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.
Victorian London in photographs
A special exhibition at the London Metropolitan Archives offers us a unique view into life in Victorian London. Photographs from 1839 onwards reveal both grand and humble buildings, many of which are no longer standing, as well as studio portraits of individuals and crowd scenes featuring Londoners of that era.
This free event is taking place at 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB and will run until 29 October.
You can discover more about the exhibition, its opening times and how to get there by visiting the London Metropolitan Archives website.
Fairs and Open Days
Fairs and Open Days offer family historians great opportunities to follow their interests and meet fellow enthusiasts. If you have a friend or relation who might be interested in setting off on the ancestor trail, they can be excellent occasions to introduce your local society and what it has to offer.
Local family history societies have events at the following venues to meet the needs of veteran researchers and newcomers alike:
- Merthyr Tydfil - 10 October (Glamorgan FHS)
- Basingstoke - 11 October (Hampshire GS)
- Ipswich - 17 October (Suffolk FHS)
- Carlisle - 24 October (Cumbria FHS)
- Abbots Langley - 24 October (Romany & Traveller FHS)
- Woking - 31 October (West Surrey FHS)
You can find out more about each event by following the relevant link.
Community, Family and Kin at Leicester
Family, household and community reconstitution are topics of great interest to family historians. A day conference on Saturday 7 November offers a unique opportunity to hear about seven studies in this field. This major event is sponsored by The British Association for Local History, Local Population Studies Society and The Friends of the Centre for Local History, University of Leicester.
The venue is at Leicester University, close to New Walk (pictured), but the subjects addressed range across the country, from Devon to Suffolk and Swaledale to Gloucestershire.
The full programme and other details are available online. You can book either online or by post.
Find A Grave on 17 October
Many readers are already familiar with the Find A Grave website, which includes millions of pictures and inscriptions from around the World. These entries can be found using its search facilities. The site is free to use but owned by Ancestry which is promoting an annual day when people are encouraged to visit local cemeteries, take photos and videos of headstones, explore the grounds and share their discoveries.
This year the "Find A Grave Community Day" is on Saturday 17 October. You can find out more about the event on the Ancestry blog.
The FamilySearch website offers a wide range of services to family historians free of charge. It offers opportunities to search scanned, transcribed and/or indexed records harvested from across the world. Over a billion names appear in its searchable databases. You can also delve into the growing collection of over 82,000 articles in its Research Wiki section.
A dynamic feature of the site is FamilySearch Family Tree, where you can enrol to add details of ancestors and family members. Unlike the sites that accept contributions without quality control, FamilySearch prompts contributors to cite sources for their input and consider whether the person, relationship or an event they plan to submit already appears in the collection. These safeguards go a long way towards weeding out duplicated records and correcting mistakes.
To help people work together in growing and improving their family trees, a new user-to-user messaging system has been launched. This enables researchers to collaborate about changes, updates and additions without needing to switch to email. More details about FamilySearch Messaging are only a click away.
Staffordshire Registers Online
A large amount of extra information from the registers of numerous parishes in Staffordshire has recently been launched on the FindMyPast website.
Scanned and indexed images of pages from a variety of parish registers have been added to the existing online collection for the county. The fresh data covers the following events:
- Baptisms - 483,000
- Marriages - 267,000
- Banns - 185,000
- Burials - 284,000
Many records from other parishes in the area were already in the database, so the total number of entries to be found in the relevant indexes for Staffordshire now add up to more than 4 million. The earliest records included date back to 1538 and the most recent events took place in 1900, but details are not available from all parishes for the whole of that timespan.
Staffordshire is an inland county with borders touching five other counties, so this collection will be of help to researchers whose main focus so far is elsewhere, if their family prove to have migrated into or out of Staffordshire itself.