The Future for Family History is Digital

New CEO reinforces the family history focus of brightsolid online publishing and renames the business DC Thomson Family History

Annelies van den BeltThe new CEO of brightsolid online publishing, from today known as DC Thomson Family History, has announced a new strategy and organisation structure.

Annelies van den Belt has revealed that the business will be renamed DC Thomson Family History, to align with its Dundee-based media company owner and to focus on its core business, leading digital family history brands: findmypast and Genes Reunited.

The core focus on the family history market means that Friends Reunited will be re-incubated elsewhere in the DC Thomson Group.

Van den Belt said: “We’re operating in a competitive marketplace, and I’m confident that this restructure will allow us to focus on what we do well – and to do more of it.  The proposed changes are designed to make our business scalable and agile creating a “lean, mean family history machine”.

“At the heart of this name change and new structure is the recognition that we are a global digital family history business, headquartered in Shoreditch, supported by centres of excellence in London, Dundee, Sydney, Dublin and Boston. The new structure will go hand-in-hand with a new name, DC Thomson Family History. In my view this name reflects all that we stand for – our core strength is family history and we are an integral part of a long-standing family business.

“Building on the knowledge and experience within the company there are some very clear and exciting opportunities in this fast moving market.  ”

DC Thomson Family History owns findmypast and Genes Reunited – two of the largest genealogy businesses in Europe – and recently launched in the US. The company has successfully developed partnerships with a host of major cultural and historical institutions that are digitising and making available parts of their archives, including the Imperial War Museum, The National Archives and The British Library.

Chairman Richard Hall said: “Our strategy is to lead the way in the family history market, creating a single scalable organisation, driving value more efficiently from our technology platform, data assets and partnerships, building a single customer view and delivering more customer-focused product development.”


Notes to Picture Editors:

Image attached of Annelies van den Belt.

Annelies van den Belt joined from SUP Media, the leading digital publisher in Russia and the CIS which recently merged with Rambler, where she held the position of Group Chief Executive. She has exemplary experience managing online ventures and has previously worked for ITV, Telegraph Media Group and News International.

Notes to Editors:

DC Thomson

DC Thomson & Co Ltd is a private company and one of the leading publishing houses in the UK.  The company’s headquarters is in Dundee, Scotland, with a London base in Fleet Street.  The company publishes newspapers, magazines, comics and books.  It also has interests in radio, printing, retailing and online services.

brightsolid Online Publishing

brightsolid Online Publishing (BSOP) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy, with a record of online innovation in the field of family history.

• BSOP boasts 18 million registered users across its family of online genealogy brands.

• It hosts over a billion genealogical records across its family of brands including Genes Reunited and findmypast.

• It was last year voted Best Genealogy Organisation in the online Gene Awards.

BSOP helps partners to digitise their precious collections, providing them with an archival quality digital surrogate of their records, or publishing existing indexes and transcriptions.

Several successful partnerships with BSOP include (but are not limited to) with The National Archives; comprising 36 million records, this is one of the largest online family history projects undertaken by The National Archives and a commercial partner. is a pay-as-you-go e-commerce site operated by BSOP as a partnership between the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the Court of the Lord Lyon. The site allows searches of 50 million names, has more than 30 million images and over one million registered customers.

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) is a 10-year partnership project between the British Library and BSOP. The content for the website comes from the newspaper collection at Colindale Library, and the plan is to have 40 million, fully-searchable pages on the website by 2021, with at least 8,000 pages being added to the site every day.