Spotlight on Hillingdon Family History Society
John Symons introduces a family history society for those with ancestors from the north west of Greater London.
The society exists for people who live in or near what is now the London Borough of Hillingdon on the north western edge of Greater London, as well as those who have ancestral links to the area. Formed in 1987 from a local authority evening class it is a very active society with a dedicated band of volunteers to keep it running.
Based at the Hillingdon Park Baptist Church in Hercies Road, Hillingdon, its purpose is to encourage and assist family historians in developing their links with the past as comprehensively as possible. To this end a programme of monthly talks is arranged – some in the evenings and some in the afternoons – shared with the Hillingdon U3A Family History Group.
There are also weekly advice and research sessions on Friday mornings where one-to-one advice is available and knowledgeable volunteers help others either to get started or to try and break down those obstinate brick walls which we all face. Once a month these sessions move to the Hillingdon Local Studies Museum and Archive Service based at Uxbridge Library in association with the London Borough of Hillingdon. These Saturday morning sessions are particularly popular and advance booking is strongly recommended.
We are always keen to stress that despite having a natural focus on our local area, we will endeavour to assist anyone, irrespective of where their family originated. A small charge is levied at Hillingdon to help cover the costs of room hire, with a reduced fee for members.
A key strand of our activities is the recording and transcription of local records, and transcripts of parish registers, monumental inscriptions and school records in our area. Previously published on CDs, some will shortly be appearing on FindMyPast under the agreement with the Federation of Family History Societies, of which we are a member.
We also like to have a presence at local non-family history events and fairs as a means of attracting new people to the society and to demonstrate what is possible.
Each quarter a journal is produced for our members and an electronic version is also available for a reduced membership fee. Contributions come from our members, and also include summaries of meetings held and other matters of general and genealogical interest.
Most of our members live within Hillingdon and surrounding areas but a significant minority lives elsewhere in the UK and overseas, with ancestral links to the area. The electronic version of the journal is especially helpful to this latter group.
One of the challenges we face, as do many family history societies, is providing our members with benefits at a time when increasing volumes of material are readily available online. We aim to achieve this by sharing knowledge, best practices for organising research, keeping abreast of new developments and providing support for our members tailored to their precise research needs.
You do not need to be a member to attend either our talks or research sessions because we want to encourage anyone to try give us a try, but naturally we hope you will join, because a stronger membership helps us all.
At the time of writing our website is not available because of the problems at Rootsweb who host the site, but a new site is under development. In the interim our programme for 2018 is available here.
For any enquiries please e-mail.
How to join
UK/Europe annual membership is £12/ £16 family/ £14 rest of the world. Reduced fee PDF format membership is also available.