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Welcome to the May 2013 Edition of the FFHS Ezine                                                        No 39

Society Spotlight: Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society

The Local BMD Project

Farewell to David Smetham

Special Offer from MyHeritage

Trade Union Records

National Co-operative Archive

Chartists Ancestors

Family History Society Open Days and Fairs

This Month's Book Giveaway

Win a 6 Issue Subscription to Your Family History Magazine

Copyright News from the National Library of Wales

Discover your Ancestors Periodical Launch

FFHS Award Winners

The National Archives

Web Updates

Emily Wilding Davison


Book Reviews

Diary Dates

Advertise with us

Competition Winners

Society Spotlight

Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society

Lancashire Family History& Heraldry Society LogoIn 2013 Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society celebrates its 40th Anniversary since being founded in April 1973. Initially called the Rossendale Society for Genealogy and Heraldry, it began with a mere ten members called to the inaugural meeting by Frank Fell.  To celebrate the anniversary this year the LFHHS is joining the North West Group of Family History Societies in holding a major family history fair at the King George’s Hall, Blackburn, on Saturday 14 September 2013 and the following day Sunday 15 September will see the annual Society Dinner returning to its original venue in Rossendale. The Society now has over 2,100 members worldwide and offers a welcome to anyone living in, researching or having ancestors from the area of the “ancient” county of Lancashire. There are 14 very active branches; 11 in the county -  Blackburn & Darwen, Bury, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn (Accrington), Lancaster & Morecambe, Pendle & Burnley, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rochdale and Rossendale, plus London and specialist branches covering Heraldry and Irish Ancestry.

The society is active in project work and this can be seen in the number of publications available through their online shop (and also Genfair and Parish Chest).  There are two well-equipped research centres at Chorley and Oswaldtwistle. The society has a “Helping Hands” service to its members outside the county and a mentoring service as well as an online Forum, Members’ Pedigree database and Surname Interests database. Most branches have great local research knowledge and aids available and there is an active programme of speakers at all of its meetings. Full branch details and programmes and how to join, can be found on the LFHHS website.

The Local BMD ProjectLocalBMD Logo
The Local BMD project, which has been running for over 10 years, involves volunteers working with local Register Office staff to create online indexes of births, marriages and deaths from 1837. The Local BMD indexes are more accurate than those held by the General Register Office (and others available online) because they are compiled from the original registers held locally and not from the quarterly returns that were submitted to the GRO by local register offices.  Additionally, the Local BMD indexes identify where each event took place and may also include the mother’s maiden name for births, names of both partners plus the name of the church or venue for marriages, and ages at death for deaths.  So far only a small proportion of the transcribing is complete, and the next phase of the Local BMD initiative is to seek help expanding all aspects of the project.  If you would like to know more about this project and how you can help, please go to the UKBMD website.   Links to all the current Local BMD websites can be found here.

Farewell to David Smetham
At the FFHS AGM we said farewell to David Smetham, who has served on the FFHS Executive Committee for 8 years.  As a trustee and member of the Executive Committee, David has undertaken a number of roles, including Society Liaison, Communications, Treasurer and Vice Chairman.   We would like to thank David for all of his hard work and he will be greatly missed at FFHS meetings. 

45% discount off a MyHeritage global data subscription
Special offer for readers of the FFHS Ezine

MyHeritage USA InfographThe MyHeritage data subscription provides unlimited access to more than 4 billion historical records from around the world including:

          • Birth, marriage and death records (including England & Wales GRO index entries 1837-2005)
          • Census (including indexed England and Wales census and the newly indexed  US census returns)
          • Newspapers, yearbooks, directories and guides
          • Family trees, photos, documents and maps

The subscription can be used for stand alone searches using MyHeritage SuperSearch™. Also, if the family tree is stored on MyHeritage then Record Matching can automatically alert the user to matching historic records which can then be accessed via the data subscription.

