If this email is not displayed correctly you may view it in your web browser

Ezine masthead image
Welcome to the November 2012 Edition of the FFHS Ezine                                                        No 35

Society Spotlight: Attrill Family History Society

Extra Christmas Ezine!

Conscription Appeals Now Underway

CAMDEX is Live

Could you be the Trustee we are looking for?

Manorial Documents

150th Anniversary of the Sinking of HMS Orpheus

Your Chance to Win a Fabulous Prize

War Memorials Online

Archive of the Year Award and Volunteer of the Year Award 2012

Why be a Society in the 21st Century?

This Month's Book Giveaways

WDYTYA? 2013

Newspapers on findmypast.co.uk

Deceased Online


Congratulations to the Chorley Branch of the LFHHS

MLFHS Explorers

Forces War Records

National Gallery Archive Catalogue


Book Reviews

Diary Dates

Advertise with us

Competition Winners

Society Spotlight

Attrill Family History Society

Attrill Society LogoThe Attrill Family History Society is a One-Name society which was formed in March 2010. The primary aim of the society is to collect and collate worldwide information on the Attrill surname and its variants.  Originally membership was envisaged to be a couple of dozen. However, we now have a membership of over 100 not only in the UK but in Australia, New Zealand, Canada & the USA.  Membership of the society is free to all those interested in researching the Attrill name.  This does not fit in with the normal conventions of a family history society.  However, because there are no financial implications, a lot of bureaucracy is eliminated.  All communications are by email and, to keep members informed, an annual ‘E’ Newsletter is sent to all members. The society believes in sharing all the information that it gathers and makes it available on its website.  One find was a photograph album belonging to a descendant of Alfred Thomas Attrill and you can view these photographs on the website. The latest find by one of our members was the Diaries of John Edward Attrill who kept a diary of his service in the Royal Navy during the First World War and makes fascinating reading.   The first few books can be found on the website. Others will be added as time permits.  For further information please visit the society’s website.

Extra Christmas Ezine
This year, in addition to our usual November Ezine we are sending out a special Christmas Ezine which will drop into your inbox in early December.  It will include the usual mix of information and interesting websites for you to visit over the festive season as well as bumper giveaways and more!  

MH47 Boxes MH47 Record Close Up of Record

Conscription Appeals Project Now UnderwayJeff James, Director of Operations and Services at TNA (left), David Holman, Chairman FFHS (centre) and Clive Cheesman, Chairman of the Friends of TNA (right) photographed at the launch
The National Archives, the Friends of The National Archives and the Federation of Family History Societies have embarked on a joint project to digitise and transcribe the MH 47 record series. The series is a key collection of First World War records, including records of around 10,000 men who did not wish to see Army service, for a variety of reasons. The files contain the minutes and papers from the Central Military Service Tribunal and Middlesex Appeal Tribunal as well as some selected papers of the Veterinary Tribunal and a printed set of minutes from the Central Medical War Committee. These tribunal records include some fascinating and touching stories including a real life 'Saving Private Ryan', a butcher who was needed to help introduce meat rationing and a violinist from Poland. It is hoped that the digitisation of these case papers will help to open up these stories and stimulate new discussion about conscientious objection. For more information on the project, visit the National Archives website. Project members will also be blogging about the records and the project progress.

These records only cover a small proportion of the appeals made against conscription and other appeals to local tribunals may exist. You can search Access to Archives for details of tribunal records which may have survived in other counties.  However, there is no comprehensive list of the fragmentary collections that exist elsewhere and their extent so consideration is being given to undertaking a survey.


CAMDEX is a freely-available online resource, which is of immense value to family history researchers and anyone else, to help simplify the process of searching for and ordering, birth, marriage and death certificates for events which occurred within Cambridgeshire held by the Cambridgeshire Registration Service(CRS) from 1837 onwards. It records the forename, surname and date(year) of all the certificates issued since 1837. Members of the public can search for and purchase copies of these certificates on-line or by postal application from the CRS.  Volunteers from Cambridgeshire Family History Society have been transcribing the details into a special database over the last decade. Over the last few months, the CAMDEX database has been moved to a new server and a new website designed to allow the researcher to easily find the reference number of the certificate and then place an on-line order for a copy.

Could you be the Trustee we are looking for?FFHS Logo
The FFHS is managed by a small group of trustees with part-time administrative assistance provided by contractors. The trustees meet five times per year, usually in London and in addition are expected to attend two further meetings one of which is the Annual General Meeting. The trustees are ‘working’ trustees and are expected to take an active ‘hands on’ role within the organisation. Trustees are unpaid but reasonable travel and subsistence expenses are paid where appropriate. The Board is seeking additional trustees and welcomes enquiries from individuals:-

  1. Who would be prepared to take on the role of Treasurer following the retirement of our current Treasurer at our AGM in 2013.  The Treasurer is an officer of the FFHS and a director of the Company who is elected to the post at the AGM.  The primary role of the Treasurer is to oversee financial matters relating to the FFHS.  The FFHS has a qualified Accountant working as Finance Officer dealing with day to day money-management, bookkeeping and accounts, and the general management of the finances of the FFHS. The Treasurer will work together with our Finance Officer.
  2. Who would be prepared to take on the role of Communications Officer.  The primary role is to coordinate communication between the FFHS Members and the FFHS officers, to arrange for representatives from FFHS to attend Members meetings (at regional meetings) and, in particular, to have the skills and depth of experience of Social Networking and be prepared to develop and implement a strategy for this area which would significantly raise the Federation’s profile as part of our overall Publicity strategy.

