17 January 2013

Do you have faith in your family tree?

A new Methodist family history website - the second in a trio of online community archives - has been launched by Methodist Heritage with the aim of encouraging people to share information related to every aspect of Methodist history. My Methodist History is inviting people all over the world to contribute and help document Methodism's early development, nineteenth century splits and sub-denominations, overseas missions and life post the 1932 re-union.

People can use the site to share their stories and photos as well as add comments to other people's posts. Anyone can upload  material on to the site, which is free to use, after registering. A message board enables people to ask for help and share research interests.

Jo Hibbard, Methodist Church Heritage Officer, said: "We are particularly keen to hear from people whose Methodist history has influenced their family or church community in more recent times. The website is designed to provide a space for communities with a shared history. We have already had former missionaries uploading their stories of serving the Church overseas in the 50s and 60s. I hope we will also have former members of MAYC (the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs) recalling the Church's legendary 'London Weekend' youth rallies at the Albert Hall in the 70s and 80s." 

The My Methodist History website is linked to the, already popular, My Primitive Methodist Ancestors launched in June 2012. It will also be linked to the forthcoming My Wesleyan Methodist Ancestors website, with a search facility enabled to scan the network. 

All three online community archives will be exhibited at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live Exhibition, which takes place at London Olympia, 22-24 February 2013. Thirteen thousand family history enthusiasts are expected to visit the stands of over 160 exhibitors, including - for the first time - Methodist Heritage. Experts on Methodist history and records will be on hand to introduce researchers to the My Methodist History network.

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