Welcome to the Family History Social

The very latest news from the world of genealogy



The Family History Show, Online returns 20th February 2021

The Family History Show is coming back next month!

After two extremely successful virtual events held online last year, The Family History Show, Online is returning in February so that once more you can enjoy all the features of a physical family history show, but from the comfort and safety of your own home.

The Family History Show, Online, organised by Discover Your Ancestors magazine, is gearing up for its return on Saturday 20th February 2021.

You'll have the opportunity to put your research questions to an expert, watch free talks and to speak to over 100 family history societies, archives and genealogical suppliers by text, audio, video chat or email from the comfort of your own home.

You will also be able to submit your questions to their Ask the Experts panel before the show and you have a choice to either book a free 1-to-1 session or to watch the live stream question panel at 15:30 where you can ask your questions live!

Make a date in your diary and snap up an early bird ticket now for only £6! You'll also get a downloadable goody bag worth over £10.

New partners and features to be announced shortly, watch for more news!


Featuring All New Talks

Professionally presented and recorded lectures, not just streamed screen shares, and each talk will be available for 72 hours, so don't worry if you're in another time zone. These presentations will cover a wide variety of family history topics from multiple speakers and will be available throughout the day.

Dr Simon Wills - Genealogist, Writer, and Author
Country Bumpkins: Tracing Rural Ancestors
Else Churchill, The Society of Genealogists
Maps for Family Historians
Gill Blanchard, House Historian and Professional Genealogist
Tracing your Ancestors' lives through online resources
Amelia Bennett, Expert Researcher, Census Detective with the SOG
Working with your Autosomal DNA Test
Donna Rutherford, DNA Expert

Ask the Experts Live Q&A Panel
with Amelia Bennett, Gill Blanchard and Donna Rutherford


Ask the Experts

Submit your questions to their panel of experts before the show. Either book a free 1-to-1 session or watch the live stream question panel at 15:30 where you can ask your questions live!



Societies, Archives and Companies


Visit exhibitors, societies, archives and companies in the virtual exhibition hall. Here there will be the opportunity to talk to some of the stallholders by text, audio or video from the comfort of your own home.


All the features of a physical show

As well as over 100 virtual exhibitor stalls to visit, you will be able to enjoy online talks throughout the day and put questions forward to specialists in the popular 'Ask the Experts' area.

What do visitors to the show think?

"The Exhibitor Hall, with the video chat and Question Feed, and details and links to their products, etc. Your show is a very close, and in some ways better, reproduction of the live event, and I'm looking forward to attending next year's event." - Scott Barker

"I just wanted to say that Saturday's event was great. I had three people beam into my work room – one from New Zealand, one from America and one from Scotland! I also had a chat enquiry from Australia. I had no idea this event would be global!" - Maddy Mills from The Crafty Genealogist

"I know the actual shows are great, but for us not able to get there, these online days are ideal. I put aside time to listen and it felt like a 'day away' from the usual routine. Well done and thank you." - Ruth Owen

Early Bird Ticket Offer

Buy your tickets in advance and save - tickets to attend The Family History Show Online are available from the website at just £6.00 each. You will also get a FREE virtual goody bag on the day worth over £10.



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What does Mentioned in Despatches mean?

Family History Tips: Mentioned in Despatches

When we set out researching some of our ancestors from the past we may discover that they served in the military. We may find records that prove that they were awarded medals, or that they were wounded, taken prisoner, or killed in one of the wars that this country fought. In some cases we may even discover that they have been Mentioned in despatches (MiD). But what does this term mean?

The Gazette, the official public record which publishes awards including MiDs, has a useful article that can be read here:


The article takes as its example Captain Bernard Law Montgomery who served in World War 1 in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was first MiD in 1915. Later awarded many medals, including the DSO to which his oak leaf is pinned (see the Gazette – issue 28992), Montgomery served between 1915 and 1918, ending WW1 as a lieutenant colonel. He was to go on to become Field Marshal Montgomery and 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein in WW2.


The handwritten MiD card records can reveal detail such as the military clerk’s corrections and messy amendments. You can see this on Montgomery’s 1915 MiD card, as found from a search of the Military Records on TheGenealogist.co.uk

Mentioned in Despatches

You can read the full article on The Gazette's website:



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January 2021 edition of Discover Your Ancestors out now!

Great News, the January 2021 edition of Discover Your Ancestors Periodical is out now and it contains an eclectic mix of articles that will appeal to family historians interested in researching their British Isles ancestors and understanding the times that they lived in.
This online magazine is always worth a read with stories, case studies, social history articles and research advice.
In this month's online periodical you can read about:
  • A brief history of dieting: At a time of year when many people look to their New Year's resolutions, Jayne Shrimpton reveals that dieting is certainly no new endeavour
  • If the invader comes...: Stuart A. Raymond looks at the WW2 Invasion Committees and the useful records they have left
  • The greats of greetings cards: Nick Thorne explores the records of the Jewish family responsible for many of our ancestors' greeting cards
  • How justice failed Beatrice and Emily: The unsolved murders of two little girls in 1890s Gloucestershire show the problems with convicting those identified as the likely offender. By Nell Darby
  • Crime by numbers: Kate Hollis investigates criminal record keeping in Victorian Kent
  • History in the details: Materials – leather (part 4)
If you have missed any of the informative editions then back copies can be purchased from their website: https://discoveryourancestors.co.uk/back-issues/
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TheGenealogist adds more than 55,000 new Headstone records

TheGenealogist has added to its expanding International Headstone Collection with some interesting and useful new searchable images of gravestones.


These enable family historians to see details that have been recorded about their ancestors by the monumental masons in various churches and cemeteries. All the records are fully searchable with transcripts of the inscriptions that help to decipher some of the more weathered memorials.


The headstone records released cover 174 new churchyards or cemeteries and include submissions from their many prolific volunteers. The International Headstone Collection is an ongoing project where every headstone photographed or transcribed earns credits for volunteers.


The credits are used by volunteers to help support their hobby spending them on subscriptions at TheGenealogist.co.uk or products from GenealogySupplies.com. If you would like to join them, you can find out more about the scheme at: https://ukindexer.co.uk/headstone/


The unusual, but informative, plaque on the Penruddocke family tomb at St Michael’s, Compton Chamberlayne


These new records are all available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist.


You can read TheGenealogist’s article: Headstones and Church Memorial plaques a fantastic resource for family historians



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Society of Genealogists online talk: Sources for Medieval and Early Modern Genealogy

The Society of Genealogist's popular live online lectures are due to continue in 2021 via the Zoom platform. From their news page we see that their first talk this New Year is 'Sources for Medieval and Early Modern Genealogy' and will be taking place on 9 January 2021.

In this talk, Dr. Nick Barratt will be looking at medieval and early family history sources, including practical information for research. He will be introducing new sources to help you trace your relatives further back in time and his talk covers: feudalism, landholding and social hierarchy, government and local administration, law and justice, and church and religion.

At the end of the Zoom talk there will be a short Q&A session for you to ask Nick questions.