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Welcome to Unlock Your Family Tree!

Unlock Your Family Tree is a new website (launched in April 2013) for anyone who wants to delve into their family history.

Whether you’re just starting out on your journey into your family’s past or have already been bitten by the family history bug, this website is for you.

Hello, I’m Sarah Cridland and I’ve been tracing both my own and other people’s family history for almost 10 years now.

I had always been fascinated by the family stories I used to hear growing up and wanted to find out more. A school project got me started, but my research really began after I was inspired watching the first series of Who Do You Think You Are? back in 2004. Family history records were just starting to be put online then, so it was a good time to start!

Over the years I have uncovered many amazing stories about my family…

The Great, Great, Great Grandfather whose painting and decorating business lead to an impressive property portfolio…

My Great, Great Uncle, whose story made all the horrors of the First World War seem real for the first time…

The family that took the Cridlands from Somerset to the East End of London during the Industrial Revolution…

And discovering only the second known photo of my Great Grandfather, thanks to his Merchant Navy record.

Tracing your family tree is your passport to the past. Seemingly distant historical events are suddenly brought to life when you see them through your ancestor’s eyes.

Over the last 10 years the growing popularity of genealogy has lead to a vast amount of documentsĀ becoming availableĀ online. A record that took hours of research to track down in a library 15 years ago can now be found with just a few clicks of your mouse from the comfort of your own home.

This really is the best time to be involved in this fascinating hobby.

And with more records going online every day there is always something new to discover.

I set up this website to share the tips, tricks and knowledge I have built up over the years, and hopefully help you unlock your family tree.

If you want to share your tips and stories too it’d be great to read your comments on the articles.

I’ll be adding new content to the site every week with practical advice on all the records available and how to search them.

You can keep up to date with all the latest how-to guides and family history news by signing up to our free email newsletter below…

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I hope you find this site useful and good luck with your research!
Sarah Cridland
Best Wishes

Sarah Cridland
Founder of Unlock Your Family Tree