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Welcome to the May 2015 Edition of the FFHS Ezine                                                         No 53

Society Spotlight: Cornwall Family History Society

We welcome W.I.S.E. FHS

Could you be a Trustee of FFHS?

70th Anniversary of VE Day

First air raid attack on London

Battle of Waterloo 18 June 1815

This Month's Book Giveaways

Daniel Craig’s roots revealed

The Welsh settlers of Patagonia

Magna Carta signed 800 years ago

Yorkshire Family History Fair

Treasure Hunt

WDYTYA? Magazine

Our Really Useful Information Leaflet 2015

Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook

Book Reviews

Diary Dates

Advertise with us

Competition Winners

Society Spotlight

Cornwall Family History Society (CFHS)


Cornwall FHS LogoThe Cornwall Family History Society was set up as a charity, in 1976, with the aim of becoming a “Centre of Excellence’ to encourage and facilitate research into Cornish family history. This has been achieved by the development of a database of over 5 million parish records, plus monumental inscriptions. These data are available to our members via our website or the public can call in at our research library at 18 Lemon Street, Truro, which contains an extensive range of Cornish history books and family trees.  Access to our database is available and our library volunteers will be happy to assist you.  All members receive a quarterly journal, which not only contains fascinating articles, but also allows worldwide exchange of information between members.

Our volunteer researchers work for members all over the world.  This has arisen because of Cornwall’s mining heritage. In the 17th and 18th century Cornish copper and tin miners were renowned as the world’s best hard rock miners. When the Cornish mining industry went into serious decline in the latter part of the 18th century, poverty drove tens of thousands of these miners to take their skills abroad and at this time it was said that if you looked into a hole anywhere in the world, you would find a Cornishman at the bottom of it.

Our latest, ambitious project has been the creation of a free website called “Cornwall’s War History”. This database contains information on over 10,500 people who were either Cornish or who died or appear on war memorials in Cornwall. Photographs, military service histories and details of graves and memorials have been researched for those who fought in any of the conflicts since World War 1.

For more information on CFHS, please visit the website or contact the Secretary on 01872 264044.

We welcome W.I.S.E. FHS
The Federation of Family History Societies is pleased to announce that it welcomed W.I.S.E. as a new associate member in April. The Wales-Ireland-Scotland-England (W.I.S.E.) Family History Society (FHS) is located in Denver, Colorado, USA. It focuses on family history and genealogy research specific to the British Isles. Established in 1983, the society has over 200 members and publishes a quarterly WISE Words newsletter. For more on the society please visit the website.

FFHS logoCould you be a Trustee of FFHS?
Are you looking for a new challenge? Do you have time to spare? Do you have skills and expertise you are willing to share? If so, could you be a trustee of the FFHS?

The Board is currently seeking additional trustees and welcomes enquiries particularly from individuals with a specific interest in Communications/IT as well as Publicity/Marketing. The FFHS is managed by a small friendly group of trustees from varied backgrounds 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. It is expected that applicants will have an interest in family history. Deadline for expressions of interest and to request further information by Friday 19 June 2015 to:  David Lambert, Company Secretary, legal@ffhs.org.uk or by post to FFHS Registered Office, 2 Primrose Avenue, Urmston, Manchester M41 OTY.

VE Day celebrations in London 8 May 1945.  Image from IMW collection.70th Anniversary of VE Day
World War 2 combat ended in Europe on 8 May 1945, Victory in Europe Day, when German forces agreed to an unconditional surrender in Rheims, France. As thoughts turn to those who served, there are an increasing number of records available to family historians whose relatives took part.

A Government website offers a service for those seeking information on deceased service men and women. There is a charge of £30 to apply for a record but this is waived for requests from those who were the spouse of the subject at the time of death.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission keeps a free register of details of Commonwealth war dead, so that graves or names on memorials can be located.

The Imperial War Museum holds a rich archive from World War 2. For an insight into its resources and events, browse the website.  There are a number of websites which are collecting names and photographs from war memorials located around the UK, such as Roll of Honour. You have the option of searching for a memorial or to contribute to these databases. The commercial website, Forces War Records has a name search facility, however, please note a monthly subscription fee is charged.

The day after VE Day, 9 May 1945, the Channel Islands were liberated by the British, ending 5 years of German occupation. Jersey Archive has recently uploaded images of over 30,000 occupation registration cards from World War 2, a fascinating new digital archive.  For help with family history research in the Channel Islands, contact the Channel Islands Family History Society and La Societe Guernesiaise (FHS).

The image is from the collection at the Imperial War Museum.

First air raid attack on London
You may be surprised to learn that The Blitz wasn’t the first time London was subjected to air raids. One hundred years ago, on 30 May 1915, a Zeppelin air strike succeeded in dropping 120 incendiary bombs over the capital. The Zeppelin first bombed Stoke Newington, before travelling on to Stepney and then Leytonstone. Seven people died and 35 were injured in this terrifying attack. These London raids continued until 1917. A map showing a selection of the routes the air ships took along with the number of casualties is available here. Ian Castle has also written a book on the air-ship attacks: London 1914-17: The Zeppelin Menace, published by Osprey.

Battle of Waterloo 18 June 1815
Did your ancestor serve in the Napoleonic Wars? It is 200 years since the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 2015. Our Really Useful Information Leaflet 2015 has two articles to help you find out more about those who served in the Army and Navy at this time.  Simon Fowler’s article focuses on Army records. The British victory at Waterloo was the zenith of a 20 year campaign against, first, French revolutionaries, then Napoleon Bonaparte. Simon runs through medal rolls, service and pension records, and muster rolls, as well as other more unusual sources.  Download Our Really Useful Information Leaflet to read his in-depth article, and also Keith Gregson’s piece on tracing ancestors from ‘Nelson’s Navy’.

