The Federation & the future
A look at the Federation of Family History Societies – motoring strong since 1974!
An interest in family history has been around forever. Think of the Icelandic family sagas (Íslendingasögur), or prestigious pedigree charts rich in heraldry scrolling back in time. But something happened in the 20th century (world wars, families on the move, increasing literacy, leisure time and a sense of equality…) that opened up the study of our ancestors’ lives as a topic for everyone to join in with. And back in the early days of this brave new world of family history – the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) was established.
Why the Federation matters
From its inception in 1974 it has created an international network of family history societies – aimed at supporting the local family history society in a town near you, and at co-ordinating volunteers and funding for impressive national projects too – such as:
- The World War I Conscription Appeals Project (funded by the FFHS and the Friends of The National Archives) saw the digitisation of records of more than 8,000 men who sought not to fight in the First World War – at a time when their fellows were being called to do so.
- The National Burial Index includes the 18.4 million ancestors’ burials – the details of which were carefully recorded by volunteer members of family history societies.
- And the Manorial Documents Register – in which the FFHS is funding part of the costs of digitising the manorial documents registers for four counties (Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland and Kent) – helping family historians find records to explore their ancestors back to Medieval times!
Next year, the Federation of Family History Societies, working in partnership with Family Tree magazine, is stepping out in an exciting new move – Family Tree Live. A brand new two-day family history event to be held at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace, 26 & 27 April 2019. To find out more & grab your tickets click here!