Putting the ‘family’ into ‘family history’


05 December 2017
John Beresford from the Beresford Family Society discusses the one-name study in this expert blog

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…

John Beresford from the Beresford Family Society discusses the one-name study in this expert blog!

Q Being a one-name study, the Beresford Family Society has a specific research interest, but with your twice-yearly gatherings it definitely seems to put the ‘family’ into ‘family history’. 

A (John Beresford) The Beresford Family Society was established over 35 years ago, and aims to contact as many Beresfords as possible to make them aware of their family’s ancient origins on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border, to learn more about our rich heritage and to share our research into our history and family trees.

We have been fortunate in being able to build on the publications of earlier Beresford historians, such as A History of the Manor of Beresford (1908), The Book of the Beresfords (1977) and more recently The House of Beresford Vols. I & II. These histories, with their many family trees, form the framework for much of our research today, with our members seeking to connect themselves to the master pedigree and with each other.

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In the Society there is a strong emphasis on ‘family’, connecting also with members abroad, especially in Canada, USA and Australia. To keep in touch with members, we produce a quarterly Magazine with 20 A4 pages in colour and have a website (www.beresfordfamilysociety.org) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/beresfordfamilysociety).

Every year in the UK we hold a Spring Gathering based on Fenny Bentley and Beresford Dale in Derbyshire, as well as an Autumn Gathering further afield, usually visiting historic venues with a Beresford connection.

Q What would you say to anyone thinking of joining?

A To our fellow Beresfords we say - you belong to an historic family with origins in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, whose ancestors fought at Crecy and Agincourt, and which has produced many notable descendants. Explore your own family trees and join in with other Beresfords as we find out more about our history and origins.

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!

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