To start, simply search the database.  If you find a record that you are interested in and you reach a screen requesting you to purchase a subscription then click on “Got a discount code or gift code”, enter FFHSEZDATA2013, and click on “Apply” to obtain the FFHS special offer. The discounted first year subscription cost is £40.67 +VAT (instead of the full cost of £75.00 +VAT).  This offer is for MyHeritage data subscriptions (not data credits or Premium site subscriptions).   It is for personal subscriptions only, may not be used in conjunction with any other offer, and expires on 7 June 2013. If you need further assistance then please email enquiries@myheritage.com.  

Trade Union Records
Although unions had existed before, it was during the 1880s which saw the beginning of many trade unions.  These were usually local organisations which over the last hundred and fifty years have amalgamated into the larger unions we see today.  Many people, including women, joined a union because of the dreadful working conditions many endured but also before the Welfare State was established unions provided sickness, accident and retirement benefits.  If your ancestor received any of these payments or they were active within a union they may appear in the records.   Branch secretaries, district or national officers appear in annual and quarterly reports and in the minutes of meetings or other reports of events.  Admission books, membership cards, membership lists, minute books, branch records, branch returns and annual reports can also name individuals.  There is no central archive for union records however, one of the largest collections is held at Warwick University, including a ‘family tree’ of unions.  The Working Class Movement Library also holds a large collection of records and ephemera for some unions and county record offices may have some local union records. The website 'Union Ancestors' also has much background information on unions and their history.

National Co-operative Archive
Co-operative Heritage TrustThe first successful co-operative enterprise started trading in December 1844 in Rochdale, Lancashire.  It was begun after 28 weavers, inspired by the ideas of Robert Owen, formed the Equitable Pioneers of Rochdale, and saved enough money to lease a property.  The first shop only sold five basic items – butter, flour, sugar, oatmeal and candles.  To be able to get the best prices, the North of England Wholesale Society was formed and this became the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS).  In 1883 the Women’s Co-operative Guild was formed and the first branch was set up in Hebden Bridge.  Co-operative societies also looked after their members and workers with some establishing convalescent homes where those who were sick could recover and rest.  The National Co-operative Archive holds an array of records relating to history of the co-operative movement including printed histories of many co-operative societies, records of the Women’s Guild and convalescent homes. These collections are catalogued and can be viewed on the Archives Hub. Although not many records survive for individuals, if your ancestor was a manager or committee member, it is possible they appear in minute books.The National Register of Archives contains information on the location of the records. Some records relating to co-operative societies can also be found at local record offices.

Chartist Ancestors
Chartist Demostration PosterThe Industrial Revolution was not only a time of innovation and industry, it was a time of poverty, poor working conditions and no representation for the members of the working and lower classes.  Chartism was the campaign to support the People’s Charter which demanded the vote for all men.   William Lovett, from The London Working Men’s Association along with five other ‘working men’ and six members of Parliament published the People’s Charter in 1838, stipulating six key points of the movement.  In 1842 a petition of over three million signatures was presented to the government, who rejected it. In the early 1840s, economic depression and dissatisfaction lead to strikes around the country with several Chartist leaders being arrested.  Chartist activity continued and culminated in 1848 when a mass meeting on Kennington Common was organised.  The movement eventually faded and was not directly responsible for reforms but it paved the way for the first working class political party.  A comprehensive list of chartist sympathisers can be found in the Shareholders of the National Land Company which is held at The National Archives in Kew.  The website ‘Chartists Ancestors’ has a list of around 5,000 subscribers as well as general information on Chartism.

Family History Society Open Days and Fairs
Family History Society Open Days and Fairs are a great way to be inspired, learn more and meet other people researching their ancestors.  Most will also have useful local publications for sale and Help Desks for those needing some advice about their research.  Some Open Days are listed below or go to GENEVA to see if there are any near you.

Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society is holding a one day conference & AGM, Heraldry, Cotton Mills & Medals on 18 May 2013, Preston.  See the LFHHS website for more details.

Hampshire Genealogical Society Annual General Meeting to be held at Winchester Discovery Centre 26 May 2013 starting at 12.00. See the HGS website for further information.

