Ancestry has helped countless families reconnect with long-lost relatives, and has helped people discover more about who they are and where can come from.
The online service comes at a cost for the depths of information it can bring to an individual, but from August 13 to August 16, the platform will be opening more than 39 million Australia and New Zealand military records, free of charge.
The decision to release the collection of records comes 75 years after the end of the Second World War. The initiative is in support of the #OneInAMillion project — a project by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs that encourages Australians to pay tribute to those who served in WWII.
Ancestry wants to help Australians discover whether they have a family connection to those who served, for which there were more than one million Australians — connections to these veterans are still to be discovered by many.
Ancestry’s online collection of historical documents, photos and family history records have helped people to “unlock vivid journeys of their ancestors’ lives during the war”, the service says in a press release.
Brad Argent, a family history expert at Ancestry, hopes that by allowing free access to the records, Australians will be able to learn more about their personal history through the lens of ancestors who may have fought in the war.
“As the global leader in family history, the unparalleled records available on Ancestry.com.au offer the perfect opportunity for people to find their #OneInAMillion and participate in remembering the country’s military heroes.
“Whether you’re an Australian citizen or have settled in this country from elsewhere, our hope is for every generation to learn about their veterans’ sacrifice and keep their memory alive throughout the years.”
The free access initiative starts on August 13 on Ancestry.com.au. In the meantime, you can learn more about the #OneInAMillion campaign and how the Australian Government is commemorating 75 years since the ending of the Second World War.