In both cases it is expected that applicants will have an interest in family history. Deadline for expressions of interest and to request further information by 31st December 2012, to: David Lambert, Company Secretary or by post to FFHS Registered Office, Artillery House, 15 Byrom Street, Manchester M3 4PF.

Manorial Documents\ths National Archives Logo
Following a four year project run by volunteers at the Dorset History Centre and supported by The National Archives, the Dorset section of the Manorial Documents Register (MDR) has been made available online.  The Register records information on Dorset's manorial records from over 400 manors, held at over 50 different locations, some in publicly accessible institutions and others still in private ownership. The Dorset project benefits researchers worldwide, enabling them to search for manorial records by manor, parish, type of record or by date and to identify relevant records online.  Other counties available to search in England are: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cumberland, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Lancashire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, Westmorland, the three Ridings of Yorkshire.  All of Wales is available.  Funding is in place for Derbyshire, Somerset and Staffordshire to be added early in 2013.

HMS Orpheus

150th Anniversary of the Sinking of HMS Orpheus
On 7 February 1863 the HMS Orpheus sank off the west coast of Auckland, New Zealand.  Of the 259 people on board, 189 perished making it the worst maritime disaster in New Zealand waters.  There are plans to mark the 150th  anniversary of the tragedy on 7 February 2013.  The West Auckland Historical Society would like to hear from any descendants of any of the survivors.  Though many settled in the area, many also moved on to different parts of the world. You can view a list of the survivors on the FFHS website and if you are a descendant of those who survived, please email Bruce Harvey or Wayne MacKenzie.

Your Chance to Win a Fabulous PrizeFFHS Logo
Do you have a sportsman or sportswoman in your family tree? Why not enter the FFHS competition?   Have you discovered someone in your family tree who participated in an Olympic games? Perhaps someone who represented their county or country at other notable events? Maybe they won a trophy or medal which you still have in your family today?  Were they the unsung hero of a local club or simply someone with a passion for sport who is remembered for their contribution to the game?  Whatever their achievement we would like to hear about it.  Write an account of the special sportsman or sportswoman in your family tree. Closing date is 31 December 2012.  For more information and a list of the prizes on offer visit the FFHS website.

War Memorials Online
War Memorials Online brings together for the first time information on the UK's war memorials held by the leading experts, providing a snapshot of war memorials across the country. It will also provide an unprecedented opportunity for the public to upload images of war memorials and log concerns for the conservation of these important community and historical sources for future generations. War Memorials Online seeks to create a complete picture of war memorials across the country. But it needs the public to help to ensure there are records for all of the UK's war memorials and condition reports to ensure at risk memorials can be found before it is too late to save them. Anyone and everyone can get involved in discovering and registering war memorials for future generations. It is a unique collaboration between War Memorials Trust, IWMs War Memorials Archive (formerly UK National Inventory of War Memorials) English Heritage and members of the public.

Your Family History

Archive of the Year Award and Volunteer of the Year Award 2012
Your Family Tree magazine is currently running two competitions, Archive of the Year Award 2012 and Volunteer of the Year.

The aim of Archive of the Year Award 2012 is to help raise awareness of the plight of our local services. The magazine is asking readers and members of the public to nominate their Archive of the Year. The judging panel would like to hear about the service provided by the staff; the facilities in the search rooms; the accessibility and quality of the catalogue and finding aids; the range of services provided online, including access to digitised records; the range of documents available for consultation; connections with the local community; and facilities for disabled people.

Please note that nominations are restricted to UK county or municipal record offices; local study centres; specialist and regional archives; and university or library manuscript collections.  The winner will be presented with the award at the Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE show in London next year.

The Volunteer of the Year Award is an inaugural award, and is intended to reward those who give up their time freely in the cause of family history – whether they are a transcriber, committee member or general volunteer at family history events. You can make your nomination by visiting the website. The closing date for both competitions is 31st December 2012.

Why be a Society in the 21st Century?
If your society is in need of some advice and guidance about how to publicise and promote online and engage the younger generations, then look no further. The Guild of One-Name Studies and the Federation of Family History Societies are jointly organising a seminar at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire on December 1st, when you can hear lectures on these subjects as well as network with representatives from other societies.  There are still a few places available at the seminar. Further information and booking details are available on the Guild website.

