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Ezine masthead image
Welcome to the March 2015 Edition of the FFHS Ezine                                                         No 52

Society Spotlight: The Family and Community Historical Research Society (FACHRS)

Discover Your Ancestors

'The Midwife's Tale' epub to giveaway

The Royal College of Midwives

Index of Nuns

Win tickets to WDYTYA?Live

This Month's Book Giveaways

The Sinking of the Lusitania

The Gallipoli Campaign

14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry


Creative Craft Show

Hatches, Matches and Despatches Seminar

Book Reviews

Diary Dates

Advertise with us

Competition Winners

Society Spotlight

The Family and Community Historical Research Society



FACHRS LogoFamily history societies typically have a very diverse membership. Some people are content to ‘do their family history’ and then move on and others go down the one-name route.  However, a sizeable number come to realise that in order to find out more about their ancestors they need to look closer at the communities where they lived. The Family and Community Historical Research Society (FACHRS) is for family historians, amongst others, who have completed their basic family history research and want to take things further. It was formed in 1998, primarily by former students of the Open University course, ‘Studying Family & Community History: 19th & 20th centuries’ (DA301). FACHRS offers a mix of family history and local history and has a strong focus on group projects whereby research by individual members - who are scattered around the country - is combined and from which broad conclusions can be drawn. Over the years major projects have included the Swing Riots, Allotments, Almshouses and School Log Books.  Our current project is about the Home Front 1914-15. In addition to major projects, our mini projects have covered; Stationmasters, Schoolmistresses, and Bank Managers.  This year’s mini project is about 19th century Census Enumerators. This year our annual conference takes place on Saturday 9 May in Leicester.  You can find a full programme of our conference and list of other shows and fairs we will be attending throughout the year on our website.

If you would like to take part in either (or both) of our current projects, or just want to find out more about FACHRS, you can visit our website at www.fachrs.com or contact Brita Wood, Membership Secretary, at membership.secretary@fachrs.com.  Alternatively, come and meet us at our stand (No 101) at WDYTYA?Live, at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, from 16 to 18 April.

Battle of the Napoleonic WarDuring 2015 there are a number of notable anniversaries, too many to list here!  We will be bringing you topical information relating to these throughout the forthcoming year. In this issue we highlight the centenaries of The Gallipoli Landings (April 1915) and The Sinking of the Lusitania ( 7 May 1915).  There is no need to wait for the June Ezine to read about those who fought in The Battle of Waterloo. In commemoration of the bicentenary (18 June 1815) the new 2015 issue of ‘our really useful information leaflet’ contains an article by military historian, Simon Fowler, aimed at assisting you with your research into those who may have fought in the Napoleonic Wars.  Download the leaflet now.

If you are involved with a family/local history group, are a tutor who runs family history classes or work in the Libraries & Archives sector and you would like a supply of the leaflets in printed form, please contact Emma Waltham, FFHS Marketing Assistant, emma@ffhs.org.uk 

Discover Your Ancestors
Discover Yor Ancestors coverThe 4th annual print edition of Discover Your Ancestors is a unique collection of original articles, written by experts, on a wide range of family and social history themes. Inside you’ll find a wealth of information and inspiration, helping you to trace your ancestors back through time and understand what their lives were actually like. Each issue of Discover Your Ancestors - which also has a digital edition, the Periodical, published online every month - is different, much bigger than a standard magazine, and amazing value. Issue 4 is packed with almost 200 pages, with well over 30 features covering everything from medieval records to life in a Victorian asylum, from DNA research to the history of spa towns.  Not only that, Issue 4 (available in newsagents from late March) has our first-ever cover DVD, with an amazing collection of resources and offers - including a FREE three-month subscription to TheGenealogist.co.uk - worth more than £130 in total.  Find out more at www.discoveryourancestors.co.uk!

What was it like to be a midwife before the foundation of the NHS?
The Midwife's Tale book cover‘The Midwife's Tale’, is a fascinating oral history of the lives of mothers and midwives in the first half of the twentieth century. Based on interviews conducted by Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap, this book tells the stories of these women, in their own words. It was first published in 1993 with a second edition in 2013 aimed at a new readership, opening up to them the intriguing, poignant and sometimes humorous accounts.

We have an ePub to giveaway. To enter this draw, send an email with ‘Midwife’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 17 April 2015.

