Monday, June 30, 2008

UK Family History Online

FFHS - Home Page: "The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is an educational charity which exists to represent, advise and support its membership of family history societies and other genealogical organisations world-wide."

from their newsletter - FFHS - Ezine - Introduction
see Federatiob Ezine: June 2008 No 9

The concept of Family History Online was born at the Federation of Family History Societies General Meeting at Chichester in 1998, where Chad Hanna explained how an online system could provide an alternative for a postal research services.

The concept of the online system proposed by Chad, really gained momentum at the FFHS general meeting in September 2001. Chad's prototype system was presented and accepted at the Warwick General Meeting spring 2002.

FamilyHistoryOnline, entered beta testing with three societies in the months before Christmas and went live on Christmas Day 2002. Data was added at an average of a million records per month and adding data from the National Burial Index and the 1881 census index helped create a critical mass of useful information and today FamilyHistoryOnline holds 326 databases containing over 67 million records.

There were several enhancements over the years, more flexible searching with excellent support for wild-card characters, and then images with gravestone inscriptions particularly in mind, but with hopes that census images might follow.

To allow for greater data investment, increased marketing and to raise the profile of the FamilyHistoryOnline data, the FFHS has entered into a partnership with whereby the data will be hosted on their website. We are convinced that transferring the operation to will be a positive move for the Federation and the contributing societies.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their help and support over the years with FamilyHistoryOnline

Chad Hanna & Gillian Stevens
The Family History Online Team

Family History Online: " (formerly was the first company to make the complete General Register Office (GRO) birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003. It is part of the Title Research Group, which has been providing professional genealogical services for over 40 years.

Following the scanning and indexing of over two million images from the GRO, this UK company launched the first web site to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. In April 2007, findmypast's parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement. has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 500 million records with a few dating as far back as 1664. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.
Why transfer the data to

The Federation of Family History Societies and its publication company will not be able to invest sufficient time and money in the considerable"


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