Oor Wullie (Our William)

Many people don’t realize that Brightsolid is part of a very big organization. It’s actually owned by DC Thomson (the Thomson family), a huge and long established British company that can probably compared to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

DC Thomson has been in the publishing business for over  a 100 years. They publish The Courier and The Evening Telegraph in Scotland and the Sunday Post and Weekly News national British Newspapers. I remember eagerly waiting for my copy of The Beano comic magazine to be delivered when I was growing up in Scotland. I also read  Oor Wullie and the Broons family comic strips in the Sunday post.

Brightsolid not only owns Findmypast.co.uk and Findmypast.co.ie,  it also runs ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk. and the recently launched British Newspaper Archive. Scotland’s people is a wonderful site and I’ve been able to locate family members who were completely unknown until I started my research. I think the Scots were very good record keepers when others didn’t attach the same level of importance.

The following is a newsflash informing users that the Brightsolid online publishing and Technology group has been voted Best Genealogy Organization of 2011 in the online Gene Awards. This means that they won out over Ancestry UK, The Genealogist and others:

Over the past year, brightsolid’s online publishing portfolio– including findmypast.co.ukgenesreunited.co.uk and ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk - has introduced new and improved collections.  This includes 87 million death records on findmypast.co.uk and completing a two-year project to make the birth, marriage and death records for England and Wales much easier to use.  It also teamed up with the Society of Genealogists allowing more than 9 million records to become available to society members and findmypast.co.uk subscribers.  In addition the much anticipated 1911 Scotland Census was launched on ScotlandsPeople.gov.ukfindmypast.ie was launched, offering over 5 million Irish family history records available and findmypast.au launched with over 55 million records covering Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. Findmypast.co.uk also partnered with UKTV to produce its biggest ever advertiser funded programme, including interactive product placement which aired on its Yesterday channel.

 Following the announcement of a ten-year partnership with the British Library, brightsolid announced the launch of the British Newspaper Archive, to digitise up to 40 million pages over the next ten years.  Launched in November 2011, the website hosts up to 4 million pages from the 18th and 19th century newspaper titles (and adding 8,000 pages a day), with nearly 2 million people visiting the site on its first day. Brightsolid has also recently announced a partnership with leading genealogy organisations, Archives.com and Family Search International, to publish a complete set of images and a high quality name index of the entire US 1940 Census, highly anticipated to be the most significant US record collection released to date.

Run by genealogy blogger Tamura Jones, the awards – now in their fifth year – are designed to illustrate the technologies, events, companies and products that shaped the year in the genealogy industry – best and worst.

Brightsolid CEO, Chris van der Kuyl, commented: “Being voted Best Genealogy Organisation of 2011 is a fantastic accolade and highlights the strength of our genealogy businesses.  Connecting people and places online is at the heart of what we do at brightsolid – from our recent British Newspaper Archive launch, to the addition of genesreunited.co.uk strengthening our genealogy businesses with the purchase of the Friends Reunited Group in 2010.  So whether you are researching your family tree or your local history, our portfolio of websites offers something for everyone.”

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