50 Family History Websites to Watch 2019: Part 2 (E – J)

By Jon Bauckham, 10 January 2019 - 2:13pm

window tax

Welcome to Part 2 of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine's 50 Websites to Watch feature for 2019.

This page contains details of the next nine resources on our list, covering websites beginning with letters E–J.

The remaining websites will be revealed over the course of January as three additional articles, available to access from the 50 Websites to Watch homepage. Part 1 can already be viewed here.

If you can't wait to start bookmarking, the full list also appears in our January 2019 issue, on sale now!


East of London Family History Society

Projects co-ordinator Gary Barnes says the society is converting work from the past 40 years into a members’ database. An index to transcripts of records from the Colney Hatch Asylum (1880–1920) is also being added.

Other projects include Metropolitan Police Handbook transcriptions, recording those injured or killed during air raids; a midwife’s records from the mid-1860s to the mid-1870s; and a Poplar Mortuary index (1911–1942), which often mentions where people would be interred.

East Riding Archives – What Was Here?

East Riding Archives is developing this website and a mobile app, which they hope to make available in the new year. Layers of historic information, including georeferenced photographs, will be overlaid on a modern map of East Riding.

Archivist Sam Bartle says: “Our app users will get push notifications to tell them when they’re in the vicinity of a historic photo location, so they can see ‘what was here’ in their surroundings.

"My hope is that it will gradually develop as a community project in which new content is crowdsourced from users and we’re able to upload more and more of our existing collections, so that we get a really good range of historic material, including audio and video.”

The East Riding Archives website

Families in British India Society

As the FIBIS surname database heads towards the two million mark, various innovations are on the cards – videos of talks from the 2018 conference will soon be added to the Members’ Area, and the society’s publications will be made available for purchase in digital format.

FIBIS has also received a further grant from the Pilgrim Trust, which will enable it to continue photographing graves in India for the Cemeteries Project – adding the transcriptions to the FIBIS database.

This sits alongside the Times of India transcriptions project (arrivals and departure lists), and the Railways Project, which will see expanded offerings: wiki.fibis.org/w/category:railways.


The world’s biggest family history website will continue its work with local archives throughout the UK and Ireland to preserve important church and other family history records.

Vounteer indexing projects going online for 2019 include parish records from Shropshire, Hereford, Cumbria, Cambridge, and Huntingdon.

New online capabilities will include interactive ways of learning about your name, fun tools where you digitally insert yourself into traditional clothing relating to your heritage and a ‘Record My Story’ tool that enables you to record audio/text stories and memories from you or family members. Meanwhile the Family Tree will be expanded to include FAN relationships – Friends, Associates, and Neighbours (FAN).

And of course keep your eye out for news of RootsTech London 2019, being held 24-26 October 2019 at the ExCel Centre.


The partnership with Living DNA will be the main focus for 2019. The testing kits (inset) launched in November 2018, and Findmypast will be developing and expanding on this throughout the year.

It’s also launching an intuitive matching system, allowing researchers to connect more easily with living relatives. You can also upload DNA test results from other providers, including 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage.

In terms of data, the Kent and Surrey collections are due for substantial updates and there are military records on the way, plus English parish records, Catholic records and census substitutes (including more electoral registers). Also a number of Scottish collections will be released throughout the year.

Alongside developing the online tree, Findmypast is creating a companion app to help customers curate, view and share their research, and improving the search hints with more record sets.

Kent stilt men on a hop farm (Credit: Getty Images)

Forces War Records

Forces War Records, which hit the 20 million records milestone in 2018, has a target of 25 million names by the end of 2019.

These will be fuelled in part by a partnership with the National Library of Scotland to transcribe its First World War casualty lists compiled from daily and weekly War Office lists – the team expect to reach more than two million records from this collection alone.

Also look out for more Naval record collections and medal rolls.

Free UK Genealogy

At the 2018 conference trustee Graham Hart reported that the FreeBMD arm will soon be adopting the fresh new design of its sister sites FreeCEN and FreeREG.

There are somewhere in the region of 270 million ‘distinct’ records on FreeBMD, and the site is still expanding at a rate of roughly 600,000 a month, with a daily search rate of approximately 130,000. And, by the end of 2018 or early 2019, the ‘first scan’ of data up to 1984 will be completed.

Hearth Tax Online

This popular resource was knocked offline by a cyber attack in 2017. The extended hiatus is coming to an end, with a new and improved version due back on our screens by January 2019.

There will be greater functionality with access to full transcripts, allowing users to work across returns and counties, and references to the archival source of each record. You’ll also be able to search by keyword, or by the number of hearths.


In 2019, as a result of partnerships with Miriam Weiner and the ‘Routes to Roots’ collection, Gesher Galicia, Beit Hatfutsot, Hesed Shel Emet and others, JewishGen will make available a host of information that will be incredibly valuable for Holocaust and other research, allowing family historians to understand more about their relatives’ lives.


50 Family History Websites to Watch 2019
previous blog Article
50 Family History Websites to Watch 2019: Part 3 (K – N)
next blog Article
50 Family History Websites to Watch 2019
previous blog Article
50 Family History Websites to Watch 2019: Part 3 (K – N)
next blog Article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here