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

By Guest, 3 January 2020 - 2:59pm

50 Websites to Watch 2020

Welcome to Part 2 of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine's 50 Websites to Watch feature for 2020.

This page contains details of the next 10 resources on our list, covering websites beginning with letters F–K.

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!



The FamilySearch Family Tree is due tweaks and improvements that will include a better merge function, allowing two profiles created for the same person to be merged. Users will also be able to see more details of past edits and changes to ancestor profiles in their family tree view.

There will be a tool for viewing newly digitised record images, designed to give users better access to images that aren’t yet text-searchable. It will also be possible to edit dates and places in indexed records (building on a similar update in 2019) and add topic tags to photos and documents uploaded to the ‘Memories’ section. You can also expect more content in more languages, and additional opportunities to share ancestors’ pages via social media.

Find A Grave

The mammoth US photographic database will be shifting its focus towards adding more UK cemeteries and records in 2020, alongside a site-wide redesign.


Throughout 2020, Findmypast will continue working on the “largest digitisation project that both we and The National Archives have ever undertaken” – namely the 1921 census of England and Wales, which will be available in January 2022. The coming year will also see more Scottish records from new partnerships forged with archives and societies and more material for the Catholic Heritage Archive, alongside work to expand current county parish collections and add new ones.

The site promises new collaborative features for its online tree platform, adding some of the best attributes from RootsFinder, the family tree tool it purchased late last year. There is also talk of using machine learning to automatically present users with relevant social history content from the site’s newspaper collections.

British prisoners of war leaving Hong Kong Japan Second World War
British prisoners of war leaving Hong Kong for a Japanese prisoner of war camp, December 1941 (Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

Forces War Records

About 30 million records will be on the site by the end of 2020, thanks to continuing partnerships with The National Archives, regimental museums and archives. These will include more First World War service records and records of prisoners of war held in the Far East in the Second World War.

Free UK Genealogy

FreeBMD (Free UK Geneaology’s births, marriages and deaths project) is due a new look in 2020, with a search engine that will sit entirely within the homepage, and a new mobile-/tablet-friendly version. A potential FreeProbate sister project currently lacks the technical volunteer capacity to progress. Email recruit@freeukgenealogy.org.uk if you want to help.


TheGenealogist has ‘millions’ of new records in the wings for Diamond subscribers, including naturalisation, name change and Catholic records. An ongoing partnership with The National Archives will see more detailed street-level maps added to the Lloyd George Domesday Survey material. Other new releases include parish, criminal, prisoner of war and military records, colour tithe maps, Northern Ireland material, and a Times Newspapers and Historic Photographs and Portraits Database.

Meanwhile, the family tree builder TreeView Online has been rewritten, with brand-new functionality designed to emulate the look and feel of the parent software, and family history site GENFair will receive a new look for 2020, designed to make it more usable on mobile devices.

Gloucestershire Police Archives

There is an ongoing project at Gloucestershire Police Archives to identify and log the locations of police houses and stations, and volunteers are about to start adding information from personnel files and station diaries from the 1870s.


After a successful trial at RootsTech in London, accessing Second World War service records is set to become a lot quicker and easier in 2020 as the Ministry of Defence plans to launch an online ordering service for the records of deceased Army, Navy and Air Force personnel.

Hearth Tax
Engraving of a hearth stone, c.1791-1852 (Credit: Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Hearth Tax Digital

The Hearth Tax team is currently beta-testing additional interactive mapping functionality. This has begun with the East Riding of Yorkshire, with Westmorland and West Riding next in line, hopefully followed by Surrey, Middlesex, Kent and County Durham. The team also plans to make full data available for Bristol, Warwickshire, Coventry, Essex and Sussex, and possibly some limited data for Somerset and Norfolk towns.

Kresen Kernow

The Cornwall archive’s brand-new home includes facilities for cataloguing, digitisation and preservation. It is hoping to grow its team of volunteers, both onsite and remotely. At time of writing, it was kicking off with projects to digitise 19th-century gaol registers, and transcribe merchant shipping crew lists and 1910 district valuation registers, providing a snapshot of property ownership at the start of the 20th century.



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50 Family History Websites to Watch 2020: Part 1 (A – D)
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The 15 best websites for 18th century family history
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50 Family History Websites to Watch 2020: Part 1 (A – D)
previous blog Article
The 15 best websites for 18th century family history
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