The Royal College of Midwives
The Royal College of Midwives has produced a useful and informative leaflet, ‘Tracing Midwives in Your Family’. The leaflet aims to answer some of those questions you may have when you first set out to learn more about the members of your family who were midwives. You will also find some historical information about the midwifery profession: a basic understanding of this history will guide you in the right direction when it comes to looking for evidence in archives and libraries. Download a copy of the guide here and read about other resources available to family historians from the archives of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Photograph reproduced by kind permission of the Royal College of Midwives

Community Midwife on a Motorcycle

Index of Nuns
This is an index of approximately 14,000 nuns who were in the English Provence of their Order. It is arranged alphabetically by the surname of each nun and usually gives date of birth, names of parents, religious name, dates of profession, date and place of death and name of Order. The Catholic Family History Society provides a look up service which is free of charge to members and costs £5 for non-members. If you would like to request a search of the index, in the first instance please contact the society by email catholicfhs@ntlworld.com.  For more information about the society please visit their website.  A further free searchable database of Benedictine Monks and Nuns can be found at www.catholic-history.org.uk. From the home page click on the Planta tab then on the Monks and Nuns tab.

Tickets are now on sale for WDYTYA?LIVE at Birmingham’s NEC, 16 - 18 April 2015.  This year there will be three fantastic celebrity guests attending the show. The first guest, Reggie Yates, delighted everyone with his Ghanaian godfather’s story and his struggle with colonial Britain. Pop in and listen to him relive the experience. Tamzin Outhwaite fills the next spot, ready to share her family’s immigration ordeals and their first-hand experience with wartime prejudice. Last but not least, is Alistair McGowan, who’s joining the show to talk about how he took a trip around India to discover he is Irish.  Every year hundreds of genealogists descend on the show to guide you through your family’s history. Bring your photos and military memorabilia and immerse yourself in our diverse array of workshops. Come and satisfy your ancestral curiosity with us at the NEC!

The FFHS will be on Stand 212, why not come along and say hello? Our volunteers and representatives from the Federation of Family History Societies will be on hand to help and assist you. We have three pairs of tickets to give away.  To be in with a chance of winning, send an email to competitions@ffhs.org.uk with ‘WDYTYA’ in the subject line before 3 April 2015.

This Month's Book Giveaways

Tracing Your Ancestors' Parsh records book cover

Tracing Your Ancestors’ Parish Records by Stuart Raymond

Parish records are essential sources for family and local historians and Stuart Raymond's handbook is an invaluable guide to them. He explores and explains the fascinating and varied historical and personal information they contain. His is the first thorough survey of these resources to be published for over three decades.  Compelling insights into individual lives and communities in the past can be gleaned from them and they are especially useful when they are combined with other major sources, such as the census. Published by Pen & Sword.

We have one copy to give away.  To enter this draw, send an email with ‘Parish Register’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 17 April 2015.

The Black Country in the Great War by Michael Pearson 

The Black Country in the West Midlands is an important site for family historians. Many researchers, seeking to trace their ancestry back through the generations, will find their trail leads through it. In this accessible and informative introduction to the subject, Michael Pearson looks at the history and heritage of the region and gives a graphic insight into the world in which our ancestors lived. Published by Pen & Sword.  We have one copy to give away.  To enter this draw, send an email with ‘Black Country’ in the subject line to competitions@ffhs.org.uk before 17 April 2015.

Michael Pearson will be speaking at WDYTYA? LIVE on Friday 19 April 2015.  A full list of speakers at the show can be viewed here.

The Black Country in the Great War book cover

RMS LusitaniaThe Sinking of the Lusitania
The sinking of RMS Lusitania occurred on 7 May 1915; an event regarded as having been a turning point of the First World War. The ship was torpedoed by the German U-boat U20 and is reported to have gone down in 18 minutes off the coast of Ireland. The sinking was a contributory factor to the American entry into World War One. Of the known 1,960 people on board, 768 survived and 1,192 perished in the disaster. Four of those survivors died in the following months, bringing the numbers to 764 survivors and 1,196 victims. The Lusitania Resource website contains much information on its history, Passenger & Crew Biographies, and Lusitania Facts. The biographies are particularly poignant, such as that of First Class passenger Dorothy Braithwaite, a British subject from Montreal who celebrated her 25th birthday on board the Lusitania on 5 May 1915. Dorothy was on her way to see her two young sisters who had both been widowed on the same day, their husbands having been lost in action. Dorothy’s body, if recovered was not identified.  To read more biographies please visit the website.

