Federation and Family History Societies
Promoting and encouraging the study of family history for over 35 years
The motto on the coat of arms granted to The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is ‘One From Many’. The FFHS is a registered company and is a registered charity. The objects for which the company is registered are by charitable means:
- to promote encourage and foster the study of family history, genealogy and heraldry and in furthering this to co-ordinate and assist the work of Member Societies and Bodies interested in family history, genealogy and heraldry
- to promote the preservation, security and accessibility of archive material
FFHS was founded in 1974 when ‘many’ family history societies came together to form the ‘one’. At that time there was little opportunity to buy a national family history magazine and publications providing advice on research were hard to find. FFHS delivered Family History News and Digest and FFHS Publications company encouraged the writing of books family history books and published them. Over the years FFHS has evolved to meet the demands of and changes in the family history environment, always supporting and promoting Member Societies in their objectives to deliver resources, education and guidance to the family historian.
Member Societies range in size from those with thousands of members to those with a minimum of 40 members. The FFHS is a federation of those societies and is those societies. FFHS has been able to negotiate, at national level, access to archives, preferential benefits and provide a commercial environment that can support the activities of the members. A simple benefit such as the public liability insurance cover that each Member Society receives and part of their subscription allows the smaller societies to participate in activities in our risk averse world, insurance that many would not be able to fund on their own.
The FFHS is a group of like-minded societies managed and operated mostly by volunteers who bring their skillsets from their careers into the family history environment. We all benefit from the best practices shared by the members. The FFHS Executive are trustees of the charity and, like the trustees of the Member Societies, are also volunteers, working to bring recognition of our member societies to family historians via our website, newslists and Ezine and publications like our Really Useful Leaflet. FFHS volunteers attend shows like WhoDoYouThinkYouAre, representing societies that are unable to attend. FFHS also arranges for table space at regional hobbycraft fairs where attendance is huge and which offer societies access to a large non-traditional audiences.
For many family historians it is sufficient to know that the FFHS is working away in their interest, keeping them informed of what is happening with access to resources and supporting the committees of their chosen family history society. Many are unaware of this organisation and the benefits it brings to them but in the archives world the FFHS is well known and speaks for the family historian.
FFHS Officers with responsibility for archives, publicity, projects and education are supported by volunteer committees and representatives to meet our stated charitable objectives. Assistance is given to Members Societies for these areas in the form of specialist advice and communications and seminars can be arranged where there is a demand. A successful finance group has shared best practice across the Member Societies.
Membership annual subscriptions to the FFHS are based on the number of members in a society, for most societies this is currently 38 pence per member. Do we give value for money, we think so. Can we do more, just talk to us about what you think we should be doing. Equally, do you want to volunteer to help us deliver to family historians? Contact me with your views at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communications Officer, FFHS