Thursday, February 02, 2012

brightsolid and

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at brightsolid. I'll be interviewing Chris from brightsolid tomorrow in the video media hub, and will hopefullylearn more about this exciting adventure into the US market.

  • First pay-as-you-go site offers greater choice and affordability
  • Launching later this year, brightsolid's flagship US site

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. brightsolid, a leading online provider of historical and genealogical content, today announces its entry into the US genealogy market with the launch of a ground-breaking, "pay-as-you-go" site:

The new site will let customers search all US census records from 1790 to 1930 and is the first dedicated to US genealogy by British-owned brightsolid. It will also house the 1940 US census records, when they are released later this year.

What makes it unique to the market, however, is it's the first genealogy site in the US to give customers access to census records on either a pay-as-you-go basis or via the subscription model that is currently the only choice offered by other sites.

"In short, offers greater choice, flexibility and affordability", says Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid, announcing the site's launch at RootsTech 2012 in Salt Lake City. "Those researching their family histories will now be able to choose which payment method best suits
their needs and their budget."

The new site is being launched as an early beta version, with brightsolid inviting user feedback and suggestions.

"We want to build on what we have and make it even better" says Joshua Taylor, brightsolid's business development manager. "So, we're asking site visitors to fill out the feedback form and we'll be taking on board their comments as the site evolves."

Every visitor to will be able to search for free. 

Customers wanting to view documents, and download them to their computer to keep and access later, will then have the option of either buying a
subscription in the conventional way or buying pay-as-you-go credits,
starting at $7.95. Pay-as-you-go customers will be able to buy further
credits at any time, giving them the freedom to spend as much or as little
time and money on their research as they want.

Taken every ten years from 1790 to the present, the US census provides an

historical record of the entire US population. "It is America’s largest
record set for family history and genealogy", says Taylor. "Our new site
brings this vast resource to you online from the comfort of your home."

"The launch of is just our first offering to the US
market", says van der Kuyl. "It will be followed later this year by the
launch of, which will be our flagship American brand."

"We know that there is a global demand in family history for the sort of

accurate data, innovative search and customer focus that we’re known for
providing. Indeed, we’ve already seen significant international demand for
our existing findmypast sites, in the UK, Ireland and Australia. We are
excited about the big year we have ahead as we look to provide fresh choice
and value to Americans interested in researching their family history."

British-owned brightsolid has been at the forefront of technological

innovations in family history for over three decades. It hosts over a
billion genealogical records across its family of brands and was this month
voted Best Genealogy Organization in the online Gene Awards.

It is proud to be part of the 1940 US Census Community Project, a joint

initiative with, FamilySearch and other leading genealogy
organizations, which aims to make the census searchable as quickly as
possible after its release this April. The completion of the project will
allow anyone to search for their ancestors in the 1940 census for free

Its expansion this year into the US follows the recent launch of findmypast

sites in both Ireland and Australia and the launch online of the British
Newspaper Archive ( The latter is a
unique treasure trove for the family historian, containing millions of pages
from the British Library's newspaper collection, featuring more than 200
newspaper titles from every part of the UK and Ireland published in the 18th
and 19th centuries.

"We have a strong reputation for putting great focus on accurate data for

easy search", says van der Kuyl. "Because of this emphasis you can find
ancestors you might miss on other sites."

About brightsolid

Since 1994, the brightsolid group has been delivering online innovation and

pioneering the expansion of the genealogy market with leading family history
websites including the findmypast global network, ScotlandsPeople, a
partnership between the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the Court of
the Lord Lyon, and GenesReunited, together servicing over 18 million
registered customers worldwide.

The sites connect people via their innovative family tree software and

deliver access to over a billion records dating as far back as 1200. Family
historians can search for their ancestors among global collections, relating
primarily to people with UK and Irish ancestry, of military records, census,
migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well
as birth, marriage and death records.

brightsolid was awarded The National Archives’ contract to digitize and

publish online the 1911 census for England and Wales, which it launched in
January 2009. Most recently, in November 2011, the online innovation group
launched the British Newspaper Archive in partnership with the British
Library, to digitize up to 40 million pages of historic newspapers over the
next 10 years, providing a unique insight into major events and key periods
of historical international interest.

About RootsTech 2012

RootsTech 2012 is being held in the Salt Palace Convention Center of Salt

Lake City, Utah, from February 2-4, 2012. It is a gathering of technology
users and technology creators who are working together to find solutions to
difficult family history and genealogy problems.

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