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Welcome to the January 2014 Edition of the FFHS Ezine                                                        No 44

Society Spotlight: The Families In British India Society (FIBIS)

Could you be a Trustee of FFHS?

Can You Help?

New Year, New Family History Society

World War One

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical - NEW YEAR OFFER

This Month's Book Giveaway

Homecoming Scotland 2014

Scottish Association of Family History Societies

Ayr Advertiser Available Online


FamilySearch at WDYTA?Live 2014

Archive News

Dorset FHS Open Day

One-Name Studies Seminar

Creative Craft Shows


Book Reviews

Diary Dates

Advertise with us

Competition Winners


Society Spotlight

The Families In British India Society (FIBIS)

FIBIS LogoBritish India is classed as a “niche” interest for family historians; perhaps so, if we are compared with county family history groups. Yet, although we treat an estimated 3 million persons of British origin who lived in India, we should consider that many more can claim descent from those 3 million, despite the ravages of temperature, disease, war and wild animals, which caused their lives to be cut short so prematurely.  Many more people have ancestors in India than realize it!  So why does The Families In British India (FIBIS) have such an interested, international and increasing following? That we have a truly great team of volunteers devoting their time researching British India must be part of it. The website recently won first place in the FFHS Geoff Riggs Award and here you can:

  • Search a free database of more than 1,140,000 individual names
  • Find out more about the lives your ancestors lived through the free Fibi Wiki page
  • Members can connect with other people searching for your ancestors using the FIBIS Social network
  • Learn more about researching British India via FIBIS Research and FIBIS Books
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest news in the world of British India Family History by following our blog

FIBIS is a self-help organisation devoted to members researching their ancestors and the background against which they led their lives in ‘British India’.  We are fortunate that the records are generally located in one central place, the British Library, which facilitates our enormous task of their transcription. These elements, plus regular lectures, an excellent Journal, annual presence at WhoDoYouThinkYouAre? Live and forthcoming international conference, prove to the public our fully professional approach. But I feel that it is the special pride in our ancestors, who created an Empire, which keeps us successfully growing.

Peter Bailey, Chairman

Join us at the first Families in British India Society (FIBIS) Conference which will be held on 16-18 May 2014 at the  Best Western Plus Manor Hotel near Birmingham.  This will be a friendly and social gathering where FIBIS members and the general public can learn more about this fascinating period in their ancestors’ lives. Find out more on the FIBIS website.

Could you be a Trustee of FFHS? FFHS Logo
The FFHS is managed by a small group of trustees with part-time paid administrative assistance. The trustees meet five/six times per year, usually in London or Birmingham 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 would particularly welcome enquiries from individuals with a specific interest in helping deliver the FFHS's educational remit. It is expected that applicants will have an interest in family history. Deadline for expressions of interest and to request further information by Friday 28th February 2014 to:  David Lambert, Company Secretary legal@ffhs.org.uk or by post to FFHS Registered Office, 2 Primrose Avenue, Urmston, Manchester M41 OTY. Interviews will be held during March 2014.

Can You Help?FFHS Logo
The FFHS is seeking a self-motivated, enthusiastic and committed individual who has between five and seventeen hours to spare per week in which to assist the FFHS Administrator. The successful applicant will work from home on a self-employed basis. You will need access to a computer and be computer literate, knowledge of Access, Publisher & Excel would be an advantage but is not essential. Experience of using Social Networking sites could be helpful. To register your interest and for further information, please contact Philippa McCray, the FFHS Administrator, admin@ffhs.org.uk by Friday February 14th 2014.

New Year, New Family History Society
Are you already a member of a family history society?  If not, why not start the New Year by joining a family history society? Belonging to a society is a great way to connect with other family historians. If you are able to get to the monthly meetings you will become part of a group of local researchers with whom you can share ideas, pick up tips and maybe get help to knock down your brick walls! If you live outside the area and can’t attend the meetings you can still read the society journal – a really excellent way to learn about what the society is doing in the locality in which you are interested.

