50 Family History Websites to Watch 2020: Part 1 (A – D)

By Guest, 20 December 2019 - 1:15pm

50 Websites to Watch 2020

Welcome to Part 1 of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine's 50 Websites to Watch feature for 2020.

This page contains details of the first 13 resources on our list, covering websites beginning with letters A–D.

The remaining websites will be revealed over the course of January as four separate articles, available to access from the 50 Websites to Watch homepage.

If you can't wait to start bookmarking, the full list also appears in our January 2020 issue, on sale now!


Aberdeenshire Archives

A project to catalogue the archives of Aberdeen Harbour is due to be completed by late 2020. This is the first time some of these records, spanning 900 years, have been made publicly accessible.


The 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War will shape new content on Ancestry, from homefront records to military collections, starting with the recent launch of more than one million Royal Artillery records.

Overseas church records from 15 countries are also in the pipeline. About 30 million Danish church records have just been released, and you can expect to see more material from Nordic countries, as well as transcriptions of digitised French material.

Ancestry will also be adding features and updates to its DNA arm, including a deeper ‘level of granularity’ to results, designed to help discover connections to people and places, as well as new cousin-matching features.

Angus Archives

Indexing projects at Angus Archives have culminated in a huge selection of the region’s school admission, Poor Law and trade incorporation records due to be launched online in 2020.

Berkshire Record Office

The county archive has launched a new wills index with over 38,000 entries drawn from wills, administrations and inventories in the Archdeaconry of Berkshire from 1480 to 1857.

No. 149 Squadron RAF at Mildenhall, Suffolk, 1939
The House of Lords, 1893 (Credit: Culture Club/Getty Images)

British History Online

Government petitions for Worcestershire and Cheshire were added to this website in the autumn.

More will appear in 2020, including 2,000 transcribed petitions submitted to magistrates of Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Westminster, 400 to the Crown, and about 750 to the House of Lords.

More Victoria County History volumes are expected to join the recently added Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660–1840, along with a new repository of allied biographical data and Calendars of the Patent Rolls up to 1507.

British Newspaper Archive

The newsprint behemoth will continue to publish in the region of 100,000 pages a week from newspapers across the UK and Ireland. At the end of 2019 the BNA increased its Scottish holdings considerably, and in early 2020 it will pilot the publication of papers from the Caribbean, India and the colonial period in North America.

Burma Star Memorial Fund

This archive contains the digitised membership forms of more than 50,000 personnel who qualified as members of the Burma Star Association through the award of the Burma Campaign Star or the Pacific Star with Burma Clasp gained for service in the Second World War. The records are linked to members’ personal stories. You can also read digitised copies of Dekho! – the association’s journal.

Cheshire Archives

Cheshire Archives is giving its pioneering tithe maps site a makeover that will add mobile-friendly viewing options. In addition, 2020 will see the completion of the people-powered 1919 Absent Voters project – the final database will have 45,000 entries.

English Civil War
The Battle of Naseby, 14 June 1645 (Credit: Ann Ronan Pictures/ Print Collector/ Getty Images)

Civil War Petitions

This fascinating project gives you access to hundreds of petitions from injured soldiers and their wives and families in the aftermath of the English Civil War. Searchable by a number of fields, they represent a rare, name-rich source for ordinary soldiers. The petitions team is about halfway through the four-year project, uploading new material every month.

Cumbria Archives

New indexes relating to policing and crime records have been added to the website and staff say that they are continuing “negotiations with other parties” regarding the potential digitisation of genealogical sources. Follow @CumbriaArchives on Twitter for news.

Deceased Online

The six-feet-under specialist expects to add 50,000 Leicestershire records to its site by Christmas, followed by a host of Exeter records in 2020. It has also just added new pricing options.


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50 Family History Websites to Watch 2020
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50 Family History Websites to Watch 2020: Part 2 (F – K)
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50 Family History Websites to Watch 2020
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50 Family History Websites to Watch 2020: Part 2 (F – K)
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