Other News


Some news items we have picked up which may be of interest to our members/readers.
Also details of forthcoming events in the field of Family History.


New visiting hours for West Glamorgan Archive Service


Births & Deaths – Extra Indexes and Temporary Price Cuts
Major changes are about to affect our access to records of births and deaths in England & Wales.
Until recently, the only way to consult indexes of birth and death registrations online and free of charge was by visiting theFreeBMD website. FreeBMD will continue to be useful to many researchers. However, for some searches, newly released indexes on the General Register Office (GRO) site will also be helpful. They cover these periods:
·         Births (July 1837-December 1915)
·         Deaths (July 1837-December 1957)
Unlike all other indexes, the new GRO ones include these details for all years back to 1837:
·         Births = the mother’s maiden name
·         Deaths = the age at death.
The new GRO indexes are very cumbersome to use as you have to specify the year (plus or minus up to only 2 years) and also the gender of the person concerned.
Temporary price cuts
The GRO is now legally able to issue registration information other than as a certificate. As a pilot service, it intends to make information available in PDF form. Phase 1 of the new service starts on 9 November 2016 and will run for up to 3 weeks. It will test demand for uncertificated copies of the civil registration entries that are already digitised (i.e. birth entries recorded 1837 – 1934 and death entries recorded 1837 – 1957), in addition to those much more recent birth, death, marriage and civil partnership records which were also recorded directly onto the registration service online system. The application must be submitted online and contain a GRO reference. These PDFs will cost £6. 
This phase of the pilot will close after 3 weeks or when 45,000 PDFs have been ordered, whichever comes soonest. Further phases will follow and are described in detail on the GRO site.
So, if you want details of such births and deaths, you can get them for £6.00, instead of £9.25 – but only for a very short time. We have no idea what the price will be after then.
Any Questions?
Francis Howcutt
Vice Chairman, FFHS

The next two are from the FFHS Facebook page.

Researchers at the British Library are now allowed to use their own cameras to copy a wide range of the material for personal reference.

The British Library houses over 150 million items and not all of them are suitable to be photographed – for instance because of poor condition or privacy issues. However, the majority would qualify.

The new arrangements will save readers the hard work and errors involved in taking notes on the spot. You may use compact cameras, tablets and mobile phones to photograph material and any copies made must not be used for commercial purposes. Naturally, copyright, data protection and privacy laws must always be complied with. See more at http://www.ffhs.org.uk/news/news150324.php


Have you heard of the 1939 Register? This is a historic record of every man, woman and child resident in England and Wales on the eve of war in 1939.
It offers insight into England and Wales on the brink of war, and Findmypast – in partnership with The National Archives – is currently in the process of scanning and digitising the records of the 40 million people surveyed in 1939.
FindMyPast says it’s quite the mammoth task; if you were to stack the Register’s books in one pile, it would be double the height of St Paul’s! So far they’ve: conserved more than 3300 volumes; scanned over 487,000 images and transcribed over 31,000 names. To sign up for updates on the collections go to  http://www.findmypast.co.uk/1939register…


(with thanks to Ann Church, Hon. Secretary, Essex FHS)

The Essex Record Office has reduced opening hours for the search room from Monday 6 April 2015.  It will be closed on Mondays and alternate Saturdays.  Opening hours will be:

Monday                            closed

Tuesday                           open 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Wednesday & Thursday  open 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Friday                               open 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Alternate Saturdays         open 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.


Details of the particular Saturdays are to be on the website http://www.essex.gov.uk/Libraries-Archives/Record-Office/Pages/Record-Office.aspx


The Society of Genealogists is delighted to announce that the Government has accepted an amendment to the Deregulation Bill currently going before the House of Lords that allows for the publication of information from Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates in England and Wales to be issued otherwise than in the form of a certified copy. This is something the SoG has long campaigned for and is grateful to Baroness Scott of Needham Market, herself an enthusiastic genealogist, who suggested to Government that this deregulation is possible.

More information can be found on their website http://www.sog.org.uk/news/article/gro-information-on-births-marriages-and-death-doesnt-have-to-on-expensive-c

(with thanks to Malcolm Austen, Oxfordshire FHS)

Beryl Evans

FFHS Archives Liaison Officer



To find out more details search: The History Project Why? and : The History Project Getting Involved.


