What is the Federation?
The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is an educational charity formed in 1974 and granted charitable status in 1982. Since 1997 the Federation has had its own Coat of Arms. Over the years, membership has grown to over 180 societies throughout the world, including national, regional and one-name groups. The principal aims of the Federation are:
- to co-ordinate and assist the work of societies or other bodies interested in family history, genealogy and heraldry
- to foster mutual co-operation and regional projects in these subjects
- to represent the interests of its member societies, and family historians in general, on numerous national and regional bodies.
Membership is open to any society or body specialising in family history or an associated discipline. Full membership is open to properly constituted organisations in the British Isles and associate membership is available to overseas family history, genealogical and heraldic groups as well as to other bodies within the British Isles for whom family history is a secondary interest.
The Federation encourages its member societies to produce high quality journals and websites by making awards each year. The Elizabeth Simpson award for the journal making the best contribution to family history, and the Geoff Riggs award for the best website are presented each year at the Spring Federation General Meeting, following the Annual General Meeting. Details of past winners and how to enter are available on our Awards pages.
Education is a vital element within the Federation. This is achieved informally through the regular meetings and discussions conducted by its member societies; also formally through the many courses on family history organised around the world. A list of speakers prepared to talk on family history, heraldry or allied topics can be found in our Directory of Speakers
Co-operation between family historians, heraldists, archivists, archaeologists and many others is essential as more and more people become involved in the study of their roots and heritage. The Federation is the ideal vehicle for such cooperation. A full list of member societies' contact details is available.
- makes representations to official bodies on matters affecting the study of family history and related topics
- has a seat on the British Genealogical Record Users' Group
- is represented on the British Association for Local History and the Regional Archive Councils
- has established regular liaison with the Society of Antiquaries, the Society of Archivists, the Historical Association, the British Records Association and the British Records Society, The National Archives and the General Register Office.
The Federation provides an authentic, audible, and respected voice for the many thousands of individual family historians.
- are co-ordinated by the Federation
- a considerable contribution was made to the National Inventory of War Memorials, established by the Imperial War Museum.
- the 1881 census was the object of a national indexing project, completed in 1996
- in 2010, the third edition of the National Burial Index, with over 18 million entries, was released on CDROM.
Family History Fairs, Events and Open Days
The Federation attends various events around the country and family history fairs and society Open Days are organised by its member societies. These draw the attention of the general public to the study of family history, thereby encouraging new members to join family history societies.
For a listing of events GENEVA (GENealogical EVents and Activities).
- meets in Britain twice a year
- comprises representatives of the member societies
- defines policy which is implemented by an elected executive committee
- provides societies with an opportunity to exchange views and debate matters of importance to family historians.
- For further information http://www.ffhs.org.uk/events/meetings.php
Several documents have been produced on matters of interest to officers of member societies, these are available within the Members Only Area of the website. For individual family historians there is our Really Useful Information Leaflet which includes sections on:
- Useful Websites
- Researching Your Family History
- Member Societies
- FFHS on the road
An Australasian edition of our really useful information leaflet is available for download.
A bi monthly Ezine is available free of charge. View a copy.
Many societies exchange their journals with their fellow members of the Federation. This ensures the maximum amount of publicity and interchange of information throughout the world, as these journals are usually available for individual members of societies to read.