The Gallipoli CampaignLandings at Gallipoli
2015 will be a significant year for Australians and New Zealanders as they join together to remember the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign. The centenary marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War which involved more than 550,000 Allied troops on land and in ships off the coast of Turkey during the Campaign. On ANZAC Day (25 April) there will be a Commonwealth and Ireland ceremony at the Helles Memorial in Turkey, the site of the largest ANZAC commemoration outside of Australia and New Zealand.  In London, there will be three separate events taking place on the 25 April.  For details please visit the Australian High Commission (UK) website.  Later in the year on 6 August, an event will take place at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth, centred on HMS M33, the last surviving ship from the campaign.  Please visit the Australian Memorial website for details of ceremonies taking place, exhibitions and links to ‘The Anzac Collections Project’ where you can read stories of ordinary people caught up in the extraordinary events of the war.

For details of ANZAC commemorations in New Zealand, please visit the New Zealand Government website which includes a useful and informative ‘Guide to Gallipoli’.  If you have a ‘Digger’ in your family the FFHS website has links to various Australian and New Zealand websites that may help you further your research.

14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry
The Congress will be taking place between 26-30 March 2015 in Canberra, Australia. It will provide a great opportunity for new and experienced family historians to hear many of the world’s best speakers on family history, genealogy and heraldry. The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc. and the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations Inc. (AFFHO) invite you to attend. David Holman, Chairman of the FFHS, will be giving a Keynote address, ‘Fascinating facts and figures from five centuries’ as well as speaking on other topics. For full details please visit the website and to find details of family history societies in Australasia, visit the website of AFFHO.

Hobbycrafts logoIf you are a keen hobbyist and crafter perhaps you are planning a visit to one of the shows taking place this month. Hobbycrafts will be at the NEC, Birmingham 19-21 March, 2015. You'll find all the latest crafts and hobbies plus all the materials and supplies you'll ever need! There'll also be workshops and free demonstrations to enjoy. The FFHS will be represented at the show where our representatives from societies based in the Midlands will be happy to assist you with your family history enquiries.

Please stop by our stand (C39), say hello and pick up a copy of the new 2015 issue of ‘our really useful information leaflet’! For show opening times and a list of exhibitors please visit the website.

Later in the month the FFHS will be represented at ‘The Stitching Sewing & Hobbycraft show’ taking place at ExCeL, London, 27-29 March 2015. If you are visiting, stop by our stand and say hello!  For details of show opening items and a full list of exhibitors please visit the website. 

Creative Craft Shows logo

Representatives for the North of Ireland FHS will be on Stand C14 at The Creative Craft Show taking place at The Kings Hall Complex, Belfast, 16-18 April 2015. They will be happy to help you with your family history enquiries. If you can't get to the show but have an interest in families who have roots in the North of Ireland, why not visit the society's website for information about how they can help you with your research.

Guild of One-Name Studies logo'Hatches, Matches and Despatches' Seminar
The Guild of One-Name Studies is holding a seminar on Saturday, 16 May 2015, in Preston, Lancashire. Non Guild members are especially welcome. The seminar titled ‘Hatches, Matches and Despatches’ will be based on new ways to tackle our favourite topics of birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial.  There will be a number of specialist speakers who will provide a new twist. To book a place or find out more details, please go to the website.  Bookings close on 3 May 2015. All bookings will be confirmed by email, with full joining instructions, on or before this date.


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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

Quaker FHS One Day Regional Meeting, 28 March 2015, Kirkgate, Settle
Unlocking Your Past Spring Family History Day, Cleveland FHS, 11 April  2015,  Richmond, North Yorkshire
Family History Fair and Lecture Day, 25 April 2015, Pudsey, Nr. Leeds
26th Annual Conference & Family History Fair, 25 April 2015, Stirling, Scotland
Lancashire Archives 75th Anniversary Celebrations (1940s Themes Events), 25 April 2015 , Preston, Lancs
The BIG Family History Fair, Huntingdonshire FHS, 2 May 2015, St. Ives, Cambs
South West Area Group Family History Fair, 16 May 2015, Weston-Super-Mare
Family & Local History Fair, Association of Family History Societies of Wales,16 May 2015, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth