Family historians around the world came together to transcribe thousands of family history records on our fourth Transcription Tuesday event.

The popular annual event saw Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine readers supporting four volunteer projects by transcribing key family history documents from their home computers.

For the fourth year running, we continued our partnership with FamilySearch, the world’s largest free family history website.

This year, readers transcribed nonconformist records from five counties: Essex, Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Norfolk and Northumberland.

Brian McKechnie, FamilySearch’s Family History Centre Logistics Specialist, said: “FamilySearch would like to thank all those who participated in Transcription Tuesday 2020.

“This year, we focused on nonconformist records for several English counties and over 20,000 records were transcribed and added to our searchable collections.

“Several thousand volunteers were involved in indexing these records, which will be a boon to the global family history research community.

“Our sincere thanks also go to WDYTYA? Magazine for organising such a great worldwide event.”

We also teamed up with a smaller organisation, the Internment Research Centre.

Our readers transcribed approximately 4,000 records of German and Austrian civilians and prisoners of war who were detained at Stobs Military Camp in Scotland during the First World War.

The other two projects were transcribing West Midlands Police Registers for the Ancestry World Archives Project, and transcribing naval records for the Royal Navy First World War – Lives at Sea project.

Our volunteers transcribed 900 records for Lives at Sea.

For the first time, we hosted two in-person Transcription Tuesday events: at the Heritage Hub in Hawick, Scotland for the Stobs Military Camp records and at The National Archives in London for the Lives at Sea project.

Hannah Bell, Digital Archivist for the Stobs Camp Project, said:

“Transcription can be lonely work.

“The joint working of Transcription Tuesday and the energy it generated has been invaluable.

“It has established and built long-term connections while producing accessible archives.”

As usual, our readers shared their experiences and the stories they uncovered in the records via email and social media using #TranscriptionTuesday.

Reader Karen Graf said taking part in the Lives at Sea project was “fascinating, and heartbreaking at times”.

“After transcribing one particular record, I looked up HMS Fearless online, as the young man's death was listed as ‘drowned on duty’,” she said.

“I knew what I would see, but the events told a very tragic story.

“Bringing history alive and remembering their sacrifice made this especially poignant for me.”

Family historian Steve Jackson shared the stories he uncovered in the Ancestry West Midlands Police records on Twitter.

He reported on one policeman’s checkered career during the First World War: “Joseph Arthur James Rogers. 1917: ‘found sitting down asleep (in charge of Firearms) on Special Protection Duty’. 1918: Complained of by Bombardier [?] J Cross, R.F.A. for being intimate with his wife Minnie Cross’. Resigned 1919.”