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Genes Reunited redesign makes genealogy accessible to all

Video footage, pictures and mini-family tree help put Britain in touch with its history

Genes Reunited, the UK's leading genealogy site, has launched a new version of its site for 2009 designed to make family history easy and accessible for people of all ages.

With contextual tips now placed around the site to highlight features and explain next steps, it's never been simpler to find out where you come from. The new site also incorporates a mini-family tree on the homepage, making it easier to view and add family members.

Martine Parnell, Head of Genes Reunited, says: "Over the last year looking into family history has become a pastime for people of all ages and all backgrounds. Genes Reunited has over 650 million names on it and for beginners it can be hard to find the best way to get started. The new site is designed to make it fun and easy to find people who can help expand your family tree and to access records that can tell you more about your roots."

The new site was designed by London based digital agency, Airlock who were also responsible for the redesign of Friends Reunited last year.

Charlie Martin, Creative Director of Airlock says: "Our aim was to create a site that improved the overall user experience. The underlying challenge was to broaden the appeal of the site to a wider audience while still making existing users feel like they were in the same place; a key consideration was to avoid alienating or confusing anyone with the upgrade."

The site's new, easier-to-use look and feel is designed to make it even easier for members to bring their family history to life. Video footage and photography help people picture the lives of their ancestors and also allow Genes Reunited to share some of the best member success stories.

Members can also upload their own images and footage to the wider Genes Reunited community, recording and sharing their family story as it develops.

"We all have a unique and important family story," says Parnell. "The new site helps people to gain inspiration from others who have used it to connect with their family history as well as to share the things they find along the way."

Genes Reunited is the UK's biggest genealogy site, with over 9 million registered members - one in four of the UK's adult online population. Its archives include over 650 million individual names, with a new one added every second. Genes Reunited is owned by ITV along with sister sites Friends Reunited and Friends Reunited Dating.

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Notes to the Editor - About Genes Reunited

Genes Reunited was launched in 2002 as a sister-site to the Internet phenomenon Friends Reunited. Since then it has grown to become the UK's largest genealogy website.

It marked a revolution in genealogy and ancestry by combining them with Internet social-networking. Members are able to build their family tree by posting it on the site and investigating which ancestors they share with other members. They can also search historical records such as census, birth, death, marriage and military records.

It currently has over 11 million members and over 750 million names listed. One new name is added to the site every single second.