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Ezine masthead image
Welcome to the Christmas 2013 Edition of the FFHS Ezine                                                        No 43


Support your Local Record Office, Archive & Local Studies!

Some of our Favourite Archives

Win a Flip-Pal Scanner

Win Creative Craft Shows Tickets

Win a Photo Analysis from Jayne Shrimpton

Discover Your History Magazine

Win WDYTYA? 2014 Tickets

FamilySearch at WDYTYA? 2014

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical

Christmas Book Giveaways

Working Chart from My History

Start Your Family Tree Week

Some Gift Ideas

New Year Traditions

Christmas is a Time...

Book Reviews

Diary Dates

Advertise with us

Competition Winners


We wish all of our readers a Happy Christmas and New Year!


HollyA warm welcome to all our readers of this special Christmas edition of the FFHS Ezine. Christmas is fast approaching and we hope this Ezine will inspire you in your research and if you are looking for gifts for someone special or things to add to your Christmas List!

We have loads of fabulous prizes for you in our giveaways but HURRY!  The closing date for all of our prizes is 18 December 2013.  The spotlight feature will return in the January Ezine.

HollySupport your Local Record Office, Archive and Local Studies!
Most family history researchers have benefitted from the large amount of data which has gone online in recent years.  However convenient this has been, there is a flip side and that is the decrease in visitors to record offices, archives, museums and libraries. Many house vast amounts of information between them and much of this isn’t online, yet it is relevant and important for family history researchers and local historians.  In the current economic climate, these are all facing cuts or in some cases closure.  However, if they can provide proof of their purpose and popularity they have a stronger case and more power to fight cuts and closures.  One of the main ways of monitoring use is by footfall so it is a case of ‘use it or lose it’! If you want to see your local record office, archive, museum or library continue to provide such a valuable contribution to your local area, then use it!  You can learn more about the variety of records held by archives and how they contribute to every aspect of our lives at Explore your Archive.

HollySome of our Favourite Archives
There are too many archives to list in the Ezine.  However, GENUKI has a good description and links to many archives and libraries in the UK and Ireland.  Of course, the main one is The National Archives, Kew, London. Here are some more of our favourites:

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives and Records Service, Bedford - the first County Record Office in England (previously known as The Bedfordshire Record Office) has celebrated its centenary this year. Visit the website.

Bolton Archives and Local Studies, Bolton, Lancashire –full of wonderful information about the history and people of Bolton, Lancashire and the staff are very helpful and friendly. Visit the website.

FHS Cheshire Research Centre, Mobberley, Cheshire - is excellent and not just for Cheshire. Visit the FHS Cheshire website

Claremont, Leeds, Yorkshire – headquarters of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. The library holds books on local history, social history, industrial history, heraldry, place-names, and architecture.

Gloucestershire Archives, Gloucester – Parish Registers, Genealogical Database, Newspapers and Manorial Documents Register. Visit the website.

Lancashire Archives, Preston, Lancashire - offers traditional family history resources such as Parish Records, Marriage Bonds, Burial records for Preston Cemetery and the “Lloyd George” Land Valuation maps and updates. The Police database holds details of serving officers from 1840 to 1925. Lancashire Archives has recently made available its online index to the County Manorial Documents Register and holds the historic Guild Rolls relating to Preston Guild from 1397-1992.

LDS Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA - 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 727,000 microfiche; 356,000 books, serials, and other formats; over 4,500 periodicals and 3,725 electronic resources. Visit the website.

The Library of Birmingham - opened in Centenary Square, Birmingham on 3 September 2013. The Library is sharing a number of facilities to create a unique centre for knowledge, learning and culture.

The old Manchester Central Reference Library is now closed and undergoing extensive refurbishing but it will re-open in March 2014 as a composite Archives, Local Studies, Record Office and the home of Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society. See the website for further information.

Skipton Library, Skipton, North Yorkshire – full of records for the local area. Visit the website.

Society of Genealogists, London - the Library contains thousands of unique records that you will not find anywhere else. Visit their website.

West Yorkshire Record Office, Wakefield, West Yorkshire - the West Riding Registry of Deeds building is the headquarters of the West Yorkshire Archive Service. It houses records of the former West Riding and West Yorkshire county wide, as well as being the record office for Wakefield Metropolitan District.



Special Christmas Giveaways


HollyWin a Fabulous Flip-Pal Scanner!Flip-Pal Scanner
We have one Flip-Pal Scanner to give away to a lucky reader. ‘Memories and stories bind families together but how often have you wished to get a copy of an image that belongs to someone else and then not had the time or equipment to do it there and then.  Maybe your relative refuses to let a precious collection out of their sight or the photographs are all fixed in a large photo album.’ The Flip-Pal mobile scanner will solve these problems and you can scan photos safely while they are still in the album or frame.   You can read more about the Flip-Pal or find more genealogy products on the My History website.

