 million or nearly a quarter of all Americans. Meanwhile, some 40 million Americans report Irish ancestry.
Findmypast.com will offer customers the chance to buy a “World Subscription”, providing access to many unique record sets of particular value to those tracing British or Irish ancestors. These will include:
• The most complete England, Wales and Scotland census collection available anywhere
• The most comprehensive online index of birth, marriage and death records in England and Wales: over 300 million records
• 42 million local parish records, dating back to 1538, and steadily growing
• Passenger lists from ships leaving the UK 1890-1960
• British Army Records 1760-1915
• A fast-growing collection of local UK records dating back to 1700
• Irish vital records dating back to the 13th century, plus millions of unique Irish land, estate, prison and court records
• The British Library’s Newspaper Archives, the world’s greatest newspaper archive [available via findmypast.com by late 2012]
Here's a quick clip from Nov 2011 featuring Ed King, Head of the British Library's Newspaper Collection, and Chris van der Kuyl, Chief Executive of brightsolid being interviewed about The British Library's Newspaper Archives collection which will be available soon on the Findmypast.com site:
Findmypast.com is celebrating their American launch with a limited time introductory Pioneer Offer of just $4.95/month with a 12-month subscription, $59.95/year (normally $20.83/month or $249.95/year).
And just what do you currently receive for the $4.95/month price?
Along with the UK records listed above [with the British Library's Newspaper Archives collection coming in late 2012, you can find:
Of note are Findmypast.com's flexible payment options. As mentioned above, a yearly subscription service is available. However, if your budget or research habits require shorter time periods for performing research, Findmypast.com offers a credit system wherein a user may pay-as-they-go.
In correspondence sent to me today, Tyler Tangalin, Findmypast.com's Marketing Executive in their North American headquarters, indicated, "...new US and overseas collections, some unique to findmypast.com, are being secured and will be announced as they go live online."
With such a low subscription price, now is definitely the time to sign up. It will definitely be interesting to see what further US records Findmypast.com will make available. Indeed, it looks like they have a solid start with a bright future.
Welcome to America, FindmyPast.com!
Note: Please find below my video interview with Chris van der Kuyl taped at Rootstech 2012 back in February as well as an embedded copy of Findmypast.com's latest press release.