Since Ancestry was founded in 1983, we’ve helped more than 2 million people find out more about their family’s history, filling in the ‘whos’, ‘wheres’ and ‘whys’ behind who they are today. At the time of this post, we have digitized more than 15 billion historic records from 67 countries, containing everything from war medal recipients to criminal trials, censuses to passenger lists, and even a pub ‘blacklist’ from Victorian England.
Our members have used these records to populate more than 60 million family trees and the data helps demonstrate how family history can not only unearth things from our past, but also the present. Of those who have conducted genealogical research, almost half have found living relatives they didn’t know about, with a significant number actually meeting them face-to-face.
This is evidence of how online genealogy – and technology as a whole – is helping connect and shape the modern family, evolving it into something we haven’t seen before. The aim of this report is to show how knowledge of the past has impacted the present, and how a greater sense of ‘connectivity’ has changed the concept of the modern family within the six countries in which we conducted the study.
This document forms the first part of a multi-chapter report, the full findings of which will be published over the coming year.