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Welcome to the March 2014 Edition of the FFHS Ezine                                                         No 45

Society Spotlight: Dyfed Family History Society

Welsh Newspapers Online

Welsh Surname Traditions

Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum seek WW1 photos


WDYTYA?Live ends for Another Year

The First World War Project Map

First World War Centenary Quilt

Was your Ancestor Involved in the Plugstreet Christmas Truce?

IGRS Amongst Top 100 Genealogy Websites

Offer from Discover Your Ancestors

This Month's Book Giveaway

Family History Events

The Armies in 1914

The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers’ Exhibition


The Miners’ Hymns


Book Reviews

Diary Dates

Advertise with us

Competition Winners

Society Spotlight

Dyfed Family History Society

The Society was founded in 1982 to support people in all parts of the world who are pursuing family historyDyfed Family History Society Logo research related to Dyfed which comprises the old counties of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, and Pembrokeshire.  The Society has branches in Cardigan, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Llandovery, Llanelli and London. Each branch has a programme of meetings with talks on a range of subjects, as well as research evenings when members help each other with personal research. The Society journal is distributed to members three times a year. The journal keeps members in touch with Society affairs but also contains articles about people, places and social history and includes requests from members for help with research.  Each member may record their research interests. These can be people who they are researching or people they have researched and about whom they would be willing to share information.
Our website includes:

  • Information about people and places in Dyfed including sources of information.
  • An index of all members’ research interests.
  • The Journal Archive and Index where members can read all past journals on line.
  • The Strays Database where members can access thousands of names of people born in Dyfed but found elsewhere.
  • The Dyfed Database, which contains detailed knowledge about places and parishes in Dyfed.

Project work, such as surveying graveyards and transcribing monumental inscriptions or other sources of information, is an opportunity to meet other members. www.dyfedfhs.org.uk is the most appropriate route to membership if you wish to join or have any queries about the society. For contact details of all Welsh Family History Societies please visit the FFHS website.

Welsh Newspapers Online
Welsh Newspapers Online now allows you to search and read over 630,000 pages from almost 100 newspaper publications from the National Library’s collection.  This will grow to over one million pages as more publications are added throughout 2014.  Among the latest titles are Y Negesydd, Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald, Glamorgan Gazette, Carmarthen Journal, Welshman, and Rhondda Leader, not forgetting Y Drych, the weekly newspaper for the Welsh diaspora in America.  Browse the website and discover unique information on a variety of subjects, including family history, local history and much more.

Welsh Surname Traditions
Welsh surname traditions can be confusing.  Ap or ab was used for ‘son of’ so David son of Owen, would be David ab Owen.  Often the ‘ab’ would become part of the last name, giving ‘Bowen’ or ‘ap Rees’ could become ‘Prees’ or ‘Price’.  Different naming patterns were often used in the same family; names were anglicized and surnames could change with each generation. Sometimes a surname could be based on a grandparent’s name.  If all of this isn’t confusing enough, many pre-1800 church registers recorded the father’s name in several different ways!  You can find information on Welsh surname patterns on the FamilySearch website.  Also, ‘The Surnames of Wales’ has recently been updated and expanded and one of its authors, John Rowlands, gave a talk at WDYTYA? Live. A review can be found on our website.

Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum seek WW1 photos Your Museum Needs You
The Royal Welch Fusiliers (RWF) Museum in Caernarfon is looking for photographs of individual soldiers from the RWF who were killed in the Great War.  They are hoping to put each man’s name on display on a screen, on the centenary of his death and would dearly love to be able to add a photograph of each man to go with his name.  It is a huge undertaking as there were over 10,400 men from the RWF who were killed.  Many families have photographs tucked away and the Museum is asking for people to seek them out.  They will accept scans or copies and any that appeared in newspapers, which often carried obituaries including photographs.  As much information as possible is needed to go with the photo to make sure the right photograph is paired to the right man – but sometimes a name and date of death might be all they need.  Email for more details or to send a photo. You can also follow their progress on Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr and Facebook.

Cymru 1914: Welsh Experiences of the First World War is a digital archive of primary sources relating to the First World War from the Libraries, Special Collections and Archives of Wales.  The archive brings together source materials that were previously fragmented and frequently inaccessible, revealing the often hidden history of the First World War as it impacted all aspects of Welsh life, language and culture. You can find the website here.  The project was funded by Jisc and is one of a number of digital collections which have been made available from the Jisc World War One Centenary hub.

