Welcome to the May 2010 Edition of the FFHS Ezine
Society Spotlights
North of Ireland Family History Society  >

Archives sector to be represented by a new body >
Did you attend WDYTYA-Live >

Find your family's Guiding History >

NBI 3 > 

Funding opportunity, National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives 2010  >

£5m Rescue and Restoration of Victorian ‘Garden’ Cemetery >

Diary Dates >

                                   No 20

The 1939 Register for England
and Wales

Cuts to museums, libraries and other cultural services  >

This months competition >

Treasures of Lambeth Palace Library Exhibition >

Federation and Family History Societies ‘One from many >

Were you or a member of your family evacuated during WW2? >

General Register Office certificates >


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This Months Competition

To win one of  5 copies of Researching Scottish Family History by Chris Paton

Simply answer the following question

Q: How many titles are currently
on offer by the Family History Partnership?

Hint: visit the website


Society Spotlights

North Of Ireland
Family History Society



The North of Ireland Family History Society is a voluntary non-profit making organisation encouraging an interest in family history with special reference to families who have roots in the North of Ireland.  The Society was formed in 1979 and now has 13 local branches, with branch members, and many associate members in countries worldwide.


Our branches hold monthly meetings between September and May and we publish a journal, “North Irish Roots”, twice a year.  We have a Research Centre, in Belfast, with a collection of Irish reference books, Irish journals, church histories, baptism and marriage indexes, family histories, street directories and maps.


further details on our branches, publications and membership can be found on our website >

at Olympia February 26 - 28

 Are you missing some old family photographs that you took with you to the show?

  CAB Search who had a stand within the Society of Genealogists Family History Show would like to reunite some photos left on their stand with their rightful owner.

 Please contact Jill at CAB Search direct on mail@cab-search.co.uk or by telephone on 020 7060 1849

Archives sector to be represented by a new body

The green light has been given for the merger of the Society of Archivists (SoA), the National Council on Archives (NCA) and the Association of Chief Archivists in Local Government (ACALG) into a new body to be known as the Archives and Records Association (ARA) which will cover the UK and Republic of Ireland.

 The Federation of Family History Societies is a Council Member of NCA and supports the merger.  We look forward to participating in ARA where we will continue to represent the views of users of archives.  More information about the merger can be seen at

more information about the merger >  


2010 marks the centenary of the founding of the Girl Guides.  Were you or your ancestor a member of the Girl Guides?  The Girlguiding Archive holds over 11,000 photographs, over 5,000 publications and a number of records relating to adult members of the organisation.  There are some records for adult leaders from 1910 up to 1949 but official records have not been kept of members under the age of 18 although some written records and photographs can be found in the local guiding archives. 

If you would like to find out more please contact the archive at: archives@girlguiding.org.uk or telephone 0207834 6242 x3001


As part of the centenary celebrations the Guides are looking for every member’s story, past and present. 

add your story >  

or get in touch with past Brownie and Guide friends >

Funding opportunity: National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives 2010

Applications are invited to the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives 2010. The programme aims to offer strategic collective support from a group of funders towards reducing the growing national backlog of uncatalogued archives. The backlog is a nationally-acknowledged problem, which limits the visibility and use of archives.  The scheme is open to public and charitable institutions which hold uncatalogued or poorly catalogued archives and are in need of external funding to catalogue significant collections.

more guidance, the application form and a list of projects funded in 2009 >

The deadline for phase one applications is at 4pm on
11 June 2010.

£5m Rescue and Restoration of Victorian ‘Garden’ Cemetery

Arnos Vale in Bristol is one of Britain’s finest examples of a Victorian garden cemetery. It opened in 1839, using architecture and a layout echoing a classical Greek landscape. Over the next 150 years, the site became the last resting place for some 300,000 souls, including many of Bristol’s most notable citizens and important reformers. But in the mid 20th century, financial problems saw it fall into disuse and disrepair and threatened by re-development. Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust was formed and the official re-opening of the cemetery took place on 29th April. The project has restored its historic grounds, monuments and buildings to transform the 45 acre site into a heritage, wildlife, education and visitor centre.

 for more information >

You may like to know that Arnos Vale’s Books of Remembrance can now be viewed online, via www.arnosvale.org.uk, and that burial record searches can also be ordered via the website.

The 1939 Register for England and Wales

The NHS Information Centre has introduced a fee-paying service to provide information from the 1939 Register, but only in respect of deceased persons.
Created under The National Registration Act 1939, the 1939 Register for England and Wales was originally the responsibility of the Registrar General who, under the 1939 Act created a register of the civilian population.

This enumeration occurred on 29 September 1939 and a National Registration number was assigned to each person after the following data was collected from each household:
Names. Sex, Date of Birth, Occupation, Profession, Trade or Employment, REsidence, Condition as to Marriage.

