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ScotlandsPeople official launch

Scotland's new-look genealogy website will be officially launched this week by Tourism Minister Jim Mather.

The revamped ScotlandsPeople service is now up and running and features new search features designed to make it easier and quicker for people at home and abroad to discover their family roots. This includes plotting search results on maps, helping those unfamiliar with Scottish geography - such as users overseas - understand more about Scotland and their ancestors. Following the first revamp of the site since its launch in 2002, it now offers advanced search functions, providing quicker results, as well as additional information from Catholic Parish Registers.

Speaking ahead of an event on Tuesday in the Scotland's People Centre in Edinburgh to mark the re-launch, Mr Mather said: "Once again Scotland has proved that it can make available the key records for those who wish to trace their Scottish family history. It is estimated that over 50 million people across the world claim Scottish ancestry, with ancestral tourism estimated to contribute £64 million annually to Scotland's economy. Following the success of the year of Homecoming, the improved ScotlandsPeople will help connect people to their ancestors and cement links between Scots overseas and their home country - encouraging them to come and walk in the footsteps of their ancestors and boost revenues in the Scottish economy."

Chris van der Kuyl, Chief Executive of service provider brightsolid, said: "ScotlandsPeople now has nearly 80 million records and will continue to add new exciting data sets to what is, without doubt, a world-leading website. brightsolid is enormously proud of the fact that it has established a strong track record in publishing sites such as ScotlandsPeople, and has built a centre of excellence in this growing and popular genealogy market sector. We understand the community and we know how to innovate and develop online products for family history enthusiasts."

Duncan Macniven, Registrar General for Scotland, said: "This is a great step forward in the ongoing improvement of the ScotlandsPeople website, which has over 1 million registered users. We are proud to have one of the most comprehensive sets of family history records. These changes will continue to make us one of the world leading websites for family history. This creates a platform for the launch of the 1911 census in April 2011."

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