The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is an educational charity. We support, inform and advise our membership, which consists of family history societies and similar bodies across the world.
To achieve our mission, we:
- co-ordinate and assist the work of organisations interested in family history, genealogy and heraldry
- foster co-operation and projects that help researchers
- represent the interests of family historians, especially in the preservation and availability of archives
You can read more about our activities on our "What We Do" page.
Send In Your Census Shopping List
Ever since 1841, the census has created comprehensive snapshots of information about people living in the British Isles. Each census is a vital source for family historians - including those in a 100 years' time who will want to find out about us and our contemporaries.
The next census in England and Wales will take place in 2021. To help prepare for this, the Office for National Statistics is asking the public which types of information they think should be included. It is important to focus on details that we need to know about each person but were not fully covered in 2011, such as:
- Names in full, including maiden names
- Full place of birth - i.e. village, town or city; county (or local equivalent) and country.
The census consultation website is only a click away.
This opportunity is open to everyone, whether individuals or organisations. You can answer as many or as few of the questions as you wish.
Don't delay in having your say - the closing date is Thursday 27 August 2015.
The Federation has already submitted its own response to the consultation. You are welcome to include material from it, if you wish, when you send in your own response.
35,000 pages scanned a week
In September 1939, the Government compiled a National Register of the entire civilian population of England and Wales. This was to help in issuing ration books and identity cards as well as administering the call-up for the armed forces. The names, address, sex, age occupation, marital condition and any membership of the armed forces were recorded for each individual.
These detailed records of some 40 million people are held by The National Archives and currently being digitised prior to release on the FindMyPast website. For privacy reasons, information about living people will be kept closed for 100 years from their year of birth, or until proof of death has been confirmed. The contents of the Register will be of particular help in future research as the 1931 census records were destroyed and there was no census in 1941, resulting in a 30-year gap after 1921.
You can sign up to to hear about progress of the project.
The 7,000 volumes that contain these records are being conserved and scanned at the rate of 35,000 pages a week. A short video gives a glimpse of behind the scenes activity in the digitisation exercise.
Nearly 2 Million Criminal Records
The FindMyPast website is well-known for hosting a wide range of family history information and indexes contributed by our member societies.
The existing collections have recently been joined by 1.9 million indexed records of criminals from the period 1779-1936. Details included vary from a relatively simple record of the name, date of conviction, offence and sentence to much more lengthy accounts of previous misbehaviour, medical records whilst in gaol and even in some cases the names and addresses of people a convict corresponded with.
Now is your chance to seek out your lawless ancestors and relations and spice up your family history with their stories.
Book Reviews for You
If you are wondering what to read this summer, why not visit the Book Review section of this site?
Our reviewers have delved into a total of 40 books that cover a wide range of topics relating to family history. There must be at least one in the collection suitable for your summer holiday reading.
Really Useful For You
Family historians across the world are delighted to greet the 2015 edition of our "Really Useful Leaflet" (RUL).
This publication includes a wealth of help for everyone interested in exploring their families' stories. It is one of the best places in existence for readers to find the latest information about the societies and websites that can help with research and in contacting like-minded enthusiasts. Answers are given to many questions about how to make best use of particular sources and this year we have two specially commissioned articles about Navy and Army records.
In its 24 pages, RUL offers a great deal more than appears in most leaflets.
You can download your free copy of RUL now. Paper copies will be available for collection at the many events that the Federation will attend during 2015 and also at the meetings of many of the family history societies.