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Ezine masthead image
Welcome to the Christmas 2014 edition of the FFHS Ezine                                                        No 50


Start your Family Tree Week

Win a months subscription to Findmypast

Christmas Cards

Win a copy of ‘Writing Your Family History'

Win a selection of goodies from Merly Impressions

Win a FlipPal Mobile Scanner

Over by Christmas

Win a copy of ‘1914 Over By Christmas’

Win Tickets to Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE 2015

My History

Win a copy of Family Historian V6

The Geffrye Museum

Win a copy of ‘Life in the Victorian Kitchen'

Workhouse Connections

Win 2 adult tickets to Ripon Museums

Book Reviews

Diary Dates

Advertise with us

Competition Winners

Mistletoe Wreath


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

Mistletoe Wreath

Sprig of 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 give you some ideas for things to do over the festive season, inspire you to dig deeper into your family history and maybe provide a few ideas for last minute additions 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 19 December 2014.  We'll return in January 2015.

Sprig of HollyStart 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. So 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 plus some exciting competitions and great prizes. Get started today for just £1 using the code ‘FHSANTA14’. Code expires 2 January 2015.

To start you on your journey of discovery we have:Start your Family Tree Week Logo

  • 8 one month subscriptions to Findmypast to give away.

Giving you access to over 2 billion records which is continually growing. Covering Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the United States and Canada, the records span everything from family history records to social, government and general history. This great variety of records satisfies the family history buff as well as the social and local historian alike. Findmypast expertise at digitising historical records and uniting communities provides the tools to help people connect with their past and present. Findmypast are proud to offer data submitted by family history societies in collaboration with the Federation of Family History Societies. To enter this draw, send an email with 'Findmypast' in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 19 December 2014.

Christmas Cards
Christmas CardThe first Christmas card was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in 1843. It was designed by John Callcott Horsley a member of the Royal Academy and showed family members raising a glass to toast the recipient of the card. Early cards did not feature the religious or snowy winter scenes that we are familiar with today, instead they tended to feature flowers and images to remind the recipient that spring was on its way! By the early twentieth century Christmas postcards had been introduced and their mass production meant they were affordable to everyone.  During the First World War the sending of Christmas cards took on a new meaning as poignant messages were passed between those serving and loved ones and friends at home. 

You can read more about the history of Christmas cards here.  You can view images of Christmas cards on the V & A Museum website.  Have you sent your Christmas cards?  To find the latest recommended (UK) posting dates click here.

Writing your Family History  book coverSprig of HollyWe have one copy of ‘Writing Your Family History' by Gill Blanchard to give away.  This new publication has been kindly donated by Pen and Sword.

When the family gather over Christmas it’s an ideal time to question older members about their recollections. Be sure to write down their stories so that you can include them when you get around to writing your family history! Gill Blanchard's practical step-by-step guide to writing a family history is designed for anyone who wants to bring their ancestors' stories to life. She looks at ways of overcoming the particular problems family historians face when writing a family history, providing examples to help readers find their own writing style and deal with family stories, missing pieces of information and anomalies. You can buy a copy of the book here.

To enter this draw, send an email with ‘Family’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 19 December 2014.

Win a selection of goodies from Merly Impressions
Merly Impressions Basecoat Christmas Collection imageIf you are a keen scrapbooker no doubt you'll be taking lots of photographs over the festive season, capturing those special moments with family and friends in anticipation of creating some fabulous layouts in the New Year! We have a selection of goodies kindly donated by Merly Impressions to help you, including; Paper Pack - Basecoat Christmas Collection, which includes twelve Basecoat Christmas 12x12 papers (two each of six designs) plus an Heirloom sticker sheet. (Total value of prize £18.20).  To be in with a chance to win this prize, please send an email with 'Merly' in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 19 December 2014.

The Merly Impressions online store carries a huge range of scrapbooking and cardmaking materials from the Australian manufacturer Kaisercraft, in fact they probably have the best selection of Kaisercraft products in the UK! 

Sprig of HollyFlipPal Mobile Scanner to be won!

FlipPal Mobile ScannerAs a reader of this special Christmas Ezine we would like to ask for your help. So that we include content in future issues of the Ezine that is relevant to you as a reader we hope you will take part in a short survey. All those who complete the survey and give their name and email address when prompted to do so will be entered into a Prize Draw to win a FlipPal mobile scanner.

The draw will take place on 5 January 2015 and the lucky winner will be contacted by email.

Please follow the link to complete the survey now.

Sprig of HollyOver by Christmas
One of the most popular sayings of 1914 was, ‘over by Christmas’. The Imperial War Museum’s podcast’ Over By Christmas’, features the voices of some of those who experienced the first months of war and here they explain just how wrong that prediction was. You can download the podcast for free here.

