Company history

Findmypast is owned by Scottish Publisher DC Thomson

1965

The Findmypast story begins in 1965, when a small group of professional genealogists and heir hunters form what was then known as Title Research. Since there were no online records, employees spent many long hours poring over microfiche machines.

2001

Title Research starts a project to create a computerised version of the paper General Register Office England & Wales birth, marriage and death records for its in-house researchers to use. The project is named "1837 online".

2002

Title Research has the innovative idea to put the newly digitised England & Wales birth, marriage and death records onto a website so family historians worldwide can benefit from them. Title Research consults with expert genealogists, including family history societies and the Society of Genealogists, on this monumental project.

2003

Title Research gets a licence to publish the birth, marriage and death indexes online and launches the first incarnation of the website: 1837online.com. The company receives the Queen's Award for Innovation for this achievement.

2004

1837online.com makes its first £1 million this financial year and becomes a separate business owned by Title Research.

2005

Title Research publishes the 1861 census website for England and Wales. It's the first time this census has ever been published online.

2006

Title Research publishes the 1891 census in March 2006. In November, 1837online.com rebrands to Findmypast to reflect the wider range of records it now holds.

2007

In January of 2007, the outbound passenger lists 1890-1960 are published in association with The National Archives. This project marks the first use of colour scanning by a family history website anywhere in the world. These records link family historians all around the world with their emigrant ancestors from the British Isles. Later in the year, Scotland Online, part of DC Thomson, purchases Findmypast from Title Research Group, becoming the second biggest provider of resources to the online genealogy community in the UK. An exclusive partnership is agreed with the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) to publish parish records from local family history societies around the country on Findmypast. This will grow into the largest online collection of England & Wales parish records.

2008

As part of Scotland Online, Findmypast now has a licence to publish the 1911 census online. In May, the 1901 census is made available online, rapidly followed by the 1851 census in November.

2009

The 1911 census is published by Findmypast in association with The National Archives, opening up to the public the original handwritten forms completed by heads of household for the very first time. The launch is the top news story of the day on the BBC from Breakfast TV right through to Newsnight.

2010

Findmypast is awarded a contract to digitise British Army Service Records 1760-1913 by The National Archives. In December Findmypast launches the first Start Your Family Tree Week, which is a huge success.

2011

Findmypast continues to add millions more records to its extensive collections, including over 9 million new records from the Society of Genealogists and Merchant Seamen records in association with The National Archives. A number of UK record offices award digitisation contracts to Findmypast, including Wales, Westminster, Cheshire and Manchester. Findmypast expands to Australia and Ireland.

2012

Findmypast digitises and publishes Royal Household staff records in partnership with the Royal Archives and starts to publish local newspapers from the British Library – a 10 year project, which sees more scanned newspaper pages uploaded to the website every day. Findmypast expands to the US market publishing the 1940 census as it is released and indexed, alongside all other existing US census records since 1790.

2013

Findmypast finishes a project to digitise millions of Crime, Prisons and Punishment records in association with The National Archives, publishing the records online in February. Parish record collections from record offices in Hertfordshire, Canterbury and Lincolnshire are added to the site, and the company wins a contract to publish online parish records from the whole of Yorkshire.

2014

In January Findmypast publishes online for the first time India Office records in partnership with the British Library. For the centenary of WW1, Findmypast publishes WW1 Royal Air Force records in association with The National Archives and adds many more WW1 records, creating the largest online pre-1918 military record collection for the UK. Between April and June, Findmypast becomes the first family history website to launch 100 new record sets in 100 days. In July Findmypast launches Findmypast Fridays – a pledge to release thousands of new records online every week.

2015

Findmypast continues to work on a project to publish online the 1939 Register for England & Wales – the only surviving survey of the population between 1921 and 1951 – after being awarded the contract by The National Archives.