Buckinghamshire Family History Society was formed in 1976 to encourage and promote the study of family history in the county (both the current county and the pre-1974 county).
The Society currently has over 1,700 members and caters for both those with Bucks ancestry (who may live at a distance) and for those who live locally whose ancestors may have lived elsewhere.
Regular Society meetings are held in Aylesbury, Bourne End and Bletchley. Most meetings have a speaker although we do have occasional themed meetings where members are invited to talk on a subject from their family history research. Some meetings at each venue cover computer related subjects. The Society also holds an annual Open Day event in July, providing a “one-stop shop” for family historians, of resources both specific to Bucks (Society libraries, databases, helpdesks, local heritage organisations) and also those of more general interest (guest societies, talks, selected commercial suppliers).
The Society is affiliated to the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society, the Buckinghamshire Record Society and Bourne End (Bucks) Community Association.
Members receive a quarterly magazine, Origins, and we have published many transcriptions, including complete 1851 Census for Bucks, parish registers, session records (all available for purchase from our website shop) and we are currently digitising school log books and many other records relating to Bucks. We maintain a Directory of Members' Interests which is constantly updated and we have many other names indexes and databases, as well as library resources, available to members.
If you have interests in Bucks or live in the area please consider joining the Society. We have a depth of knowledge of researching family history and of Buckinghamshire which we are sure you will find very useful. We have an active membership with many opportunities for meeting fellow members at the regular local group meetings and Open Day.
With the start of the academic year in September, you might be considering furthering your knowledge of family history through one of the many courses on offer. Pharos Teaching offer online courses and have recently teamed up with the Guild of One Name Studies and the Society of Genealogists to offer the distance learning Certificate of Family History Skills and Strategies. Other online courses include the Correspondence Course offered by the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies and a Postgraduate Certificate in Family and Local History offered by Dundee University. Entry requirements will vary for each course. Also, many family history societies offer useful talks and surgeries and courses , some of which are open to non members for a small entry cost. Whether you wish to enhance your research skills or study towards a professional qualification have a look at the FFHS Education page to find a course to suit your needs.
The National Archives has provided free access to thousands of Victorian workhouse and poor law records. Living the Poor Life involved more than 200 volunteers including family historians and was part of an 18 month long project which has culminated in this new online resource. The collection which includes records from 21 Poor Law Unions holds the correspondence between the union and the central authorities and provides a fascinating insight to life in the workhouse. There is a wealth of information from details of individual paupers, cases of neglect and cruelty, and workhouse staff to education, building work, local politics and labour history, such as trade unions, Chartism and friendly societies. There are more than 115,000 scanned original images from 108 volumes of records, searchable by place, name and subject. All the records start at 1834, the year of the Poor Law Amendment Act which was introduced to centralise poor relief administration. Previously this had been the responsibility of the parish.
Have you considered membership of a Family History Society to help further your research? You may have just begun your research, you may have been researching your ancestors for some years or you may be stuck in a rut. Membership of a society can sometimes help to re-energize and further your research. Societies produce regular journals sometimes with articles about the local history of the area. Most societies produce surname lists - where you may discover others researching the same name. You may even discover distant cousins who hold the key to unlocking the mystery of Great Uncle George and they may even have a photograph of a shared ancestor. It is worth joining a society local to where you live, even if your ancestors do not come from the area, you can meet up with other family historians to share problems and successes. Membership is relatively inexpensive and is paid annually. The cost of membership and what each society offers varies.
We would like to hear your success stories of how being a member of a family history society has helped you with your research.
Ancestry has launched the Casualties of the Boer War 1899-1902 collection. The collection contains more than 55,000 records of British soldiers who were captured, wounded or killed during the 2nd Boer War. The war which began in October 1899 and continued for a further 3 years is known as the Second Boer War. There will be many researchers who will have ancestors missing from the 1901 census as they were away fighting in South Africa so this data may prove useful. Dysentery, typhoid fever and intestine infections account for 12,000 deaths in the collection; 86 British Troops were killed or injured by lightning and one soldier who was eaten by a crocodile at the Usutu River.
October is Black History month in the UK. Its aim is to promote knowledge of Black History, Culture and Heritage, to disseminate information on positive Black contributions to British Society and to heighten the confidence and awareness of Black people to their cultural heritage. The Black history in Britain does not begin with slavery. There have been people of African and Asian origin in Britain for at least 2,000 years with Elizabeth I so worried by the numbers she issued a proclamation complaining about them. During the reign of James II, on 29th September 1687 John Moore bought the Freedom of the City of York and must have been successful and wealthy to do so. He is referred to on the Freeman’s Roll as ‘John Moore – blacke’.
We have a copy of ‘The Oxford Companion to Black History’ to giveaway. To win a copy of the book send an email with ‘John Moore’ in the subject line to email@example.com
Society of Genealogists: The Library has a good section on the West Indies, containing books about the different islands and transcripts of parish registers. It also has 'Caribbeana', a series of publications containing transcripts of all kinds of records relating to the British West Indies.
Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts 23rd - 26th September. Westpoint Centre Exeter
In 1948 Tommy Harrison was awarded a book titled ‘The Children’s Own Book of the World’ from St. Paul’s Presbyterian Sunday School. If you are Tommy Harrison or are related to him we can put you in touch with the person who is the current owner of the book and would like to return it to its original owner or proven descendent.
Still looking for that elusive burial? The National Burial Index contains over 18.4 million records taken from Anglican parishes, Non-Conformist, Quaker and Roman Catholic cemetery burials throughout England and Wales, all on a single CD. The cost is £30 for first time purchasers or £15 to upgrade from NBI2. Both prices are inclusive of postage and packaging and VAT for overseas customers. For further details including an order form and coverage charts,
To read reviews of recently published books of interest to family historians
The FFHS announced the winners of the Elizabeth Simpson Award
2010 at its General Meeting in Bristol.
The FFHS are grateful to ABM Publishing, publishers of Family Tree & Practical Family History and Diamond Publishing, publishers of Family History Monthly who generously sponsor the awards.
The reading rooms at Kew will be undergoing some essential redevelopment during autumn 2010. As a result, the Map and Large Document Reading Room will be closed for two weeks. This is scheduled for Tuesday, 30 November to Saturday, 11 December inclusive.
The National Archives are introducing a new car parking system.
Lutterworth LE17 9BJ
you require a printed copy of the FFHS Ezine please contact: