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Ezine masthead image
Welcome to the July 2011 Edition of the FFHS Ezine                                              No 27

Society Spotlight:
Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group

Ezine Book Giveaway

Day out with a difference

Book Giveaway

Do you have ancestors in Key Hill Cemtery?

The Lloyd George Domesday Survey

Old maps

WDYTYA Celebrities revealed

Who is the most interesting person in your family tree?

Museum News

Do you remember the Festival of Britain?

Geoff Riggs 1940 - 2011

News from National Archives

Book Reviews

Diary Dates


Advertise with us

Competition Winners

Society Spotlight
The Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group

FFHS welcomes a new member.

The aim of the group is primarily to promote the study of family history in East Suffolk but also to provide help and support to those wishing to trace their family outside of the area. Last month the group officially launched the St. Mary’s Church, Benhall Monumental Inscriptions Project. The project is the culmination of over 18 months dedicated voluntary work not only by members of the group but also by volunteers from the church, the parish council and the wider local community. The Group run an informal family history Drop-in Centre in Leiston where members of the public are able to access a variety of reference material and receive free family history advice.

For details of the opening times and more information about the Group please visit the website

If you live in Suffolk or have ancestors from the county why not visit the websites of Suffolk FHS
and Felixstowe FHS

Ezine Book Giveaway

If you are planning to get out and about this summer and wander in your ancestor's footsteps , why not enter our Ezine draw?
In this issue of the  Ezine we are giving away one copy from the Drive & Stroll series, kindly donated by Countryside Books.
To enter the draw for this book giveaway, send an email with Drive & Stroll in the subject line by 15th August 2011 to: competitions@ffhs.org.uk

The winner will be able to select from Suffolk, West Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire & Rutland or Cambridgeshire.

For details of other books published by Countryside Books visit the website

Parish Chest

Looking for a day out with a difference?

Why not visit the website of the Heritage Railway Association and view details of the many events being held up and down the country this summer.

Travel in splendour in beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian carriages on the Isle of Wight. Experience country branch line travel 1930’s style on the Dean Forest Railway. Relive Britain during a 1940’s weekend with Peak Rail or simply enjoy a fun, family day out at one of the many themes events.
The Railway Ancestors Family History Group is a member of the FFHS. Visit their website

Book Giveaway
In this issue of the FFHS Ezine we are giving away a copy of Tracing Your Railway Ancestors by Di Drummond, kindly donated by Pen & Sword Books.
To enter the draw for this book giveaway, send an email with Tracing Your Railway Ancestors in the subject line by 15th Aug 2011 to: competitions@ffhs.org.uk


Do you have Birmingham ancestors buried at Key Hill?

The Jewellery Quarter Research Group (JQRG) has put over 11,000 existing memorial inscriptions for Key Hill Cemetery online.

The search engine is easy to use and free and some entries have potted histories of the people mentioned. The Birmingham cemetery was opened in 1837 by a group of non-conformist businessmen and contains over 20,000 graves and over 62,000 burials. The website will be invaluable for people studying local or family history and interested in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. The JQRG plan to add the memorial inscriptions for Warstone Lane to the website soon. Visit the JQRG website

WDYTYA Celebreties revealed
The 10 celebrities who will be taking part in the next series of Who Do You Think You Are have been revealed. The series which is due to begin later this year will be featuring JK Rowling, June Brown, Alan Carr, Sebastian Coe, Larry Lamb, Emilia Fox, Richard Madeley, Len Goodman, Tracy Emin and Robin Gibb.

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Who is the most interesting person in your family tree?

The FFHS is currently running 2 competitions, one for adults and one for those under 21, to find the most interesting ancestors in your trees. We are looking for a story about your chosen ancestor in under 1,000 words and you could be in with chance to win a fabulous prize of a subscription to either findmypast.co.uk, thegenealogist.co.uk or ancestry.co.uk. If you are entering the Under 21 category, you could win a laptop. Perhaps you have discovered a famous explorer, inventor, politician, activist, merchant or labourer? On the darker side, a convict, murderer or one of the Pendle witches? Maybe someone who struggled to bring up a family against all odds? Let us know your stories whether tragic, funny or heart-warming. Please see our website Competition Page and Young Persons Competition Page for further details and conditions of entry.

    Museum News

Museums around the UK will be holding exhibitions throughout the summer. The Museum of London has a display of hand drawn maps and also an exhibition of Street Photography until September. Visit the website

Bristol Musem
A new multi million pound museum has opened in Bristol. The museum has around 3,000 exhibits on display telling the story of the people of Bristol. The exhibits include film, photographs and moving personal stories. You can also add your own personal memories through the interactive displays. The museum is housed in restored 1950s transit sheds – hence its name MShed - on Bristol’s historic dockside and also has on show working dockside cranes, steam locomotives and harbour boats. Entrance to the museum is free.
Visit the website

The Manchester Regional Group of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain is holding an exhibition “from Auschwitz to Ambleside”. It tells the story of the Jewish children who survived the holocaust and were sent to the Lake District in 1945. Visit the website


The Lloyd George Domesday Survey

This survey, carried out just before the First World War, although primarily concerned with property and land ownership, also includes the names of a large number of householders, and so can be used alongside the 1911 census.

