18 December 2017
Anne Ross from West Surrey FHS talks to us about the many opportunities and projects the society offers
In a town near you, there’s likely an enthusiastic band of family historians - your local family history society members. These hardworking volunteers run family history societies to help teach people about family history and work to preserve the historic records of the area for the future. The range of historic projects they are involved in is vast. Read on for an inspiring example…
Q West Surrey FHS seems as though it must be one of the larger societies, holding meetings at several venues as it does. What sort of opportunities does this provide?
A (Anne Ross) West Surrey FHS is one of the earliest established societies and has always strived to promote family history and bring records into the public domain. Our Director of Research, Cliff Webb, keeps the volunteers busy. The results of these activities have produced over 300 titles of research aids, records and CDs. These cover the ancient county of Surrey and, because people crossed the Thames, there are publications to assist research in London.
The society meets in Camberley, Farnham, Guildford, Walton-on-Thames and Woking where the activities are co-ordinated by the centre leaders who ensure a balanced program across the groups, as well as meeting local interests. Most of the meetings are in the evening, however Farnham’s are always in the afternoon. Activities include talks, members’ meetings where problems can be aired and knowledge shared, and occasional walks and outings. All members are welcome to attend any venue.
Members receive the quarterly magazine, Root and Branch, have access to the members only area of the website, which includes Surrey index of names and monumental inscriptions, and there are always opportunities to volunteer for a variety of activities including transcribing, indexing, checking data as well as helping with the day to day running of the society.
To find out more about family history societies, the Family History Handbook is packed with behind-the-scenes interviews with key family history society members and a directory of family history societies worldwide!