This Month's Book Giveaways

This month we have ‘Marriage Law for Genealogists the definitive guide’ by Rebecca Probert’. Written as a guide for all family historians tracing the marriages of their English and Welsh ancestors between 1600 and the twentieth century, the book is based on many years of research and thoroughly rewrites how family historians should understand their ancestors’ lives. To read a review of this book go to the FFHS New Books page on our website.

To be in with a chance of winning, please answer the following question: 'In what year was the first civil marriage celebrated in England? (Hint: you might want to look at the website before answering!).  Send your answer in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 10 December 2012. Professor Probert is always delighted to hear from family historians with particularly puzzling marriages in their family tree and can be contacted via her website.


Marriage Law for Gen

The Complete George Cross

We also have’The Complete George Cross A Full Chronological Record of all George Cross Holders' by Kevin Brazier’ kindly donated by Pen and Sword. To read a review of this book go to the FFHS New Books page on our website. To enter the draw for this book send an email with ‘George Cross’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 10 December 2012.


You can search over 5 million cards in the First World War medal index on the National Archives website.  They also hold records of honours and awards, including the George Cross, from 1935 to 1990.

WDYTYA? 2013
Who Do You Think You Are?Live is returning to London’s Olympia.  The show will run from 22 – 24 February 2013 and the theme will be ‘Immigration and Emigration’.  The show will feature genealogical experts and numerous workshops to help with your research. You can now view the workshop timetable on the WDYTYA?Live website.  As well as the FFHS dozens of family history societies will be represented along with museums and libraries.  Greg Wallace is the first celebrity confirmed to appear in the Celebrity Theatre and other celebrities are expected to be confirmed soon.  To keep up to date with the preparations for the show visit the websiteYou can get two tickets for £25 by using the code FFHS 2425.*

*£2 transaction fee applies. Offer ends 8 February 2013. Usual on door price is £22



Newspapers on findmypast.co.uk
Findmypast.co.uk has published millions of pages of historical newspapers.  The collection contains local newspapers from 1710 to 1950, with more than 200 titles included.  Newspapers can be an excellent source of information to add more detail to your family history.  Perhaps you have an ancestor who was the black sheep of the family?  You may be able to find mention of them in the local newspaper.  There could even be a picture of an ancestor’s wedding.  For further information on recent record updates go to the website.

Deceased Online
Deceased Online have recently made available the burial records for Tonge Cemetery, Bolton, Lancashire, UK.  There are plans to add all seven cemeteries and also those of Overdale Crematorium.  The data for each cemetery will comprise digital scans of the burial registers, grave details indicating grave occupants, cemetery maps indicating the section where each grave is located and photographs of some memorials.  They are currently adding the data for all five cemeteries managed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London.  See the full range of coverage on the website.

Congratulations to the Chorley Branch of the LFHHS
The Chorley Branch of the Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society (LFHHS) has been awarded the Chorley Civic Society 2012 Award in recognition of its services, through family history, to the local community. Projects are a large part of their work in the community.  They have recently completed transcribing the registers for St George’s Church, Chorley and the Chorley and Adlington Cemetery Records.   

MLFHS Explorers
Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society (MLFHS) has set up a new programme aimed at young people aged between 8 -18. There are 3 sets of challenges Bronze, Silver and Gold, to work through online, each aimed at a specific age group. The aim of the programme is to raise an awareness in family history and genealogy and to offer guidance, research strategies and techniques. To find out more visit the Explorers website.

Forces War Records
The Forces War Records website has launched an online digital library of books, newspapers and magazines, including regimental journals and Royal Naval College Lists.  Many of the documents chronicle the movements of regiments, ships and other units which can help you find the finer detail in your military ancestor’s service career. 

National Gallery Archive Catalogue
The National Gallery Archive contains material from its foundation in 1824 to the present.  The records are wide in scope and contain material relating to the running of the Gallery including minutes, annual reports and administrative correspondence to private papers relating to individuals or activities closely associated with the Gallery.  The catalogue is available to search online and an appointment can be requested to visit the archive to view the physical document.

Blog - WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier
This is a wonderful blog made up from transcripts of the letters of Private Harry Lamin and gives a fascinating insight into a soldier’s life during WW1.  The letters were posted exactly 90 years after they had been written.  Harry’s first letter was written from the training camp on 7 February 1917.  All of the letters have been posted on the blog but you can start from the beginning here.

MyTommy’s War
With the centenary of the First World War approaching, the National Archives are launching a series of commemorative activities with 'My Tommy's War' - a blog series following members of staff at The National Archives as they research their own WW1 ancestors. Follow this blog series and learn how you can use the records to trace your own soldier ancestors.

FFHS logo

The FFHS Ezine has a current readership of over 14,500 worldwide. To discuss sponsorship or advertising, please email
Ezine Editor Samantha Bourne

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

For a list of events visit our Events Page on our website and GENEVA