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12 December 2017
10-FACHRS-Angela-Blaydon-23170.JPG FACHRS
Angela Blaydon from Family and Community Historical Research Society (FACHRS) tells us about the society with a difference.

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 Family and Community Historical Research Society (FACHRS) is a society with a difference, combining family and community history. What sort of opportunities does this allow?

A (Angela Blaydon) Our aim is to discover more about the lives and communities of our ancestors. To this end we carry out research projects. Our major projects consist of in-depth research: first, subjects to research are canvassed from society members and academia. Volunteer researchers are then given a brief of requirements to research and finally, all information is analysed. Previous research includes: The Swing Riots of 1830-32; allotments; school log books; almshouses; and the Home Front 1914-1915. The results are either produced in a society book or booklet/s, or a series of papers are submitted to our academic peer-reviewed Journal, Family and Community History. All raw material is made available on our members only section of our website. Around 20 per cent of the membership volunteer for these two-year projects.

In addition to our major projects, we also conduct mini ones. These are extremely popular – around 50% or more volunteer. Based on the census returns, details of an individual are sent to each member who volunteers and require around two hours of desk research. Recent subjects have been: census enumerators, bank managers, station masters, post mistresses, and rural policemen.

All projects have regular contact via e-mail and major projects also have group meetings. Membership of FACHRS widens the knowledge base of the individual through local research, as well as expanding their understanding of the society in which their ancestors lived and worked.

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FACHRS is celebrating its 20th Anniversary next year and will be celebrating this at its annual conference to be held on 12 May 2018 at the Premier Inn, Fosse Park, Leicester, to include talks on past research projects.

Find out more about the society at

To find out more about family history societies, buy the Christmas issue of Family Tree, in the shops now, priced £5.99 and bagged with the Family History Handbook. The Handbook is packed with behind-the-scenes interviews with key family history society members and a directory of family history societies worldwide. Now SOLD OUT from the Family Tree website but still available from your newsagents or download the digital version here!