Family History Societies

Time Travel Guides Resources for local and family history

How Family History Societies Can Help

Time Travel Guides: Resources for Local and Family History » Family History Societies

Family History Societies are groups formed by people who are researching genealogy in a particular area. Most focus on a specific county, but there are also societies for different regions or countries and some that research one particular surname. Many of these societies are members of the Federation of Family History Societies and are listed on their website.

Joining a Family History Society

If you’re researching genealogy in a particular area then you may want to join the local family history society. You will need to pay a small membership fee. The membership fees help to pay for all the services that the society offers, so it can be a good way to support them. However, you may be able to access some of the online resources without becoming a member.

Resources from Family History Societies

Family History Societies can help with your research in various ways. You may need to be a member in order to access some of this support. The resources that are available will depend on which society you are joining.

  • Transcriptions of parish registers, monumental inscriptions, or other useful sources from the area they cover. The transcripts may be provided online, as downloadable PDFs, or on CDs. You may need to pay to access these.
  • Newsletters or journals with articles about members’ research. You may be able to write about your own family history.
  • Registers of surname interests so you can find and contact people who are researching the same families.
  • Online forums where you can ask for help and talk with people who have similar research interests.
  • Lookup services, allowing you to ask a volunteer to look up information for you if you can’t access the sources or visit the area yourself.
  • Meetings or other events, such as talks by local history experts or visits to historical sites in the area.
  • Research libraries where you can access censuses, parish registers, and other material collected by the society.