WDYTYA?Live ends for Another Year
Vice President Lady Teviot, Chairman David Holman, Vice President Colin Chapman at WDYTYA? Live 2014The FFHS would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who visited our stand at this year’s WDYTYA?Live  and to all of those volunteers who helped, sharing their expertise.  As you can see from the photograph, we are celebrating our 40th anniversary this year and hope if you visited us you managed to grab some of the cake! We launched the 2014 edition of ‘our really useful information leaflet’ which has an article ‘Tracing your First World War Ancestors’, written by Simon Fowler, as well as useful websites to help further your research.  You can download the latest version from the FFHS website.

It has been confirmed Who Do You Think You Are? Live will be held in Scotland in August this year.  This is the first time the show will be held outside of London and as part of the ‘Homecoming’ events being held throughout the year, the show will take place at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow from Friday 29 to Sunday 31 August 2014. See the website for further information.

Britain Remembers: The First World War Project Map
Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine has launched an interactive map of Britain enabling volunteers to 'pin' their WW1 centenary projects to share with others. The ‘Britain Remembers’ map will enable the public to discover the diverse range of projects that are occurring across the country to mark the centenary of World War One. Anybody involved in a project can add information, photos, videos, audio clips and a link to their project website to the map.  Sarah Williams, Editor of the magazine, added: "Some family historians may know what is happening in their local area, but may not be aware of what is happening in the area where their WWI ancestors came from. The more projects we can get listed on the Britain Remembers map, the more useful it will become".

First World War Centenary Quilt
A family history community project to commemorate in fabric and thread those who served with the Commonwealth forces during the First World War 1914-1918 and did not return home. The aim is to produce a quilt made up of squares embroidered with the names of your ancestors or those in your local community who gave their lives. You are invited to contribute to the project by stitching a square or squares with the name/s of the person/s you wish to commemorate.  For a minimum donation of £3.50 (including P&P), you will be supplied with a pack containing the pre-cut square of fabric and thread and detailed instructions.  All profits will be divided equally between HelpforHeroes and Q4IS (Quilts For Injured Servicemen).  The project will run throughout 2014.  An order form is available on the website or send a cheque made payable to First World War Centenary Quilt to: Philippa McCray, 27 Coventry Road, Lutterworth, Leics. LE17 4RE.

If you would like further information on the project or would like to request multiple packs for your society or group please email Philippa McCray at ww1centenaryquilt@btinternet.com.

Was your Ancestor Involved in the Plugstreet Christmas Truce?
Nurses from the Belgian Tourist OfficeAn appeal by the Belgian Tourist Office - Brussels & Wallonia has been launched. They are searching for descendants of the soldiers, on both sides, who took part in the Plugstreet Christmas Truce of 1914 in the hope of inviting them to take part in a poignant tribute to their ancestors on the very same field it originally took place in December 1914.  If your ancestor was at Plugstreet, they would like to talk to you. 

Please email: truce@belgiumtheplaceto.be.

Irish Genealogical Research Society Amongst Top 100 Genealogy Websites
Those with Irish ancestors will be thrilled to hear that Genealogy In Time’s (GIT) worldwide Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2014 has revealed that the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) ranks 79 out of 100! GIT ranks the world's genealogy websites using Alexa rankings, which provide objective statistics of visitor traffic (rather than votes) from across 35 million websites.  This is quite an achievement for a website that was launched in March 2013. The IGRS’s website was one of only five Societies to appear in the top 100 and one of only four ‘Irish’ sites. Visit the IGRS website.

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical CoverPrint+Digital Offer from Discover Your Ancestors
Let us aid your family history research in 2014 with a free sample subscription to the newest and most exciting digital magazine for family historians to everyone who applies between now and 20 April 2014. To receive your FREE 3-issue subscription (worth £4.47 if purchased as back issues) simply email: subs@discoveryourancestors.co.uk and insert FFHS14F 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.

It gets even better! The 2014 highly acclaimed, 160-page printed version of Discover Your Ancestors will be ready to buy from all good newsagents in March or if you prefer we have a special limited-time, money-saving offer if you wish to buy directly from the publishers and have your magazine delivered to your front door. To take up this special offer up, please click on this link.

Discover Your Ancestors guarantee: Your details will never be sold or passed onto a third party.

This Month's Book Giveaway

This month’s book giveaway is ‘Hiding the Past - A Genealogical Crime Mystery’, has been donated by the author, Nathan Dylan Goodwin.

“Peter Coldrick had no past; that was the conclusion drawn by years of personal and professional research. Then he employed the services of one Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist and with the Coldrick Case, Morton faces his toughest and most dangerous assignment yet.  As Morton begins to unearth his client’s mysterious past, he is forced to confront his own family’s dark history, a history which he knows little about.”

