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.
Mapping Historical London
Scores of millions of people have at least some ancestors who lived in London. Throughout several centuries, the city has been a powerful magnet, drawing migrants from elsewhere in England and further afield on a temporary or permanent basis. Maps can give us a detailed insight into the size and layout of the built-up area and its surroundings at various stages of history.
From Thursday 4th to Sunday 14th September, the “Mapping London” exhibition will enable visitors to view a wide range of works. The display starts with the first available map of the capital, which dates from 1572. Many of the exhibits included are intricate works of art, making good use of colour and enhanced by exquisite decorations. The gallery provides a rare opportunity to admire some very large maps that cannot normally be viewed as a single item – the largest of these is 4 metres by 2 metres.
“Mapping London” is one of over 100 events during “Totally Thames” month. It will take place at Oxo Tower Wharf on the South Bank, between Blackfriars and Waterloo stations. So if you are in the vicinity, do look in. Admission is free.
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.
Over 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces and civilians died during the two world wars. The vast majority of our readers probably have forebears or fairly close family members amongst those listed on the website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). You can use a combination of filters to focus on people of interest who appear in its “Find War Dead” database.
CWGC has recently launched Discover 14-18, a microsite that features richly illustrated timelines and also calendar of events planned to commemorate particular aspects of WW1. Content is themed around major battles and the different roles of the Army, Navy and Air Force, all linking back to the CWGC memorial sites and other online archives.
These new resources provide excellent material for understanding the context and course of the conflict. They will also make locating and visiting memorial sites of relatives killed during the war easier than ever before.
New Discovery Catalogue
The National Archives (TNA) has released an expanded version of its online Discovery catalogue. A further 10 million record descriptions have been added, bringing the grand total to 32 million items. Details from sources such as Access to Archives and the Manorial Documents Register are now included in a single searchable database.
22 million of the references in the catalogue are from TNA itself, with 9 million of these being available for download.
A number of changes have been made to the ways in which you can explore what Discovery has to offer. The current set up is not the final version. You can supply TNA with feedback by using one of its options for sending comments, questions and suggestions about Discovery and other aspects of TNA’s services.
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.
Are you involved in a project within your own community, local history society, family history society or other group or organisation which is researching the lives of local people who served in WW1 or who were left behind to keep the home fires burning? Do you know of a website which contains information that might help others further their own research into their WW1 ancestors?
If so please contact Philippa McCray the Administrator
so that we can include details within our dedicated WW1 Centenary Pages