Sheffield & District Family History Society is holding a Family History Fair on 1 June 2013, between 10am to 4pm, at Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, Hillsborough, Sheffield.  See the website for more details.

Shropshire Family History Open Day is being held at The Shirehall, Shrewsbury, on 1 June 2013, from 10am.  Speakers include Michael Gandy and Geoff Swinfield.  See the website for more details.

Devon Family History Society is holding a Summer Special on 15 June 2013, Bideford, from 10am to 4pm.  Speakers include Colin Chapman, Pat Hase and Harry Juniper.  See the DFHS website for further details and lists of further courses and events.

Wiltshire Family History Society is holding the Southern Family History Day on 15 June 2013 at Wilton.  See the website for further details.

The JGSGB (Jewish Genealogy Society of Great Britain) is organising a Family History Fair, to be hosted at the De Vere Village Urban Resort hotel in Elstree on 7th July 2013. 

Eastbourne Family History Day - Family Roots, Eastbourne & District Family History Society is holding the Eastbourne Family History Day on 21 July 2013 at Eastbourne; with talks by Michael Gandy and Geoff Swinfield with family history & other stands, “help desk” and light refreshments.

This Month's Book Giveaway

For this month we have ‘Ancestors In The Attic - Making Family Memorabilia Into History’ by Karen Foy, published by The History Press

"In this fascinating and original book, Karen Foy guides the reader through 200 years of different types of memorabilia, showing how to interpret and use ephemera to enhance your understanding of your own family history". 

To win a copy of this book, please send an email with ‘Attic’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before the end of 19 June 2013.

Ancestors in the Attic

Your Family History Logo

Expert Advice with Your Family History Magazine!

Your Family History is the only magazine put together by expert genealogists. The team is passionate about family history and have a network of specialists on hand to offer essential advice to help people discover their ancestors and solve those difficult research problems. Each issue includes a range of exciting genealogy features such as:

• A Beginner's Guide covering the basics for those just getting started.
How To sections helping you explore the wealth of archive material out there.
The Casebook, where you can read inspiring and enlightening stories from fellow family historians.
• The opportunity to Ask The Experts for advice when you're struggling.
• A What's On guide to the best family history events around – and much, much more!

You can subscribe to Your Family History magazine quickly and easily online or by telephone on: 01778 392013.

All new UK subscribers receive a FREE BOOK worth up to £14.99 plus a number of other benefits including free delivery, a discount on the cover price of every issue and exclusive access to the online Subscriber Zone – packed with special offers, competitions, online articles and more.


Your Family History has two 6 issue subscriptions to give away – plus 100 runners up prizes of a back issue of the magazine. For a chance to win simply email us at marketing@your-familyhistory.com giving your name and address quoting 'FFHS COMPETITION' in the subject line before 31/05/2013*. *One per household.

Copyright News from The National Library of Wales
The National Library of Wales has announced a pioneering decision, that it will no longer claim ownership of copyright in digital copies of items in its care.  From early manuscripts to nineteenth-century Welsh newspapers, the Library has digitised and published copies of some of its most valued collections for all to see online.  Over the next few months, the Library will be implementing a policy that will enable the public to use thousands of images on its website without any restriction. Users of the website should be aware that many images will still be subject to third party rights that will need to be cleared before use, but the Library will not impose additional copyright restrictions unless it owns the copyright in the original work

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical Launch
Discover Your Ancestors CoverThe publishers at Discover Your Ancestors have announced the launch of Discover Your Ancestors Periodical, the monthly digital magazine that aims to inspire and guide readers through their social history and family history research.  Last week saw the launch of a brand new website which offers high quality historical and family research content every month you can read on your PC, Mac, Laptop, tablet or even your i-phone. The launch issue explored topics as diverse as child labour, pioneers of flight, offline research tips, the history of signboards and much more. Every issue contains a regional focus, and throughout the year subscribers will receive free additional bonus material. With annual subscriptions from just £1 per month, Discover Your Ancestors is an informed, useful and affordable monthly digest that gives content to how your ancestors lived their lives and leads readers effortlessly on to focussed family history research tips. There is also a free search facility at the website that will help you get started in finding those undiscovered branches and leaves on your family tree.