Many people belong to more than one society, one near to where they live and one covering the area in which their ancestors lived. There are also specialist and national societies that offer resources that local societies can’t. If you are looking for a society to join, visit Find a Society for a listing of all our member societies. Most societies’ membership year runs from January to December although some do have “rolling” 12 month memberships. Get full value for your subscription and enrol now for the start of the 2014 Membership Year.  Make your New Year Resolution happen and join a society today!

Poppies Falling from Menin Gate Photo: Adrian Harlen/MODWorld War One
August 2014 is the centenary of the start of the First World War and the Government has pledged 50 million pounds in public money to fund a four year programme to commemorate the ‘war to end all wars’.  It is estimated around 16 million people died as a result of the conflict.  As part of the funding the Imperial War Museum will open its refurbished First World War galleries in summer 2014 and with its partners will be holding events.  You can find out more at 1914.org.  Through the ‘First World War 100’ portal, The National Archives (TNA) will be exploring major anniversaries and key aspects of the war with a rolling series of digitised record releases, events and education resources.  One of the largest of these projects was digitising the unit war diaries.  These can be an invaluable source to find out more about the daily life faced by your ancestor during the war.  There will also be a series of talks, podcasts and events throughout the anniversary.  If you wish to research your WW1 ancestor the National Archives website is a good place to begin and has a guide to get you started. 

The FFHS website has a section devoted to the commemorations for the First World War and links to related websites, projects and events.   There is also a section dedicated to War Memorials and links and guides on how to research them and the people commemorated on them.  There are too many websites and projects to list here in the Ezine so please visit our WW1 Centenary page.

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical - NEW YEAR OFFERDiscover Your Ancestors Cover
Kick start your family history research in 2014 with a FREE sample subscription to the newest and most exciting online magazine for family historians to everyone who applies between now and 15 February 2014. To receive your FREE 3-issue subscription (worth £4.47 if purchased as back issues) simply email: subs@discoveryourancestors.co.uk and insert FFHS14 in the subject line and we will set up your FREE 3-issue subscription immediately (May, June, July 2013 issues). 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. We look forward to seeing you at the WDYTYA 14 show in London.  Your details will never be sold or passed onto a third party.

This Month's Book Giveaway

Country House Society Book Cover

For January, we have ‘Country House Society - The Private Lives of England's Upper Class After the First World War’, by Pamela Horn.  This book has been kindly donated by Amberley Publishing and is a look into how the lives of the upper classes were changed by the impact of the First World War.  Pamela Horn draws on the letters and diaries of iconic figures of the period, such as Nancy Mitford and Barbara Cartland, to give an insight into this new post-war era.  To enter this giveaway send an email with ‘Country House’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 14 February 2014.


For details of a further 'giveaway' please visit our website.

Homecoming Scotland 2014Homecoming Scotland 2014 Logo
 'Homecoming Scotland 2014' will be a year of events taking place across Scotland for those with Scottish ancestry to explore their roots, clan heritage and where and how their ancestors lived.  Alongside the XX Commonwealth Games in July and August and the Ryder Cup 2014 in September, there will be hundreds of Homecoming events and activities such as the re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn.  You can find out more on the website where there is also information about tracing your Scottish ancestry and history of the clans.

Scottish Association of Family History Societies
If you have Scottish ancestry you may be interested in the Scottish Association of Family History Societies (SAFHS).  Their website has a list of family history societies in Scotland as well as publications and an inventory of published pre-1841 Population Listings.  There is also a very useful online Graveyard Inventory which lists the whereabouts of all known monumental inscriptions collections, both published and unpublished. The SAFHS 25th Annual Conference “A Matter of Life and Death” on Saturday 26th April 2014 forms part of Homecoming 2014 see the website for details.

Ayr Advertiser Available Online
Births, marriages and deaths which have been transcribed from the Ayr Advertiser (1803-1835) are available online.  There is a small charge of £2.00 for a seven day subscription with unlimited searching in that time. Got to the website here.

