For the first time, Ancestry will provide K-12 teachers across America a free six-month World Explorer subscription to access billions of historical records, providing support in lesson development and project creation for the school year ahead. This past spring, the brand created teacher developed lesson plans which were available to download for free. Parents and tutors will also have access to Ancestry Library Edition as a free remote learning resource. 

woman on tablet

The free subscription will give teachers the tools to help students across the nation make connections to their ancestors, historical places, and events throughout time. By pulling records around historical events to contextualize chapters in history like WWII and the Civil War, teachers can bring their curriculum to life in relevant and exciting ways which is especially important for keeping students engaged during virtual learning.

“Family history research is a powerful tool for building resilience, connection and understanding for all ages,” said Margo Georgiadis, President and CEO of Ancestry. “We are deeply appreciative of the work of educators, particularly during this challenging time. Ancestry is proud to provide free tools to support educators with their focus on inspiring students with new curriculum topics and to make richer and more personal connections to important moments in history.”

The platform allows K-12 teachers access to the World Explorer subscription, one of three membership choices; the other two are U.S. Discovery and All Access. The World Explorer membership includes access to all records (U.S. and international) on Ancestry.

  • Access to most records on Ancestry, including Census records, draft cards, immigration records, as well as marriage and birth records, and much more
  • Access to all public family trees on Ancestry
  • Access to Ancestry Hints® regarding the records included in this membership
  • Ability for educators to create and edit their own family tree

Beginning on Aug. 20, up to 10,000 teachers can verify their credentials on Ancestry.com/backtoschool through Sept. 30.

Beyond teachers, remote access to Ancestry Library Edition may be available as a genealogy research tool for parents, tutors and educators. For library patrons of over 2,100 libraries that subscribe to Ancestry Library Edition, the offering will provide instant free access to a wide range of resources for genealogical and historical research. Distributed exclusively by ProQuest and powered by Ancestry.com, the program grants card holders access to billions of records in census data, historical photos, plus local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s. To access this database, contact your local library to ask if they participate and for more details.

In addition to the wide availability of resources obtained through Ancestry Library Edition, parents and educators also have access to an intuitive search interface, detailed search indexes, and helpful Learning Center tools, making Ancestry Library Edition an indispensable resource for education this school year. This program will be available through the end of September.

Visit the website for more information on additional back-to-school resources and creative solutions for teachers and parents.

—Jennifer Swartvagher

Featured photo: Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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