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Ancestry to Digitise Ministry of Defence Records

If you have been following my previous posts in relation to the movement of MOD Records to the National Archives at Kew you might be interested to learn that Genealogy Subscription website Ancestry has won the contract to digitise these.

Almost a year ago the National Archives advised in their news section that the first tranche of Service Records was available to order via their online catalogue. These related to the Corps of Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers Regiment & only related to personnel with a date of birth greater than 115 years. Records for many more Army Regiments have been added since then.

Later in 2022 they advised that some records could be ordered 4 days prior to your visit or be ordered for a fee & that they would be monitoring the usage/popularity to allow them to react to research requirements.

Two Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXs - Public Domain - Wikicommons

In their recent announcement TNA have said ‘We’re pleased to announce that we’ve awarded Ancestry UK the contract to digitise the first tranche of MOD Service Personnel Records.’

‘Both parties are looking forward to working to make these important records accessible in digital format. Details of the schedule will be announced soon.’

The recent announcement has caused much discussion on where the records will actually be available with many people feeling that these should be available for free.

If they are transferred to Ancestry’s website then it may be the case that you require a UK Premium Membership costing £69.99 (6 Months) to view these. The other option is that they may move these to their American Fold3 Military website costing $79.85 (1 Year) as they did with some WW1 Military Records. Quite costly when all you require is one record!

Ancestry understandably are delighted to be awarded this contract & have advised that records will be added between 2024 & 2029.

It might be worth mentioning that RAF Airman’s Service Records from 1912-1939 are already available on FindmyPast.

We will keep you posted on any new developments.

Remember as a Genealogy Company we already subscribe to pretty much all the Genealogy Subscription Websites & therefore often get clients who only need an hour or twos research to access these sites & obtain records. If we can assist you in doing this contact us via the Free Consultation link below to discuss.


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