WDYTYA?LIVE 2014Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE 2014
The biggest family history show, WDYTYA? LIVE 2014 is fast approaching and our stand is already booked! The organisers have confirmed some more details about this year's show:

A brand new celebrity line-up includes Natasha Kaplinsky and Colin Jackson, while the BBC Antiques Roadshow expert, Marc Allum, will join Eric Knowles as the Heirloom Detective.

Plans to commemorate WW1 in its centenary year include a dedicated stream of workshops in SoG Studio 4, a Keynote Workshop of each day of the show and a new Military History Area upstairs.

The Imperial War Museum will be at the show with its new project ‘Lives of the First World War'.  

The total number of workshops includes over 80 workshops run by the Society of Genealogists, plus others from Ancestry.co.uk, FamilyTreeDNA, TheGenealogist.co.uk and MyHeritage.

The show is a fantastic way to discover the wealth of knowledge available, find any help you need with your own research and just spend three days experiencing the enthusiasm we all share for genealogy.

Special Offer:
You can purchase 2 tickets for £26*.  Quote FFHS2426 on www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.co.uk or by calling 0844 873 7330.

*£2.25 transaction fee applies. Offer ends 7 February 2014. Usual on door price £22 each.  Tickets are on sale now.

FamilySearch 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.

Archive News
Sadly, The Bishop of Lancaster has decided to close the Talbot Library in Preston.  The library has been a much-prized repository of Roman Catholic literature and artefacts for more than 20 years and the loss will be greatly felt by many people researching Catholic history and by students from the nearby University of Central Lancashire. It also has a significant collection of Irish material.

A major new archive, The Keep, has opened in East Sussex.  This new heritage centre brings together the collections of the East Sussex County Record Office, the Royal Pavilion & Museums local history archives and also provides a new home for the Sussex Family History Group.

Dudley's state-of-the-art new archives centre has opened. Based in Tipton Road, Dudley, the purpose-built eco-friendly facility replaces the old Coseley Archives. For more information visit the website.

A new User Group has been formed for Archives Centre in Maidstone, the 'Kent Archive User Group'. You can keep up to date and find out more on the website.   If you have any comments regarding the Archives Centre you can email the User Group usergroupkhcarchives@gmail.com.

During the first part of 2014 the North Yorkshire County Record Office in Northallerton will offer a restricted service while roof strengthening work takes place.  It is particularly important during this time that all users make an appointment to visit and that all original documents are ordered in advance.  You can find out more on the website.

Dorset FHS LogoDorset Family History Society is holding a WW1 themed Family History Day on Saturday 15 March 2014; from 10am-4pm at Poole, Dorset. FREE Admission and FREE parking!  Two lectures during the day (£1 per talk); Family History Societies;  Commercial Firms selling finding aids, storage materials, postcards, Maps, Books and CDs and a Help Desk to assist you in your research. See the website for further details.

Guild of One Names Studies LogoOne-Name Studies: The Next Generation Seminar
This seminar is designed to showcase the next generation of one-name studiers with speakers aged from 16-40 and from two continents. Guild members and non-members can be assured of enthusiastic presentations about how the lecturers do their one-name studies, based loosely on the Guild book Seven Pillars of Wisdom.  The seminar will be held on Saturday 15 February 2014 at Telford, Shropshire.  See the website for further details.

Creative Craft Shows
Looking for something to do and escape the weather?  Why not go along to one of the Creative Craft Shows.  The FFHS will be represented at the shows so please come along and say hello!

The National Archives LogoBlog
Instead of a blog we have The National Archives Webinars. Record specialists from TNA will be running a series of free webinars, on different series of records and the research skills you need to get the most out of them.  These will be available on a set date, at a set time.  However, don’t worry if you can’t make it or are in a different time zone as the webinars will be recorded and made available at a later date.  See the website for more information on how to register, subjects, times and dates.


The FFHS Ezine has a current readership of approximately 14,000 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 Competitions and Winners

All competitions are subject to our Terms & Conditions as published on our website

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