Ancestry – When your past becomes a present

We all have an innate desire to know who we are and where we really come from. After all, the lives of our immediate ancestors are crucial to our sense of self.

Ancestry uncovers more than just black and white data. It can discover the facts, feelings and colourful stories of the people who shaped us.

To demonstrate this, we interviewed Noel Clarke to discover how his life, and that of his family, has changed for the better after researching his backstory. Packed with anecdotal stories, we showcased how a subscription to Ancestry could help our audience place their own lives in context like never before – just as Clarke’s had.

We commissioned the photographer David Ellis to create a powerful image that shows how Ancestry can help our readers piece together the mosaic of their lives. Using a life-sized, custom jigsaw, we created an image of Clarke piecing together his story.

We also tasked four journalists to delve into their ancestors’ past. Written in the style of evocative diary entries, these powerful first-person accounts educated our readers on the benefits of researching their family history, explained how Ancestry works, and established why now is the perfect time to uncover the stories of our past.

Throughout the four-part series, we used a mixture of layered illustrations by Valentina Verc and photography, with various shapes and textures to symbolise the history and multifaceted discoveries that our journalists unveiled in their research.