Pauline Litton awarded an MBE

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04 January 2013
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Pauline-Litton-2-300x199-39804.jpg Pauline Litton MBE
Words by Family Tree Founding Director Michael Armstrong Pauline Litton, one of the best known names in family history for man

Words by Family Tree Founding Director Michael Armstrong

Pauline Litton, one of the best known names in family history for many years was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours listings for Services to Genealogy and Family History.

Pauline tells us she first became interested in the subject in 1968 while living in London. In those days it cost 1s 6d to make a 'particular search' (for an individual) in the General Register Office indexes (in Somerset House - the only complete set available for England & Wales) for a period of five successive years, and £1 10s for a six-hour general search in the indexes. Certificates were 3s 9d (they rose to 7s 6d by 1970). How things have changed since then, she says.

In 1973 Pauline and her husband Roger moved to Cheshire where she became involved with family history in that part of the country, becoming Editor of the North Cheshire Family History Society Magazine from 1974 to 1985 and Secretary between 1976 and 1985.

Since that time she has been:

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  • Council member of the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) (1979-1988);
  • Publications committee member – FFHS (1982-1994)
  • Honorary editor of Family History News and Digest for the FFHS (1982-1988)
  • Vice chairman of the FFHS (1982-1985); secretary to council 1987-1989
  • Series editor of the ‘Basic facts about …’ series of 27 booklets for the FFHS (1995-2007)
  • Secretary – Ripon Family History Group (1990-1994)
  • Editor – Family History Journal, Ripon Historical Society (1991-1997)
  • Life vice president, the FFHS 1997
  • Genealogical consultant to Family Tree Magazine (1991-2001) and to Practical Family History magazine (1997-2001).
  • President – Harrogate Family History Society (2007)
  • Member of the Yorkshire Regional Museums Libraries and Archives Council (2001-2007)
  • Secretary – Yorkshire Parish Register Section (1999-)
  • Council member – Yorkshire Archaeological Society (and, for six years, was a trustee of the charity) (1999-).

Pauline’s very useful series in Family Tree entitled 'Pitfalls and Possibilities in Family History Research' running from 1998 to 2001 was eventually updated and published in book form by the same name in 2010. You can buy a copy from our shop, or a CD version from pitfallsandpossibilities.co.uk.