He's always been interested in family history and genealogy, and even has the first family tree he drew at age 19.
Now, Laurence Harris has been named the UK Family History Advisor for MyHeritage.com.
Laurence and I first met several years ago in London, and again most recently, in August, at the 29th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, in Philadelphia.
Immediate past chair of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB) - with more than 900 members - he was also the genealogical inquiries advisor and assisted members and others of all skill levels.
One of his achievements has assisted Jewish genealogist around the world who are tracing their Anglo ancestors, as he coordinated the development and launch of the UK Jewish Communities and Records project with more than 100,000 birth, marriage and burial records, in addition to more than 5,000 UK community information pages offering historical and genealogical source details.
During his many years of family history research, including more than five years as a private and corporate professional genealogist, Laurence has researched two members of the House of Lords, and provided research for the very popular BBC series, “Who Do You Think You Are?”
The MyHeritage.com position is part-time and Laurence will continue his professional genealogy and research services for private and corporate clients. For more information, see his website.
It seems that this new position is a good fit because he uses MyHeritage’s tools “for both personal family research and my professional clients.”
He’s hoping that he can use his knowledge and experience of the UK, its communities and family history sources to ensure that the company’s products and services continue to develop in a way that provides even more functionality and benefits for users.
Laurence likes MyHeritage “because it has a great set of family history research and social networking tools that support family history researchers, adding that those tools help researchers maintain contact with relatives and often to discover new living relatives.”
These same tools, he said, help make it possible for researchers to network with others who have similar interests and to help each other with research challenges.
A former member of the UK National Archives User Advisory Group, Laurence has expert knowledge of UK genealogical research sources and major archives, and also speaks at genealogy events, such as the annual Who Do You Think You Are? Live exhibition in London.
In addition to writing articles for genealogy journals, he has also developed and presented genealogy courses such as “using the Internet for genealogical research,” and “selecting and using software to record family history.”
In his previous life, he was a principal consultant in a leading management consultancy, specialising in IT project management.
Laurence is married and lives in London with his wife and three daughters.