GENUKI has links to Societies. From the U.K and Ireland page, choose the topic Societies. This links to www.genuki.org.uk/Societies/ (moved since book was printed) which gives a list of family history societies. There is a page for each country, and a list of specialist societies like those for particular religions. There are also links from the Societies topic in each county of GENUKI. These give the appropriate family history societies, and may also give some local history, archaeology etc. societies.
It is always worth looking at the website of the appropriate society, as well as the GENUKI pages for the county and place of interest. Sometimes they are well integrated - you may find the Society page maintained by the same person as the GENUKI page. But sometimes the Society page has information which you would have expected to be on the GENUKI pages.
As well as looking at societies for areas you are researching, it is always worth looking at the website of a society in the area where you live. You will find meetings, courses, family history fairs, bookshops, often a library with reference books and the opportunity to borrow journals of other societies. And if you want to help with transcribing and indexing projects, it may be more convenient to help your local society.
Example 6.1 shows the topics on the front page of the Gloucestershire Family History Society site (as it was when this book was written). The page also has a map showing the location of Gloucestershire within England. Most societies have a variety of indexes, produced over the years by their members. Often you can either purchase appropriate parts of the index, or have the society perform a search for you. This has been described in the Transcripts and Indexes Chapter, for Bristol and Avon FHS, see example 3.8.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY (GFHS)
Registered Charity No. 296959 - (The Society is a Member of the Federation of Family History Societies.)
|Caption: Example 6.1 Gloucestershire FHS web pages - the layout was later changed to give more explanation, and moved to www.gfhs.org.uk/|
The Gloucestershire FHS gives information about indexes, but not the information in the index. Example 6.2 shows the different approach of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Great Britain. This starts by inviting the reader to search the site by surname or town, or to try the Family Finder.
|Want a quick start on this site?|
|Caption: Example 6.2 from http://www.jgsgb.org.uk/ - web pages of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Great Britain (links have changed since book was published)|
Most Societies have lists of their own events on their web sites. GENUKI also has a diary of events, intended for open days, conferences, courses, fairs, etc. Example 6.3 shows an extract from GENEVA, The GENUKI diary of GENealogical EVents and Activities.
Example 6.3 was of dates in the year 2000 on geneva maintained by Malcolm Austen on GENUKI pages (the web address changed in 2004)
There are many lectures and courses in family history run by local education authorities and by societies. As an example of courses available, example 6.4 is a description of the Institute for Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, which provides courses both at Canterbury and by correspondence. It is followed by an extract from their list of courses.
|Caption: Example 6.4 (from heading)|
|The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies is an independent educational, charitable trust established in Canterbury in 1961 to provide full academic facilities for those who wish to acquire skills in family history research and subjects auxiliary to history. Day and residential courses at several levels are organised throughout the year. Part-time and tutorial courses by correspondence are also available and accredited.|
|Nonconformity||Day School||13 May|
|Tracing your Family History||Residential Course||24-28 July|
|Tracing your Family History||Residential Course||7-11 August|
|Parish Chest||Day School||14 October|
|House History||Residential Course||17-19 November|
|Caption: Example 6.4 from www.ihgs.ac.uk/ from calendar on web pages of The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (dates are in the year 2000).|
Most societies are active in transcribing and indexing records in their area. Some of these are published as national co-operative projects - the indexing of the 1881 census in conjunction with the Church of Latter-Day Saints of Jesus Christ is the most notable example. The National Burial Index in preparation is another - you will find that some societies provide access to their part of it, the first edition of a national index will be published in 2000. Starting in the 1970s, most societies have indexed major parts of the 1851 census; the results of this are published or made available by the individual societies. Another project which was agreed nationally but pursued locally is the recording of memorial inscriptions; most societies have a continuing programme of recording inscriptions. This is included as one of the Berkshire Family History Society projects shown in example 6.5. They also have a project to index Poor Law records. There is an enormous amount of information available in these; indexing will help all family historians.
|The following Projects are in progress:
|Caption: Example 6.5 from www.berksfhs.org.uk/ - web pages of Berkshire Family History Society|
I will end this book by showing the co-operation and help available through societies. Example 6.6 shows how Essex Society for Family History offer help. Sometimes this type of help is publicised to members of a society, here it is more public.
|Do you need some assistance with your
Free general advice and help, especially for beginners who wish to trace their ancestry can be obtained by writing to the Secretary enclosing a stamped and addressed envelope or by sending an e-mail.
The following people have specialist knowledge of the subjects shown below which they are prepared to share with other members.
|Caption: Example 6.6 , moved to http://www.esfh.org.uk/ see menu item "help", from the web pages of Essex Society for Family History.|
I have removed the names and emails of the people offering help from the example - they change over time. But to give an idea of the scope, they offer help on General Enquiries, Monumental Inscriptions, and Roman Catholic questions for Essex. There is also help from different people with knowledge of specific areas of the county: Broomfield, Chelmsford, Chignal St James, Great Baddow, Harlow, Ilford area.
I hope this book will help you to obtain assistance with your family history, from GENUKI and from societies. Happy hunting!
End of Chapter 6 of GENUKI Book by David Hawgood. Amended 15 Oct 2008
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