To enter this giveaway, simply send an email with ‘Flip-Pal’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 18 December 2013. 

HollyCreative Craft Shows Tickets from Trident Exhibitions
We have 10 pairs of tickets generously donated by Trident Exhibitions which can be used at one of their spring shows. The Creative Craft Shows make a perfect day out. Visit their website to find a show near you. To enter this draw send an email with 'Creative' in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 18 December 2013.

Creative Craft Show Logo

HollyWin a Photo Analysis from Jayne Shrimpton
Many of you will be familiar with Jayne who has analysed and dated thousands of family photographs.  Jayne has contributed extensively to family history magazines, written books and articles, and runs annual workshops at the Society of Genealogists. Jayne has an interesting blog on her website (I wish the black 1920s dress was mine!) and is also listed in the FFHS Directory of Speakers.  One lucky reader could win the chance to have a photo dated and analysed by Jayne.  To enter this draw, please send an email with ‘Photograph’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 18 December 2013.  It would be helpful if the photograph of the winner is card mounted and both front and back views could be supplied.

HollyDiscover Your History Discover your History
Discover Your History is a history magazine with a difference - much of its content is originally sourced through eyewitness accounts and personal memories, introducing readers to the past through the eyes and voices of those who were there, in an accessible and engaging manner. It also allows readers to interact and share their own experiences through social media, the magazine itself and the website. Covering a huge variety of historical subjects every month, Discover Your History is available for £3.99 in the shops or there are many money-saving subscription offers available at www.pen-and-sword.co.uk.

We have prizes of 2 x six issue subscriptions of Discover Your History and 20 copies of one magazine as runner up prizes.  To be in with a chance to win one of these prizes, please send an email with ‘Discover Your History’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 18 December 2013.

Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE 2014
WDYTYA? Live 2014 logoTickets are now on sale for WDYTYA?LIVE 2014.  John Simpson is the first celebrity confirmed to attend and plans to commemorate WW1 in its centenary year will be revealed over the coming weeks.  The Imperial War Museum will be at the show with its new project ‘Lives of the First World War' and a new studio will feature talks about the military and social history of the First World War.  Over 80 workshops are run by the Society of Genealogists over the three days of the show offering a full and varied programme of talks for all levels of family historian.

We have two tickets to give away.  To enter this draw, send an email to Hollycompetitions@ffhs.org.uk with ‘WDYTYA’ in the subject line before 18 December 2013.

HollyFamilySearch at WDYTA?Live 2014FamilySearch Logo
FamilySearch is pleased to offer free photo scanning at the upcoming Who Do You Think You Are conference to be held 20-22 February 2014 at Olympia Hall in London.  Conference attendees are invited to bring up to 15 photos and/or documents and a USB storage device (e.g. flash drive) to the FamilySearch booth. Trained scanning operators will scan the originals and save digital copies to the attendee’s storage device.  FamilySearch will also demonstrate how to upload photos and documents to the FamilySearch Family Tree.  The new Photos tools on FamilySearch allow people to share family photos, stories, and documents quickly and easily with others and to preserve them for generations to come.

HollyDiscover Your Ancestors PeriodicalDiscover Your Ancestors
FREE sample subscription to the newest and most exciting online magazine for family historians to everyone who applies between now and 15 January 2014.  To receive your free 3-issue subscription (worth £4.47 if purchased as back issues) simply email: subs@discoveryourancestors.co.uk and insert FFHS13 in the subject line and we will set up your FREE 3-issue subscription immediately.

Each issue is kept securely in your personal online library to enjoy anytime as PDF pages from your computer desktop or as a website-enabled version. See www.discoveryourancestors.co.uk for more information. Your details will never be sold or passed onto a third party.



Christmas Book Giveaways


Old Time Variety

Old Time Variety: An Illustrated History
The variety theatre was at its most popular from the end of the First World War until the late 1960s.  Variety developed from the more ‘vulgar’ Music Halls entertainment which had been entertaining people since the mid nineteenth century.  Acts included ventriloquists, drag artists, animal acts, acrobats, jugglers, magicians and many more.  At the top of the profession were Max Miller and Gracie Fields, a peerless singer and comedienne.

We have one copy of ‘Old Time Variety: An Illustrated History’, by Richard Baker, to give away.  To enter this draw, send an email with ‘Old Time’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 18 December 2013.

A History of Pantomime
The Pantomime has long since been a British tradition around Christmas time. In A History of Pantomime, Maureen Hughes explores the world of the Pantomime, along with its characters and history. ‘A browse through this informative book and you will soon find that Pantomime is an art form all of its own.’

We have one copy of ‘A History of Pantomime’, by Maureen Hughes, to give away.  To enter this draw, send an email with ‘Pantomime’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 18 December 2013.