To enter the draw for this book, please send an email with ‘Hiding’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 31 March 2014.

Hiding the Past Book Cover

Dorset Family History Society is holding a WW1 themed Family History Day on Saturday 15 March 2014, 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.

Annual Fair of the Family History Society of Cheshire, is taking place on 10 May 2014 at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall, South Wirral, CH65 0AZ.  Speakers are Nick Barratt, Gavin Hunter and Steven McGreal.  Plenty of stalls and displays as well as a Help Desk and Military Research.  See the website for more details.

The Manchester Regional Group of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain is holding its annual conference on Sunday 11 May 2014 in Manchester.  This year it is being sponsored by the FFHS to celebrate the Federation’s 40th Anniversary.  A great line-up of speakers throughout the day as well as catering under full kosher supervision.  Please contact Lorna Kay for further details.

Researching Ancestors in British India is being held on 16-18 May 2014 in Meriden, Warwickshire.  Expert speakers such as; Charles Allen,  Anne de Courcy,  Michael Gandy, Jayne Shrimpton and  Ian Kerr, will cover a wide range of topics relevant to the period of British influence in India at the first FIBIS weekend conference which is also being sponsored by the FFHS. Find out more on the website.

Essex Society for Family History is holding a History Weekend and Conference, from Friday 29 August to Sunday 31 August 2014. This will celebrate the 40th anniversaries of both the FFHS and Essex Society for Family History, the 25th anniversary of the East Anglian Group and also commemorate the start of the Great War. For information or to book please contact Heather Feather by email: events@esfh.org.uk or download a booking form from the ESFH website at www.esfh.org.uk

The Armies in 1914
The National Army Museum is holding a series of talks on 15 March 2014, 10.30-17.30 at The National Army Museum, London.  Distinguished historians will examine the state of preparedness of the armies of Europe on the eve of the First World War.  Admission is free and is on a first-come-first-served  basis.  You can find out more on the website.

The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers’ Exhibition
This exhibition which runs until 29 March at The Guildhall, London, marks the 350th anniversary of The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers’ Royal Charter from Charles II.  Needlemaking has a long history with the earliest needles dating from the Stone Age.  When the manufacture of strong steel began in the late 16th century, needlemaking was carried out in many areas of London and England.  ‘Journey through the fascinating past of The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers, from their beginnings in the 17th century to their present day charitable activities, seeing their treasures along the way.’  Visit the website.

Findmypast.co.uk has changed its subscription prices.  Anyone can start discovering their family history from £9.95 with the brand-new one month Britain subscription. Findmypast is also offering a one month World subscription for only £12.95, which includes access to records from around the world, including the largest collection of Irish records online. Go to the website.

The Miners’ Hymns
2014 is the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike and on 9 March 2014 the Barbican is showing American film maker Bill Morrison’s ‘The Miners’ Hymns’, a feature using archive footage spanning 100 years. Morrison sourced rarely seen clips from archives including the BBC and BFI, with the earliest dating at 1900 from the Mitchell and Kenyon Film Company.  The silent film screening includes a live performance by Icelandic composer Jóhann Johansson which draws on the brass music heritage of the northeast of England, a tradition stretching back almost 200 years.

If you have coalmining ancestors, you can find information at the national coalmining museums for England, Scotland and Wales. ‘The Coalmining History Resource Centre’ website has information about the history of coalmining, a searchable database of over 160,000 recorded accidents as well as maps and photgraphs.  Pen and Sword have also published ‘Tracing your Coalmining Ancestors’ which can be ordered from their website.


The newly refurbished Manchester Central Library opens its doors on Saturday 22 March 2014. To celebrate, this edition’s blog is from Archives+.  This is a repository for archives and family history and will be situated in the Manchester Central Library; this purpose-built centre brings together regional and national collections of documents, photographs and films.  You can find out more on the website.


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

Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts Show SECC Glasgow 6-9 March 2014
Sewing for Pleasure/Fashion Embroidery & Stitch/Hobbycrafts NEC Birmingham 20-23 March 2014
Creative Stitches/Fashion Embroidery & Stitch/Hobbycrafts ExCeL, London 3-5 April 2014
The Creative Craft Show Belfast, Kings Hall Complex 10 - 12 April 2014
The Creative Craft Show Shepton Mallet, The Bath & West Showground 24-27 April 2014
Scottish Association of Family History Societies 25th Annual Conference & Family History Fair, Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline 26 April 2014