As so often, taxation was the motive for the creation of this official survey. In 1909 Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer, introduced the ‘People’s Budget’, intended to raise money for the new old-age pensions, and for Dreadnought battleships being built to compete with the German naval programme. He hoped to tax windfall gains made by owners of land and property which increased in value.

The names of owners, addresses of their property, areas, valuations, and usually the names of occupiers were recorded as at 30 April 1909. Four main types of record have survived, an article containing a more detailed description of these records is being published in the August edition of ‘Your Family History’ magazine.

Volunteers in Gloucestershire are working to transfer the material for their county onto a database, to be made available online, but more volunteers are needed. If you would like to contribute, perhaps by transcribing the material for your locality in Gloucestershire, or if you are considering a similar project in another county, please contact Anthea Jones at anthea.evelyn@gmail.com  or John Loosley john@loosleyj.freeserve.co.uk 



One way to sneak a bit of family history into the summer holiday season is by using old maps to find out more about the area where your ancestor lived or worked.

 It can be possible to trace where your ancestors lived and this can be compared to a modern map to see how much has changed. Visiting the town or village where they lived can help to give a greater understanding of your ancestors’ lives. A local family history society may help to identify and give further information about the local area. Look at our ‘Find a Society’ page on our website to find a society for the area you are interested in. Cassini and Alan Godfrey both sell copies of old maps.

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    News from National Archives


If it’s a rainy day and you are looking for something to do, the National Archives website has some podcasts which are available for free.

Currently, there are many subjects available which will be of interest to the family history researcher such as Naturalisation and Alien Registration, From Crime to Punishment and Family History resources at the National Archives, to the more general such as The Festival of Britain and also the more off beat – UFO File Release March 2011. Go to the podcasts

Men who served in the Militia between 1806-1915

The records of over half a million men who served in the Militia between 1806-1915 are now available online at www.findmypast.co.uk in association with The National Archives.

The Militia, a forerunner to the British Territorial Army, was a voluntary part-time force made up of working men from a wide range of professions. The Militia Attestation Papers in WO 96 were filled in at recruitment, providing unique descriptions of the recruits' personal appearance, and most were annotated with the date of discharge so that they form a record of service.

For more information on finding militia records go to the TNA research signpost and  in-depth guide.

Do you remember the Festival of Britain?

This year is the 60th Anniversary of the Festival of Britain. If you fancy a trip down memory lane or, if you are too young to remember the original Festival and would like to find out more, why not visit the Southbank Centre (London) where a four month celebratory festival is currently taking place ( 22 April – 4 September). There are many different events providing fun for all ages. Visit the website

The Southbank Centre is looking for personal memories of the original Festival; perhaps you visited the Festival or one of the exhibitions or celebrations held around the country. Did you take photographs marking the occasion? Have you any letters or postcards describing the event? If so they would love to hear from you. For contact details please visit the website


Geoff Riggs 1940 - 2011

It is with regret that I announce the death of Geoff Riggs, former Chairman of the FFHS, on 12th June 2011. Geoff joined the Executive Committee in 2001 and served as Vice Chairman, Webmaster & Chairman before retiring in 2008.

He also served as Chairman for FFHS (Publications) Ltd from 2003-2008.

Geoff will be remembered by many within the family history community, not only for his roles within the FFHS but through his long association and involvement with the Guild of One Name Studies, Halsted Trust, Association of Family History Societies of Wales and Gwent FHS. He was a familiar face at meetings and events around the country and his knowledge and presence will be greatly missed. Geoff was one of the “Founding Fathers” of the ezine and so it is quite fitting that we remember him here. A memorial service will be held for Geoff later in the year.
Memorial page

David Holman - Chairman FFHS

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The FFHS Ezine has a current readership of over 17,000 worldwide. To discuss sponsorship or advertising, please e-mail
Ezine Editor Di Maskell

Book Reviews

To read reviews of recently published books of interest to family historians

visit our Book Review Page

Ezine Competition Winners

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

view competition winners

Diary Dates

The FFHS will be attending The National Family History Fair 2011 to be held on Saturday 10th September 10.00am- 4.00pm at The Newcastle Central Premier Inn. For further details about the event please visit the website Do come along and meet us!

FFHS GM Autumn 2011 - The Autumn General Meeting will be held on Saturday September 17th at the Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT

For more event details visit the events page on the FFHS website

GENEVA - is the online calendar of GENealogical EVents and Activities, which contains a full listing of known Family History Fairs, events and activities. There are many day courses listed and also Open Days being held by societies. Visit Geneva