1914 Over by Christmas boobk cover1914 Over By Christmas’ by John Christopher and Campbell McCutcheon.

We have one copy of this publication to give away, kindly donated by Amberley Publishing.  The book documents 1914, the first year of the ‘war to end all wars’ through old photographs; a year which culminated in the famous football match on the Western Front on Christmas Day. The photographs tell the story of the world war in a graphic and telling way. You can purchase a copy of the book here.

To enter this draw, send an email with ‘1914’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 19 December 2014.

Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE 2015
WDYTYA? Live 2015 logoWho Do You Think You Are? Live returns for 2015 in a brand new venue and with a new date! The show is moving to Birmingham’s NEC on 16- 18 April 2015. The workshop programme will include over 90 workshops across the three days. A dedicated stream of workshops will focus on industry in the Midlands, including gun-making, the Jewellery quarter and car manufacturing. There will be local experts joining other genealogists and members of family history societies who, together, can offer you a wealth of specialist knowledge advice on a local, national and international scale. You can keep up to date via the website.

Tickets are now on sale but we have three pairs of tickets to give away.  To enter this draw, send an email to competitions@ffhs.org.uk with ‘WDYTYA’ in the subject line before 19 December 2014.

My History logoMy History Specialist in Genealogy Supplies
More than just genealogy! My History supplies everything you need to help research, archive, share and publish your family history. Based in South Yorkshire they supply products all over the world to individuals and organisations involved in genealogy. If you’re looking for last minute things to add to your Christmas Wish List or ideas as to what to give a fellow family historian why not take a look at their website?

Family Historian V6 image

We have one copy of Family Historian (Version 6) the Deluxe Genealogy Software Program due for release on or before 6 December 2014, kindly donated by My History, to give away. To enter this draw, send an email to competitions@ffhs.org.uk with ‘My History’ in the subject line before 19 December 2014.

The Geffrye Museum
Living Room in 1935 by Steve SpellerDo you have fond memories of making paper chains as a child to decorate your home? Maybe you gathered greenery to tuck behind the picture frames and helped to decorate the tree with delicate glass baubles and hand-made decorations. If so the The Geffrye Museum’s Christmas Past Exhibition is sure to delight. The eleven period living rooms are transformed with authentic festive decorations, lighting, music and greenery to give visitors a magical glimpse into how Christmas has been celebrated in English middle-class homes over the past 400 years. 

For details of the exhibition which runs until Sunday 4 January 2015 (free admission) and the accompanying programme of events which will focus on the 18th century in celebration of the tri-centenary of the museum’s almshouse buildings please visit the website.

Life in the Victorian Kitchen book coverSprig of HollyWe have one copy of ‘Life in the Victorian Kitchen- Culinary Secrets and Servants Stories’ by Karen Foy, kindly donated by Pen & Sword, to give away.

If you have ever wondered what life was like for domestic servants, the etiquette involved during upper class banquets, or simply wished for a glimpse of day-to-day life in the Victorian kitchen, you are sure to enjoy this book. From the rural cottage to the well-staffed country house, Karen Foy takes readers on an entertaining and informative journey through a lost culinary world, uncovering the customs and traditions surrounding some of Britain's best loved dishes.

To enter this draw, send an email to competitions@ffhs.org.uk with ‘Kitchen’ in the subject line before 19 December 2014.

Sprig of HollyWorkhouse Connections - Friday 27 and Saturday 28 February 2015
Are you among the 1 in 10 people who have an ancestor who was in a workhouse? Whether you already know you have a workhouse connection or are just starting on your family history journey this two day event full of talks, tours and workshops can help you explore your relative's experience.
Held in Ripon, North Yorkshire, you can hear from notable experts in both family history research and workhouse history including Peter Higginbotham, Peter Park, and Dr Andy Gritt. Get advice on your own research in private sessions, explore one of the best preserved Workhouse sites in the country when it is closed to the public, find out about the poor in their own words and discuss the emotional impact of discovering a workhouse connection. There will also be opportunities to socialise with other family history enthusiasts during buffet lunches on both days and a three course dinner on Friday evening.  The cost is £180 for two full days of activities plus refreshments. Special rates are available with local accommodation providers. Contact kathrynbedford@riponmuseums.co.uk for more information.

Ripon WorkhouseWin two adult tickets valid for a full year
Ripon’s three award winning museums are housed within a unique collection of historic buildings; Ripon City’s nineteenth century prison block, courthouse and workhouse. They explore themes of punishment, poverty, and policing within the original setting, allowing you to literally follow in the footsteps of the less prestigious elements of Victorian society. This is your chance to win two adult tickets valid in all three museums for a full year (usual price £9.50 each). To find out more about the museums please visit the website

To enter this draw, send an email with ‘Ripon' in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 19 December 2014.

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”
Peg Bracken

FFHS 40th Anniversary Logo

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