Membership of Naval, Military or Air Force Reserves or Auxiliary Forces or of Civil Defence Services or Reserves.

The 1939 Register was structured by geographical area and was used for a range of purposes including the issue of identity cards during and after the Second World War.
An application form and more information can be obtained from www.ic.nhs.uk/news-and-events/news.  The cost of each application is £42.00 and there is no refund for unsuccessful searches.

Thanks to Steven Smyrl of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations for background information on this.  You can read more at www.cigo.ie/news.html.

More Information about data in respect of Scotland  >

The cost is a more reasonable £13, with a charge of only £5 where there is no trace of the individual.
When applying for details from Northern Ireland it is necessary to provide an address and proof of death. 

see news of the Freedom of Information Act enquiries for Northern Ireland >


“Some ‘updated versions’ or ‘latest editions’ can be seen as mere cash-ins, consisting of only a brief tweak of the previous offering. That’s certainly not the case with this massive index of burial registers from the FFHS...Surely this is the most inclusive data CD we’ve ever featured in Your Family Tree.”   Your Family Tree Issue 90 May 2010

“The records are packed on a single disc and cover records of burial entries in English and Welsh registers. The burials don’t just cover parish records, but also Nonconformist, Roman Catholic, Quaker and cemetery registers, and date between 1538-2008...the database is incomplete, as the National Burial Index is a project in progress” Family Tree April 2010

“No monumental inscriptions or registrations of deaths are included but for each burial (provided the information was given in the original entry) you should get the full name and age of the deceased, the date of burial anywhere between 1538 and 2008, the place and pre-1832 county of burial and the individual or group which transcribed the information. Some entries which were included in version 2 may have been checked and corrected in version 3…” Sue Gibbons, Librarian Society of Genealogists  

For an order form and further information >


To enter send your answer in the Subject Line of an email to competition@ffhs.org.uk by
15 June 2010

For details of new publications from Pen & Sword including Tracing
Your Northern Irish Ancestors

 please visit

  Diary Dates  

Festival of Living History 2010

Experience over 2000 years of history and watch as over 1,000 re-enactors march out of history and into the heart of England. Hear the thud of Roman soldiers as they march in unison, the thunder of charging horses, swords clash as Knights engage in battle and the roar of vintage fighter planes as they soar overhead. Bloody battles, aerial displays, historical market, jousting and hands-on activities for children, this is a family friendly event taking place on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July at Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire.

The FFHS will be there, representing our member societies and helping members of the public with their family history enquiries. We hope to see you there!



If any FFHS Member Society
has news items they wish to
be considered for News from Societies page on the FFHS website.

Please email details to:
Philippa McCray

Cuts to museums, libraries and other cultural services

All the above are unpalatable – we must resist them in favour of imaginative alternative solutions.”  This is taken from a press release on the MLA website. 

read the press release in full >

Treasures of Lambeth Palce Library Exhibition


This year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Lambeth Palace Library.  Founded under the will of Archbishop Richard Bancroft in 1610 it is one of the oldest public libraries in England.  To celebrate the library is holding an exhibition this summer in the Great Hall and will be showing some of its treasures including a Gutenberg Bible printed in 1455 and the warrant for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.  Lambeth Palace Library also holds a vast collection of books, manuscripts and other records that can be of value to family history.  The Library is where Patsy Kensit visited in search of more information about her clerical ancestor James Mayne in Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC1 13th August 2008). 

 more information >

Federation and Family History Societies - One from many’

Promoting and encouraging the study of family history for over 35 years.  Who are we, what do we do, do we give value for your subscriptions, do you want to become involved in delivering our objectives?  Contact me with your views at communications@ffhs.org.uk.

David Smetham
Communications Officer, FFHS 


Were you or a member of your family evacuated during WW2?

If so, you may be interested to read Churchill's Children by John Welshman

Based on the stories of thirteen children and adults, it tells the often moving story of the evacuation of school children in Britain during the Second World War, from the mass evacuations of 1939 through to the lesser-known evacuations of 1940 and 1944.

 To win a copy of the book published by Oxford University Press send an email by June 30 with Evacuee in the subject box to info@ffhs.org.uk

General Register Office certificates

Following the withdrawal of the reference checking facility we have received confirmation from GRO that if a customer applies for a certificate from GRO and does not have a GRO reference, they are able to supply information to help identify the record. GRO will search in the year they quote together, if necessary, with a year either side. If GRO cannot find the record on this basis, they will refund the fee in full.

 Using the "non-quoted reference" route does entail the likelihood of a longer response time for those using the "standard" service. GRO aims to despatch on or by the 4th working day for those quoting a reference, but on or by the 15th working day for those without such a reference

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Ezine Competition Winners

A full list of Ezine competition winners can be seen on the FFHS website.

view competition winners >


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