Volunteers are the life-blood of the society


08 December 2017
6-Cambridgeshire-FHS-00003.jpg Cambridgeshire FHS
Caroline Norton from Cambridgeshire FHS talks to us about why volunteers are the life-blood of the society

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 Cambridgeshire FHS has some great accomplishments under its belt— how do the contributions of volunteers make these successes possible?

A (Caroline Norton) Our volunteers are the life-blood of CFHS’s transcriptions projects which in turn generate funds to support further projects with the Archives and Local Studies Library. Four decades of volunteer effort has allowed the society to produce quality transcriptions from name-rich records, so giving researchers, world-wide, access to local records and helping to conserve the often-fragile original documents.

Q Explain the society’s research tools … ‘SuperSearch’ and ‘AncestorFinder

A Both research tools are accessed via the Cambs FHS website, and are open to all users.

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SuperSearch is a database of names linked to items in the CFHS Shop, and offers users a name search ‘taster’, to see which transcription CDs/downloads feature a particular name.

AncestorFinder is our new venture, and offers ‘tailored’ access to some 4 million full transcriptions of Cambridgeshire records on a pay-to-view basis. Full transcriptions of the selected records can be viewed/downloaded using ‘tokens’ purchased via the secure website, for the equivalent of 25p or less per record.

Q If someone’s thinking of joining the society, what would you say to them .

A If you have Cambridgeshire research interests, or just happen to live in the area … come on in! Our varied meetings programme will suit all interests, and we offer a wealth of expertise … we are not just ‘all about Cambridgeshire’. Support our projects, and altruistically, put something back into family history.

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!