A History of Pantomime

Tracing Your Ancestors' Childhood - A Guide for Family Historians
Tracing your Ancestors' ChildhoodWe have one copy of Tracing Your Ancestors' Childhood - A Guide for Family Historians by Sue Wilkes, to give away.  There are reviews of basic family history sources, specialist archives, published sources, recommended reading and other resources and documents are covered.  There is a useful directory listing archives, specialist repositories, database of children’s societies, useful websites and places to visit. The book focuses primarily on England and Wales and covers the years 1750–1950. To win a copy of this book send an email with 'childhood' in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 18 December 2013.

The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London houses the Museum's collection of childhood-related objects and artefacts, spanning the 1600s to the present day.  All exhibitions and displays at the Museum are free.  See the website for details of current exhibitions and opening times.

HollyAll of our books have been kindly donated by Pen and Sword books.  If you are looking for the perfect present for someone, Pen and Sword have hundreds of titles and they now also supply ebooks.  Please visit their website.

HollyWorking Chart from My HistoryWorking Chart
Looking for a blank tree chart which allows for siblings to be recorded rather than just a one line pedigree?  Most of us will reach the inevitable brick wall in our family history research but looking side-ways and being creative with your research can be one way to finding a solution.  However, this can be difficult if all of your research is stored online. A possible way round this is to pencil one of your brick wall lines onto the working chart and see all the information in one place; a bit like a mind flow map for family history researchers. This can help to identify missing information and new avenues of research to follow. The chart is flexible. Not only can it be used as a way of being creative in your research, it can also be used as a tool to help involve children as it can show as many lines or relationships in a family as you choose and it can be used as a permanent chart.  You can pencil it all in before using pen to record your tree permanently. It comes with some handy blue and pink sticky notes and in three sizes. Please see the My History website for further information and more genealogy supplies.

HollyStart Your Family Tree WeekStart Your Family Tree Week
Christmas is the perfect time to build your family tree as you catch up with relatives and share stories around the Christmas dinner table. Make sure you join findmypast.co.uk for this year’s Start Your Family Tree Week! Each day from Boxing Day until New Year's Day, visit findmypast.co.uk for hints and tips on how to research your family tree and how to get the most out of their records. Get started today with a 10% discount off any subscription using the code ‘FHSANTA13’. Code expires 2nd January 2014.

Holly SprigSome Gift Ideas

Looking for inspiration for a last minute Christmas gift or stocking filler? Can’t face the shops? A voucher to findmypast.co.uk could be the answer.

If you are stuck for ideas, visit our New Books Review page to read reviews on recent publications and CDs. Membership to a family history society could also make an excellent present. Please go to the FFHS website to find a society. A favourite writer of the trials of family history research, Diane Lindsay's 'My Family and Other Annals – Adventures in Family History', is available as an ebook. There are plenty of books to choose from on the Pen and Sword website and also genealogy products from My History.

New Year Traditions
Neew Years Resolutions Postcard 1915New Year’s Day is perhaps one of the oldest feast days on record and Babylonians are thought to have been the first to make New Year Resolutions.  Tacitus mentions New Year in the first century but it is first referred to as a Christian festival around 567AD.  In Rome, it was dedicated to Janus and all grudges and hard feelings would be forgotten along with sacrifices of cakes, wine and incense.  It is also known as Sylvester’s Eve, named after the Pope who died on 31 December, a date which since the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, has coincided with New Year's Eve.  Several countries such as Austria, Germany, Italy and Poland use a variant of Sylvester's name as the preferred name for New Year’s Eve.  Of course, in Scotland, it is known as Hogmanay.

One of the most famous traditions in the United States is the dropping of the New Year ball in Times Square.  Perhaps the most well-known tradition around the UK is the singing of Auld Lang Syne.  Thought to have been written by Scottish poet Robert Burns around 1788, there are some lyrics which appear to have been taken from an earlier poem, ‘Old Long Syne’ written by James Watson.  Set to an old Scottish folk tune, it fast became traditional throughout Scotland and the rest of the British Isles and as people Hollyemigrated they took the tradition with them.

Carl LarHollyChristmas is a time for catching up with family both young and old so when the family gather it is also an ideal time to question the older members of your family about their recollections. Perhaps compile a list of questions to ask before the rush of Christmas sets in so you are ready but keep it light rather than an intense and formal interview!  Try leading questions such as ‘What is the earliest Christmas you remember?’ ‘What was your grandmother/father like?’ ‘How did you all celebrate Christmas and New Year?’ ‘Who was your favourite relative?’ ‘Why?’ The Oral History Society has some tips for family historians on its website on how to record interviews with family members.

Here are some fun websites:  Xmas Finland – full of Finnish recipes and craft ideas and I love this one from Liverpool Museums which is an eclectic mix of historical information and photos.  Finally, The NORAD ‘Track Santa’ website has information and games before Christmas Eve when you can track Santa as he delivers his presents around the world.

“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” Marjorie Holmes

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The FFHS Ezine has a current readership of about14,000 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.

Results from the November issue will appear on the FFHS website in January 2014.

view competition winners

Diary Dates

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