We know many of our readers are struggling right now.


Many of us are struggling with feeling bored, lonely and anxious as the coronavirus outbreak forces us to stay at home.

Fortunately, at Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, we’re able to continue publishing our fantastic family history magazine and website.

We want to help our readers find fun and productive ways to pass the time, gain new skills and help others while observing social distancing.

Therefore, we’ve decided to bring back our popular Transcription Tuesday event.

Thanks to the annual event, our readers have been able to transcribe vital family history records for volunteer projects, making them accessible to all.

This year, we collectively transcribed nearly 25,000 records, from nonconformist parish records to First World War Royal Navy crew lists.

Transcription is a fascinating way to discover the individual stories hidden in historic records and improve your ability to read old handwriting.

It’s also a way to give back to the family history community. The record you help put online could be a vital breakthrough for another family historian.

Best of all, transcription can be done from your home on your computer or laptop – so it’s the perfect activity for the coronavirus outbreak.

During the coronavirus outbreak, we will bring back Transcription Tuesday on a weekly basis, highlighting a different project every Tuesday.

If you have time during the day, even if it’s just a few minutes, you can take part and show your support by transcribing our chosen project.

For our first Transcription Tuesday project on 31 March, we’re partnering with Ancestry, one of the world’s biggest family history websites, to support their non-profit World Archives Project.

We need our readers’ help to work on a new set of records – Convict Hulks, Convict Prisons and Criminal Lunatic Asylum Registers, 1820-1843.

These records include original letters, prisoner registers and inspection reports relating to the administration of convict, ship and local prisons and to their inmates.

They reveal details of prisoners such as the name, residence, age, crime and sentence.

Click here for instructions to get started transcribing the records.

Note that you will also need to register for a free Ancestry account and download the Keying Tool if you haven't already done so.

You can find out how to do so here.

We hope you’ll join us on Transcription Tuesday – as usual, please share your experiences, photographs and any interesting stories you come across by emailing us on wdytyaeditorial@immediate.co.uk or on Twitter with #TranscriptionTuesday.


Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine