Federation Of Family History Societies

Welcome to the FFHS website

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.

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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.

Glasgow Loses a Day

Less than three weeks before the event, the organisers of WDYTYA? Scotland have informed us that they are cutting it back to a 2-day event. Instead of the three days previously advertised, it will only be open on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 August.

This is a big disappointment, particularly for exhibitors and visitors who have already spent money to be there on Sunday 31st. It will be interesting to discover whether those who lose out as a result receive full compensation, including their wasted travel and accommodation costs.

Some initial comments can be seen on Facebook. Why not add yours?

Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre

Meet Us In Scotland

FFHS will be represented at WDYTYA? Scotland, which willtake place on 29 and 30 August at the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre, Glasgow. 

This major event includes a wide range of workshops and talks, suitable for visitors whatever their level of family history experience.

You will be able to meet our volunteers at Stand E39, as well as our friends from the Scottish Association of Family History Societies. So, this is a great opportunity to find out more about how our member societies can help you in your research, whether north or south of the border.

We have a prize draw for tickets to the show.  To enter this draw, send an email to with ‘WDYTYA Scotland’ in the subject line before 20 August 2014.

view of WW1 cemetery

Discover 14-18

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.

TNA sign

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.


Anniversary Events

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.

Why not browse through the full list of events to track down the ones that are of greatest interest to you?

First World War Centenary

WWI family photo

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

The Federation has joined the affiliate schemes of these companies

468x60: I’m, your Nan FMP logo The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

Buy via these links so the FFHS can benefit at no cost to you

© 2007-14 The Federation of Family History Societies. All rights reserved

Registered Charity No. 1038721    Company No. 2930189 (England)

Page updated by the webmaster on 22 August 2014

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