Reminder – Next Steps on the Road Seminar – Coming to a venue near you in 2019!

We’ve really enjoyed meeting with you at fairs and other events during 2018. It’s obvious the family history community benefits greatly from the best efforts of so many like-minded, hard-working enthusiasts.

Meeting with you one-on-one is so inspirational, it’s quite obvious we need to get together more often. Of course, we tried doing this in September 2018 – only to find that, amongst other things, we had chosen the wrong weekend. Not an auspicious start, but we’ve learnt from your feedback.

So we’re going to try again, but rather than expecting everyone to come to a ‘one size fits all’ location in London, this time we’re going to come to you. Hence, we’re now calling the seminar, ‘Next Steps on the Road’. The clue is in the name – we hope you‘ll approve the concept!

Naturally, each Regional event will have a slightly different flavour, but at each you can expect:
Updates on FFHS goals
An opportunity to air your successes and … just as importantly …
Your experiences of what doesn’t work and why
Discussions about your ideas for the future and …
How you would like FFHS help make them a reality.
An opportunity to network and learn.

Plus, if you provide us with sufficient notice …
Specialised input on any variety of topics relevant to Family History Society management.

Currently we have plans for four locations:

Wesley’s Chapel, London on Saturday 23rd February

St Wilfred’s Chapel, Harrogate on Saturday 2nd March
Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster on Saturday 23rd March

Huntingdon and Peterborough WI, Huntingdon Saturday 30th March

We would love to see as many of you as possible attend, but don’t worry unduly if you can’t make it this time around. Why? Because if all goes well, we plan to add further venues later in the year. Something urgent you want to discuss? Come and talk with us at Alexandra Palace 26th-27th April during Family Tree Live. We are really looking forward to hearing your ideas, success stories and working with you more closely in the future.

Look out for our new Otley Methodist section.

Look out for our new Otley Methodist section. I have access to their archives and so far I have a copy of a Roll of Honour from WW1 of those church members who served. I also have some notes on various chaples that where in the circuit and same information on families who attended. There will also be several photographs of church groups, many of which have names appended and dates. We are very grateful to the Methodist Church in Otley for allowing us access to their archives. SM

FindMyPast Announces Trial of Revolutionary New Newspaper Search

  • Historical newspaper, the Essex Newsman, now available to search with greater accuracy than ever before
  • New search allows researchers to accurately identify names among billions of lines of newsprint adding colour, context and depth to their family history research
  • This new method of searching OCR generated text is being tested for the first time and will be developed further in the near future

Leading British and Irish family history website, Findmypast, has today announced the release of a revolutionary new newspapers search.

Findmypast’s Essex Newsman collection is searchable by name and publication year, contains over 1.2 million names and covers a complete run of the publication from 31st October 1881 to 6thNovember 1943. 

The collection has been created by implementing a new method of extracting first and last names from printed text identified by optical character recognition. This allows customers to search for their ancestor’s names across millions of pages of newsprint with greater accuracy and efficiency than ever before. Customers will also start to receive hints against Essex Newsman articles containing names that match those stored on their Findmypast family tree. 

While this first iteration of the new search is focused on accurately identifying names, Findmypast plan to extract other details such as locations, events and relationships in 2019. This will further improve the search experience and will dramatically increase the number of hints generated by the collection.

The Essex Newsman has been taken from Findmypast’s wider archive of historical British and Irish newspapers. Today’s release is essentially a trial for this new technology and other titles from the archive will receive similar search upgrades in the future. 

Improved access to the millions of articles that make up the collection will enable family historians to discover a wide variety of details relating to the lives of their ancestors. While searching for a notice of a birth, marriage and death, they may be presented with a report relating to any number of important life events, ranging from court cases, convictions and business notices to letters, advertisements for family businesses and even photographs.

Estelle Calfe, Product manager at Findmypast, said: “The stories you find in newspapers really add colour to your family tree and tug at your heart strings. The team have done some great work using machine learning to make the names in newspapers searchable. We plan to continue this work into 2019 and look forward to helping customers uncover yet more fascinating articles about their family.”


For more information, please visit:

To discuss feature opportunities, please contact:


Alex Cox:, +44 7464 946769


About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is the British-owned world leader in online family history with over 18 million registered users across its family of brands, which include Findmypast, Genes Reunited, the British Newspaper Archive and Twile.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is the home of the world’s most comprehensive online collection of British and Irish records, including:

·         The largest online collection of UK parish records

·         Twice the number of Irish records available on any other site

·         The British Library’s vast collection of historical newspapers

·         The exclusive Catholic Heritage Archive, a groundbreaking initiative that aims to digitize the historical records of the Catholic Church in North America, Britain and Ireland for the very first time

Findmypast is committed to making discoveries in the British Isles easier than ever before. It combines the best of British and Irish data with the knowledge of in house experts to provide a unique family history experience that guides researchers through every step of their journey.

For more information on how Findmypast is enhancing the experiences of family historians worldwide, visit:

Website Update 2019-01-08

Work is continuing port information across from the existing Keighley & District FHS and Wharfedale FHG Websites.

All existing members, who have supplied email addresses, should now have been supplied with login credentials and a link to create a password. Please check that the information supplied is correct and that you can login. Please report any issues to the webmaster.

Please supply an email address to the membership secretary if you would like access to the Members area of the website.

FFHS Members – GRO Price Rise 16th February 2019

FFHS Members – GRO Price Rise 16th February 2019
BMD Price Rise on 16 FebruaryThe price of a birth, marriage or death certificate for England & Wales will increase on 16 February 2019 from £9.25 to £11.00. At the same time, the charge for the PDF version will rise from £6.00 to £7.00. Therefore, now is the time to place any orders that you are planning to submit “sometime”. Associated fees are also going up. You can see full details of the new charges in the relevant statutory instrument. A more user-friendly summary of the changes can be found in the Lost Cousins newsletter.
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