FFHS Award Winners
The May issue of Family Tree magazine published by ABM Publishing Ltd, sponsors of the FFHS Geoff Riggs Award is on sale now! The issue includes an article 'Top of the Tree' featuring The Families in British India Society (FIBIS), overall winners of the FFHS Geoff Riggs Award 2012.  A full list of winners is on the FFHS website.  The June issue of Who Do You Think You Are? magazine published by Immediate Media co. sponsors of the Elizabeth Simpson Award, includes an article about The Anglo Italian FHS, overall winners of the FFHS Elizabeth Simpson Award for the Best Journal. A full list of winners is on our website where you can also download a copy of the winning journal.

The National Archives
The National Archives LogoThis month marks the 70th anniversary of 'Operation Chastise' better known as the Dambusters raids. An online exhibition at The National Archives website uses records from TNA collection to tell the story of this daring Second World War raid.   You can also search WW2 RAF combat reports 1939-1945 (AIR50) and RAF operations records books (AIR27) which were kept by squadrons.  The records series AIR76 contains over 99,000 service records of RAF officers who served in the early days of the RAF during WW1.

TNA has also made available a series of records relating to the naturalisation of 19th century immigrants.  The collection in HO1 covers the period 1801-1871, includes records of more than 7,000 people and is available to search and download on the website.

Web Updates
The Society of Genealogists' website has been refreshed and rewritten. The Website contains all the information you would expect to find about the SoG and its Library along with a new Learn section.

Findmypast.co.uk has published 600,000 Kent parish records for the period between 1538-2006, increasing the total records for Kent to over 1 million.  They have also published records of 1,200 initial recruits of the Swansea Pals and added records for Ireland, America, Australia and New Zealand to their World collection.

The Genealogist has added a new resource for those with aeronautical ancestors. Records include a selection of The Royal Aero Club Yearbooks, which include the years 1914-1918, 1920-1921, and 1924-1926. Also included are many pictures and autobiographies.

MyHeritage has just released Family Tree Builder 7.0 – free genealogy software that combines innovative technology with easy-to-use features. Users can now synchronize their family tree between different devices and enjoy sophisticated ways of making new discoveries via the cloud. Family Tree Builder 7.0 is available as a free download.  MyHeritage has also added the entire collection of U.S. Federal Censuses.

Emily Wilding Davison
The Suffragette Magazine Cover Emily Wilding Davison edition2013 is the centenary of the death of Emily Wilding Davison who died on 8 June 1913, four days after throwing herself under King George V’s horse.  There is still much debate on whether she meant to give her life in this way to the Suffragette cause.  Some believe she tried to disturb the race or cross the track rather than committing suicide as she had bought a return rail ticket and also a ticket to a suffragette dance later that day.  Both of these items are held in the collection of the Women's Library, London.  The National Archives (TNA) has some information on the suffragette cause as part of its education section, where you can read the police report and further information about the suffragettes.  You can also find some footage of the incident filmed by Pathé News on TNA website.

The Museum of London has a tour entitled ‘Westminster Women’, where you can 'explore in and around Parliament Square in the centenary year of Suffragette Emily Davidson’s death. Hear about the sacrifices Emily and her colleagues made in their quest for the campaign of Votes for Women.'  The tour is on Saturday 15 June 2013, 11am – 1pm.  Call 020 7001 9844 for more information.

For this issue we have the Women’s History Network blog.  The blog is ‘to encourage research and enjoyment of women’s history, and to bring to public attention the histories of the numerous women whose contributions to society have been thus far ignored’.

FFHS logo

The FFHS Ezine has a current readership of over 13,500 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
The Kent Family History Fair, Maidstone, Kent,19 May 2013

Your Fair Ladies is holding an Annual Lecture Day, Pudsey, Nr Leeds, on Saturday 6 July 2013.  For more details and how to book go to the website.


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