Thursday, February 19, 2009

– Family History Online bye-bye

– Family History Online is transfering some data toFindMyPast

– Family History Online is run by a small dedicated team of individuals from the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS).

The FFHS is an international organisation, established in the UK as a non-profit making charitable company. It represents, advises and supports over 210 family history societies and other genealogical organisations world-wide, with a combined Membership of over 300,000.

Its principal aims are:
  • to co-ordinate and assist the work of societies or other bodies interested in family history, genealogy and heraldry
  • to foster the spirit of mutual co-operation, by sponsoring projects in these fields. (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 was part of the Title Research Group, which provided professional genealogical services for over 40 years and is now part of brightsolid (formerly Scotland Online).

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.

The Federation of Family History Societies and its services company will not be able to invest sufficient time and money in the considerable resources that would be necessary to enable FamilyHistoryOnline to continue as a viable alternative to other commercial sites.

The hosting of FamilyHistoryOnline by is providing greater access to this valuable information and bringing the data to a wider audience worldwide. It will also produce greater returns to the family history societies who own this data, and they will be able to use this income to support their educational, project and other work.

The data that will not be transferred will include:
  • Strays (records of people found out of place), particularly census strays that can now be found more easily by searching the full national sets of census indexes
  • Very small databases where the cost of the transfer will outweigh any possible financial return to societies
  • Databases where the data is in a very difficult format
  • Databases where the contributing family history society, organisation or individual does not wish to sign the new agreement with the Federation of Family History Societies


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