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Review: The Federation of Family History Societies


The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is a reputable, international, UK-based organization which was founded in 1974. Its purpose is to give its member societies the tools needed to successfully research their family and/or local histories including the proper classification of armorial bearings and the tracing of genealogies. The information contained on the FFHS web site is geared towards two groups; one group consists of the two hundred plus national and international member societies and organizations and the second group is geared towards individuals. Either group will benefit immensely from visiting the FFHS web site and will leave with a considerable amount of information and resources to use in the process of conducting their family history research project.

The FFHS assists members and individuals in many ways. It conducts organized events and conferences at least two times each year, it provides links to many relevant web sites, it creates and distributes useful publications covering topics such as genealogy, the locations of official documents and records, and family and local history, and the FFHS also coordinates and offers various educational opportunities. The FFHS has won numerous awards over the years in many different categories and each award is described in detail.


The FFHS web site is very easy to navigate and it contains an abundance of useful information. The web site includes countless links to other family history and documentation related web sites. Clicking on a link to one of these other web sites will automatically open a new window so that when the user is done visiting the site, the user simply closes the window and is immediately returned to the FFHS web site. This feature enables the user to continue his/her search without interruption.

The FFHS offers many benefits to its member societies and the benefits are very clearly organized and explained. The web site offers an area that lists the reasons why an individual might wish to join one of the associated member societies. The costs and benefits of membership are clearly stated as well. One feature available to members is a subscription-based newsletter that keeps members current on the latest newsworthy developments at FFHS. But even if the web site visitor is not interested in a membership, he/she will find just about all of the information necessary to locate the answer to his/her most urgent family-history related questions.

The FFHS web site maintains a lengthy listing of the names, addresses and some telephone numbers of the various places one can go to search for official public records and documents including, but not limited to, birth, marriage and baptism certificates, adoption information, and military service information and documentation. The FFHS web site also provides a listing of the contact information for all its member societies. Contacting the appropriate member society can produce more leads for the individual to follow during the family history search. Those individuals who have hit a dead end in their search will likely benefit from joining one of the member societies.


The FFHS will not actually perform a family search, so those looking for this type of service will not find it here.

The only other comment is that upon first glance, the FFHS web site with all of its different pages of information seems a bit intimidating and overwhelming simply because there is just so much to read. A word of advice to prospective visitors to this web site is to make sure you allocate an hour or two so that you can read about everything that this web site has to offer.