This Month's Book Giveaways

Book Cover

Researching your Ancestors in the North of Ireland – County Tyrone by the North of Ireland Family History Society

A treasure trove of information, this book starts with a brief description of County Tyrone, its lands, maps and surveys, before moving on to a wide variety of genealogical sources.  Throughout the book each topic includes references to online sources, many of which would be useful for other counties. All in all a handy sized reference book.

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

The Lost Ancestor by Nathan Dylan Goodwin
A Morton Farrier Forensic Genealogist Story, published by Good Reads

This is the second book in what promises to be series of crime mysteries with a genealogical twist. The hero is Morton Farrier who works as a ‘forensic’ genealogist. He is asked to find the aunt of a dying client. Morton embarks on an interesting genealogical journey with surprises and danger. Morton follows up leads and traces the family history of the Mercers, using aids known to family historians.

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

For more on these books and other recent publications of interest to family historians visit the FFHS website.

The Lost Ancestor book cover

Daniel Craig and cove rof Discover Your AncestorsDaniel Craig’s roots revealed
The new, print edition of the family and social history magazine, Discover Your Ancestors, has exclusive research into the roots of Hollywood star Daniel Craig, who later this year will be starring as James Bond for the fourth time. Expert genealogist Laura Berry used wills, parish records and biographical sources at TheGenealogist to discover that Craig descends from a long line of action men and overseas adventurers, such as the swashbuckling 18th century dandy Sir William Burnaby and Huguenot hero Daniel Chamier, who was mortally wounded in the 17th century Siege of Montaubon. You can read the whole story, as well as more than 30 fascinating features packed with inspiration and advice, in the 4th annual issue of Discover Your Ancestors, available from newsagents or here. Plus this issue has an exclusive cover DVD with more than £130 worth of offers and data. You can also sign up at the website to its monthly, digital sister magazine, the Periodical.

The Welsh settlers of Patagonia
On 28 May 1865, a group of around 150 intrepid Welsh emigrants sailed to Patagonia, South America, on the tea-clipper Mimosa. They were leaving Wales in the hope of setting up a colony where their Welsh language and culture would be protected, as they felt it was threatened at home. They arrived in South America two months later, naming their new settlement, Porth Madryn. In spite of the hardships they faced, the colony survived and as a result, 50,000 Patagonians of Argentina can now claim Welsh heritage and 5,000 still speak Welsh. In association with the National Library of Wales, the Glaniad website tells more of the settlers’ story, and includes photos and letters. There will also be an exhibition running at the National Library of Wales from 23 May to 12 December 2015, entitled 'Gwladfa'.  For a list of the 1865 settlers see Wikipedia. One of the assembly points for the settlers preparing to leave Wales was Aberdare, which is in the area covered by Glamorgan Family History Society. Please visit the website for more information about the society, its events and publications.

Magna Carta signed 800 years ago
On 15 June 1215, King John sealed the Magna Carta in Runnymede. Largely an agreement on issues affecting the Barons and the King, it has nonetheless become an influential document throughout the world. Because of the ideas expressed within it: such as ‘free’ men should be given a fair trial, it has come to represent liberty and freedom.  Events celebrating its 800th anniversary are ongoing throughout the year. The British Library’s exhibition, ‘Magna Carta: Law, Liberty and Legacy’ runs until 1 September 2015.

Yorkshire Family History Fair
The 20th Yorkshire Family History Fair will take place on Saturday 27 June 2015 from 10am to 4.30pm, at The Knavesmire Exhibition Centre, The Racecourse, York YO23 1EX. One of the largest family-history shows in the UK, it attracts exhibitors from all over the UK and Ireland. The FFHS will have a stand, so do come along and say hello! You don't have to have Yorkshire Ancestors to come to this fair – they can be from anywhere! Everyone is very welcome and there will be lots to see. There will be plenty of parking, refreshments are available all day and there are over 70 exhibitors on three floors. The whole place is wheelchair friendly. Admission for adults costs £4.50, while children under 14 enter free. You can book tickets here (at the time of writing there was a promotion offer of buy one ticket, get one free).

Treasure Hunt
Devon Family History society's Acorn Club organises fun activities for children. The next event is a Treasure Hunt on 25 May at Devonport Park, Plymouth. Meet at the Pavilion Cafe anytime between 11-2 pm. Everyone who visits the places on the map receives a certificate and a badge. The best three entries will receive a prize. Details of future events will be posted at www.devonfhs.org.uk/acornclub.


The 100th edition of Who Do You Think You Are? magazine is now available. In her feature: ‘100 BEST FREE online resources for family historians’, Sarah Williams, Editor, acknowledges the specialist knowledge held by family history societies and writes 'by enlisting their input I have been able to include some unsung heroes in my top 100'. To download the issue go to the website.


Our Really Useful Information Leaflet 2015
If you are involved with a family/local history group, are a tutor who runs family history classes or works in the Libraries and Archives sector, and you would like a supply of the FFHS’s Our Really Useful Information Leaflet 2015 in printed form, please contact Emma Waltham, FFHS Marketing Assistant, emma@ffhs.org.uk. Alternatively, you can download a copy on our website.

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Book Reviews

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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

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Diary Dates

For a list of events visit GENEVA

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
Guild of One-name Studies: Hatches, Matches and Despatches, 16 May 2015, Preston
FIBIS Spring Open Meeting, 23 May 2015, London
Shropshire Family History Society Fair 2015, 6 June 2015, Shrewsbury
Wiltshire Family History Society, 20 June 2015, Trowbridge
Yorkshire Family History Fair, 27 June 2015, York