More people in Carmarthenshire have been delving into their past than ever before.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic over 155,000 searches have been recorded by Carmarthenshire libraries of library members taking advantage of free access to Ancestry.com from home.
That is an increase of 220% compared to the previous year, and more than any libraries in Wales.
Ancestry Library Edition covers both UK and international databases and gives access to census records, indexes of births, marriages & deaths, chapel registers, military records, wills and more.
Access to the site is usually provided on the library service’s public computers but in response to the pandemic, Ancestry has allowed library customers to search its wealth of information from their homes.
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said “Many residents have clearly used the lockdown to explore the stories of their own families and homes. These impressive figures demonstrate the popularity of the highly valued family and local history services provided by our libraries. As well as increasing our sense of identity, researching the lives of our ancestors and local areas help us understand how our communities have developed and changed. It also reminds us that our ancestors lived through challenging times too and overcame them – an important message during these hard times.”
Anyone who lives, works or studies in Carmarthenshire can enjoy the digital library for free by becoming a member. As well as Ancestry, there are over 19,000 comics and books to download. Members can also access the driving theory and Life in the UK tests, download newspapers, learn a new language, access over 500 interactive stories and activities for children, learn a new subject, get up to speed on computer software with online tutorials, and search through hundreds of encyclopaedias.
If you are not already a member, you can join here whilst our libraries are closed https://wales.ent.sirsidynix.net.uk/client/en_GB/carm_en#
For further information contact your regional library:
Llanelli – 01554 744327
Carmarthen – 01267 224824
Ammanford – 01269 598360