Moving here, but where did I come from?

In this blog post we will be discussing the features that can be used on the Moving Here website of the National Archives of the United Kingdom. Though this site is no longer being updated, it can still be used to view its content. The Moving Here website offers a history of migration of four ethnic minorities living in United Kingdom. The four ancestries that can be traced are Jewish, Irish, Caribbean and South-Asian. This site therefore has a clear target demographic, though there is a lot of information available that can also be used by historians interested in migration more generally.

The main feature is the great amount (more than a thousand!) of family history written by contributors to this site, who have been able to trace their ancestry using the tools provided. There is a lot of information to be found on the website, and tools provided for people to do their own research. They provide step by step instructions on how to start your own genealogy project. However, the site is not very orderly structured, and can be confusing to new visitors. Besides that, the search engine is not very advanced: there is not a lot of search criteria to cut down on the large amount of search results.

A better example of a search engine is found on the Old Bailey Online website. Although the subject of this site is very different, namely court proceedings, we do think it is a good example of a search engine that improves the quality of searching. The Old Bailey Online search engine allows the visitors to search by first name, surname, alias, offence, verdict, sentence and time period. Besides this site also offers context and tutorials on how to use the website and the court records that are found. On top of that, this site offers the fun opportunity to have a look at a court case that was held on the day of your visit, only something over a hundred years ago.


~Yöran Krüse & Iris Tijm