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.
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.
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.
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.