The Natonal Library of Ireland have announced their entire collection of Catholic Parish registers on microfilm will be available on-line, completely FREE OF CHARGE, during the summer of 2015.
There will be no index so the area of Ireland your ancestors came from will be helpful!


If you have your ancestors Army records and have abbreviations you are puzzling over have a look at Long, Long Trail’s website which offers a useful guide.


Now offer a one year subscription for £89 – not expensive as many councils charge £30 for each search of their records.


Baroness Scott of Needham Market, a Liberal Democrat Life Peer, recently put forward a proposal for electronic versions of BMD certificates………watch this space!


Findmypast has released their 1871 Worldwide Briish Army Index which includes many soldiers who would have been overseas at the time of the 1871 census.
FMP have also made available Nottinghamshire Parish records.
These have been transcribed by members of Nottinghamshire Family History Society.


Now available to view on this site are images for births in 1914, marriages in 1939 and deaths in 1964.
These records are released under legisla.on that 118 allows publica.on of BMD records registered in Scotland more than 100, 75 and 50 years ago.


Anguline Research Archives are running a campaign to open historic registers now.
They are requesting:

We ask that you mention this campaign to society members, for further details see our website at

Almost 100 years ago a Royal Commission on Public Records appointed to inquire into and report on the state of the public records and local records of a public nature of England and Wales stated in their report-

“We see no good reason in principle for forbidding searchers to take copies at their own risk. The existing restriction rests merely of financial grounds and we think that it should be removed.”

That being the case why are they still restricted now?

There is now a petition online at

Please sign this petition and share the url with society members, friends and contacts

Apathy will destroy any chance of success.

These registers are your heritage.
They are archived for your information
Please help to make it Easier and Cheaper to access them.



Windows XP end of support.

If you are still running XP you need to read this.



 Beyond Census 2011 Census Consultation

Please be aware that the FFHS has taken part in the Government’s consultation about the future of the Census.
The consultation will remain open for responses from organisations and individuals until 13 December 2013
Further details can be found on the Federation website at http://www.ffhs.org.uk/news/news131125.php
Posted on behalf of Francis Howcutt
Archives Liaison Officer

Philippa McCray
Federation of Family History Societies
PO Box 8857
LE17 9BJ



The Keep:

East Sussex Record Office moved to The Keep  on 19 November 2013.

The opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm, and Saturday 9.30am to 4pm.
The new website is up and running visit at www.thekeep.info





Well – there’s lovely, isn’t it? look you!

*What’s in a name? Historians and Linguists need your help!*

October 22nd 2013 sees the launch of a new website which hopes to
harness the power of volunteers to record all the place-names of Wales
as they appeared on Ordnance Survey maps at the end of the Victorian period.

Cymru1900Wales.org is a ground-breaking
collaborative project, developed jointly by the Royal Commission on the
Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, The National Library of
Wales, University of Wales and the People’s Collection Wales.

Visitors to cymru1900wales.org are being asked to study historic mapping
of Wales, published by the Ordnance Survey between 1899 and 1908, and to
record the location of all text shown on the maps; the names of towns,
villages, woods, farms, rivers, springs, mansions – everything! There is
even a competitive element to this mildly addictive process; the more
place-names recorded by a volunteer, the higher their position in the
Contributors’ Chart.

Dr. David Parsons, Senior Fellow on the Place-Names of Wales Project at
the University of Wales said “We hope to use the power of online
volunteers to capture historic forms of place-names, and also to tell us
about modern variations or alternatives that are used locally. There is
no software that can collect this information automatically, so we
really need people to go online, register and help us out.”

Tom Pert, On-line Development Manager at the Royal Commission on the
Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales added: “This is a fantastic
opportunity for us to gather a massive amount of information very
rapidly. Through this process the location of every mill, milestone,
smithy and dock will be captured and used to enhance the National
Monuments Record of Wales. Every volunteer will be helping us to create
a complete record of the cultural landscape of Wales at the end of the
Victorian period”.

Prof. Lorna Hughes, Chair in Digital Collections, The National Library
of Wales said “This is a groundbreaking website, with Wales leading the
way for the rest of the United Kingdom. Crowd-sourcing projects of this
sort have proven very successful when used to gather information for
astronomers or biologists. We are sure this project will prove to be
equally successful, and will pave the way for further collaborative
research and online volunteering projects in the future”.

*Further Information*:

Elin Hâf post@llgc.org.uk <mailto:post@llgc.org.uk>or (01970) 632471 Website: