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Saturday, 21 November 2015

How many Family History Societies (FHS) do you need to belong to?

'The answer to Life, the Universe and everything is 42'. Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Kevin Bacon would probably say 6. Six degrees of separation.
At a discussion at the Lincolnshire FHS, London Branch meeting today I suggested to a couple of its London members the answer was 2.
1) You need to belong to the FHS that covers the area of your ancestors. They have local knowledge. 2) You also need to belong to the FHS that covers the area where you live. You then have the opportunity to attend meetings, learn about researching family history and you have some people to talk to who understand research problems and can act as a sound board to the queries you may have.

If you live out of area or overseas of your ancestors homeland being able to communicate with the FHS members that know that area may be essential to your research.

Now how many FHS do you think you need to belong to?
Leave a comment and please confirm what is the answer to "everything".



  1. I live in Canada (1 FHS), my father came from Kent (2 FHS), my mother came from Lancashire (3 FHS), my father's family came from Gloucestershire (4 FHS), my mother's mother's family came from Scotland (5 FHS), maybe my father's family originated in Wales (6 FHS). If your ancestors were sedentary, one or two FHS's might do; if they were mobile, then you are probably looking at four or more.

  2. Yes it can be difficult and the number could grow, especially if your ancestors moved to London and surrounding areas from elsewhere. Or even moved from one county to another. Though if you can narrow down an area a Family History Society is of great help and support in finding your family and for information about the area.

    The NWKFHS Library has resources that might help and there is the Guild of One Name Studies which seek all occurrences, past and present, of a single surname, anywhere in the world which may be worth considering.