In the trenches…

Garry Walton commission brings WW1 hero to life


I love a good, old-fashioned tale of bravery – especially when they feature the unfortunate young men who were thrust into the battlefields of WW1. One of the best parts of my job is commissioning the illustrations that accompany such stories.

This particular image is printed in Your Family Tree issue 154 (which is on sale now) and shows a reader’s great-grandfather who served in the 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’ Own) during the conflict.

I think you’ll agree that Garry Walton has captured the feel of WW1 perfectly in this image.


Your Family Tree…

Digital back issues currently only 99p each on Google Play Newsstand!

Nexus_5_Front_ViewThe end of a year is always the busiest in magazine-land and 2014 was no exception. The short deadlines mean I haven’t showcased my work in a while, but as 2015 is here, I thought I’d better start blogging in earnest once again.

The good news is that all of my recent work on Your Family Tree is currently available for only 99p an issue. There is a wealth of genealogy topics to delve into and issues are available for less than the price of a caramel latte.

The latest issue (151) is also available at this bargain price. Tracing your family history back 600 years has never been easier – especially as you can now take YFT with you wherever you go. Visit GooglePlay and start tracing your family line today. What are you waiting for?

Back in time…

Learn how to travel back to 1066 with issue 141 of Your Family Tree magazine.


When designing magazine covers flexibility is the key. You might have a fixed template but you need to bear in mind current trends and be able to follow these – whilst retaining your identity.

One of the current trends is to have fewer cover lines on your digital editions. When readers view your magazine on web-based newsstands – such as GooglePlay or Apple – most words are too small to view. Removing words enables you to promote the most important messages and enlarge images and logos. As you’ll see from the image above I have removed the top word-mechanics of the magazine and this has allowed the movement images and give an illusion of space on the smaller digital cover.

The single most important message on this issue was ‘going back further in time with your research’. I wanted the ‘time’ aspect to jump out and decided that the best approach was to have a combination older documents and a timepiece. I also wanted to have the illusion of moving in time so we blurred the hands of the clock. The simple blue san serif typography (Sanuk LF) also jumps out to the reader. Only ‘time’ will tell if my approach has been a success.

Your Family Tree issue 141 is on sale now. If you’re interested you can find more information on the issue and ordering details here.

© Future Publishing Limited.


Family history toolkit…

Master vital genealogy skills with YFT140s 35 essential hints and tips.


Your Family Tree issue 140 is perfect for both genealogy beginners and experts alike. Our cover feature refreshes your family history knowledge with 35 essential tips to help enhance your family tree. It also proves that carrying out your research needn’t be difficult. Follow these hints and you’ll soon be tracing your ancestors further back than ever before.

We also continue our fantastic WWI Centenary coverage with an in-depth look at how your Merchant Navy heroes survived the deadly U-boats, real-life reader stories and we show you how to uncover your family’s wartime secrets with service records.

But it’s not all about WWI. We’ve also got stunning articles on your Scottish inheritance, how to find FREE BMDs and censuses online and much more.

Your Family Tree magazine is the perfect read for tracing your UK ancestry. If you live outside the UK now is the perfect time to get a digital subscription so that you can read YFT on the day it comes out. Digital subscriptions are also great for UK readers if you’ve run out of space for your magazine collection!

© Future Publishing Limited


Superb illustration perfectly captures tale of real-life World War One heroism.


Your Family Tree’s real-life reader case studies are some of the most popular articles within the magazine. Every issue YFT features two stories that highlight a readers research and the story that unfolds. We take great care in getting the image right and honouring the contributors memory as accurately as we can.

This particular reader discusses her grandfathers rampant gambling and multiple marriages but uncovers a story of previously hidden heroism.

A fantastic illustration from Garry Walton perfectly encapsulates the bravery and skill of pilots who fought during the First World War.

Your Family Tree issue 140 is available from all good magazine retailers from 25 February, and you can order printed copies via myfavouritemagazines or the YFT Facebook page. A digital subscription is a great way to read YFT if you’ve run out of space for your magazine collection (or an overseas reader) and there are fantastic discounts as well!

Image © Future Publishing Limited.

Remembering the brave…

Your Family Tree issue 139 ushers in our in-depth WWI centenary series of features.


The First World War Centenary is upon us and this special issue marks the beginning of a series of features and articles with a difference. The national press and media world will be running hundreds (if not thousands) of interviews and programmes that look directly at the battles and losses during this horrendous war. We at Your Family Tree magazine wanted to showcase WW1 and bring you the information that allows YOU to find and honour YOUR war heroes. YFT139 is full of handy hints and tips that enable you to search medal records and rolls online, alongside a special social history feature that looks at how British home life was transformed during this terrible time.

I needed an image for the cover that instantly said ‘WW1’ to the casual browser but wasn’t just a black and white soldier shot. After a few hours searching it was Getty who came to my rescue with this amazing illustration by Popperfoto. It shows the military allies and their flags during World War One from around 1915. I think it certainly helps the magazine stand out from the crowd. We also created a wonderful little logo that enables our readers to jump straight to our Great War articles whenever they see it in the magazine.

Your Family Tree issue 139 is on sale via all good retailers right now and is also available on your iPad/iPhone, Nook, Kindle and desktop via Zinio and Google Play for Android devices. You can order all editions and try us for FREE here.

Catching up…

Get two Your Family Tree magazine covers for the price of one!



I can’t believe that two whole issues have passed since I last posted a cover on this blog – we have just been stacked out workwise and it has been hard to find the time to think.

Still, what we’ve managed to publish is one traditional style genealogy cover and one slightly different, modern approach.

YFT128 is definitely a modernist, graphical approach and is quite a departure for us. Adam (my editor) and I thought that the DNA subject matter warranted this. We then chose to use joined up DNA strands with vintage photography inserts. The striking dark blue background contrasts with the bright red elements that leaps from the page (especially in our digital editions).

YFT129 is a much more traditional cover that uses typography to ram the ‘FREE’ message home. I backed this up with an empty, distressed wallet and ornate picture frame. The simple, bullet point elements stand out with the handwritten font use.

Both jumped out from crowded shelves but for entirely different reasons and they both worked exceptionally well on digital devices.

Now is the perfect time to view these covers digitally – as we are giving away an issue free when you take out a digital subscription.* Digital subscriptions to Your Family Tree are available in the following formats and prices start from just £3.99:

*Free issue not available on Zinio

© Future Publishing Limited 2013

Stand to attention…

Discovering the last 300 years of British Military records with Your Family Tree 127


Your Family Tree 127 is a bumper special-edition that includes a free 48-page guidebook. I wanted to stir reader emotions once they had ripped the magazine from it’s bag. The nostalgic Victorian soldier was chosen to peek over the free gift because I thought that his mournful gaze would draw the reader in. He is a soulful looking chap but doesn’t have much else going on behind him. Adam the editor and I decided YFT127 should have a montage cover, in order to show as much military history as possible. I also wanted there to be a subliminal British ‘feel’ to the cover and elected to use the trusty red, white and blue colouring and a Spitfire. We’ve had a positive response from readers thus far. What do you think? You can find out more about YFT127 here.