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  • New research from Ancestry reveals that 49% of Brits say family history stories are important family heirlooms to be passed down
  • Over a quarter (26%) have learnt more about their family history since the start of the pandemic with 59% wanting to find out more family stories
  • To help those on their family history journey, Ancestry unveils StoryScout™ - a free an easy way to learn and share untold family stories

24th February 2021, London UK – Today, Ancestry®, the global leader in family history, unveils new research showing old photographs (60%) and family history stories (49%) are amongst the most cherished heirlooms  to be passed down through generations. The research comes as Ancestry launches StoryScout™, a free and easy online tool to help bring family history stories to life.

The study of 2,000 British adults also found that:

  • Over a quarter (26%) have learnt more about their family history since March 2020, with 25% using extra time at home to research their family history 
  • Nearly three in ten (28%) have spoken more than ever about their family history stories during the same time period
  • Two thirds of Brits (67%) believe family stories are an important way of finding out about the lives of our ancestors

When delving deeper into the gatekeepers of family stories, a fifth (20%) said their mums are the fount of all family knowledge and are most likely to pass down important family heirlooms (32%), followed by dads (18%). Whilst 70% believe that learning about their family history and passing it on to younger generations is important to them.

The top ten most treasured heirlooms Brits would want family members to pass down include:

  • Old photographs (60%)
  • Family history stories (49%)
  • Memorabilia (37%)
  • Jewellery (33%)
  • Family recipes (26%)
  • Letters (25%)
  • Books (23%)
  • Medals (22%)
  • Furniture (14%)
  • Cars (11%)

For people who are just starting out in their family history journey or who have been inspired by popular programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? or Long Lost Family, StoryScout™ is a new tool on the Ancestry website that helps users discover and share stories from their family’s history quickly and easily. People will only need to enter a few details about their grandparents, such as their names and somewhere they lived, to be shown a range of personal and engaging events from their ancestors’ lives along with a detailed view of historical records relating to their family members. What’s more, these stories will be readily shareable via social media or email, or equally, links to the stories can be added to their existing Ancestry family tree.

‘’Since March last year, we’ve witnessed an increase in people looking to explore their family history,’’ comments Simon Pearce, Family History expert at Ancestry. ‘‘In fact, sharing and passing down family stories can be an easy and enjoyable way to engage and connect with our relatives, particularly when we cannot be physically together. ’’

To try out Ancestry’s StoryScout tool and learn more about your family history, visit