The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is an educational charity. We support, inform and advise our membership, which consists of family history societies and similar bodies across the world.
To achieve our mission, we:
co-ordinate and assist the work of organisations interested in family history, genealogy and heraldry
foster co-operation and projects that help researchers
represent the interests of family historians, especially in the preservation and availability of archives
You can read more about our activities on our "What We Do" page.
“Family Tree” celebrates 30 years
Britain’s oldest popular-format family history magazine is celebrating its 30th birthday. FFHS congratulates “Family Tree” magazine and its founders Michael & Mary Armstrong, who recognised the need for a national eye-catching magazine for the family historian and have developed it over the years.
FFHS values the work of the Family Tree team in promoting our member societies and the benefits of belonging to a family history society. ABM Publishing (which owns “Family Tree”) has generously sponsored our Geoff Riggs Award for the best society website since this was launched in 2001.
We hope that the Federation’s association with the magazine will continue for many years to come and wish it continued success. A special 30th edition of the magazine is available on newsstands or you can download a digital version here for £3.99.
Congratulations to Kayannie Denigan (pictured) from Mount Sheridan, Queensland, who has won First Prize in our Australasian story writing competition.
The competition was held to encourage the research and writing of short items about ancestors who served in the armed forces during the First World War.
Kayannie has shared a very moving story about her grandfather, who was a Bama or Aboriginal and a member of the Australian Imperial Force and Australian Flying Corps.
Prizes have also been awarded to Barbara Spooner of North Turramurra, New South Wales who wrote about her father Flight Lieutenant Dudley Ransom and to Irene Davidson of Cabarita, New South Wales for her story about her father Allan John (Jack) Chilvers.
Wherever in the world you live, it is well worth reading all three stories and be inspired to write up more of your own research.
New Heritage Gallery
Many of us will have visited the Guildhall Art Gallery, which is situated in the heart of the City of London. Its attractions now include the newly-opened City of London Heritage Gallery, which showcases a rotating selection of rare and fascinating documents drawn from the archives of the City of London Corporation.
The star of the current display is the 1297 Magna Carta. Forthcoming highlights include a Charter granted to London by William the Conqueror in 1087 and Shakespeare’s purchase deed for a house in Blackfriars (1613) which carries his signature - one of only six known examples in the world.
A number of the current exhibits in the new gallery relate to the beginning of World War One, such as an original recruitment poster and detailed reports on the impact on everyday life of the outbreak of war.
The Guildhall Art Gallery itself displays a marvellous collection of paintings, including seventeenth century portraits, Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces and a range of paintings documenting London's dramatic history. At the deepest level of the building, you can step into the ruins of London’s Roman Amphitheatre and learn more about popular entertainment almost 2,000 years ago.
Good News for Mothers
Since 1 July 1837, marriage records in England and Wales have included the names and occupations of the fathers of bride and groom. But there is no mention of the mothers. This is an insult to every mother and mother-in-law and does not help the family historian either.
For many years, family historians have pressed the Government to increase the information included in marriage certificates.
A campaign launched by Ailsa Burkimsher Sadler to include mothers on their children’s marriage lines attracted over 70,000 supporters via an online petition. As a result, the Prime Minister has instructed the Home Office to address the inequality on marriage certificates and allow the names of mothers to appear as well as those of fathers.
But no date has been set for this reform. So let’s keep the ball rolling and let our MPs know what we think about the subject.
As part of its 40th Anniversary programme, the Federation is providing sponsorship for a number of family history fairs and other events that are organised by our member societies. These are being held at a variety of venues ranging from Essex to Glamorgan and Surrey to Cumbria throughout the course of 2014.