Group Profile: Devon Family History Society

Devon Family History Society

Devon FHS | PO Box 9 | Exeter | Devon EX2 6YP Facebook Messageboard GENUKI-Devon

Devon Family History Society is a registered charity, whose aims are encouraging research into families and places and preserving documents, particularly relating to the county of Devon. It was founded in 1976 in the “old” Scott Lecture Theatre in Plymouth Central Library. Eleven interested people attended and the DFHS was launched.

The Society encourages members and the general public to use the three Devon Record Offices and local studies collection in Plymouth, Exeter and Barnstaple and the National Archives in Kew to research their families.  Methods have progressed from paper and pencil to computer generated family history programs, and the advent of free and subscription sites online has increased the availability of sources and resources. You can find out more about researching your own family history in their post here.

The society’ Research Centre is Tree House in Exeter, holding a library and access to the various genealogical subscription sites, all freely available to members who visit. 

The Acorn Club has activities for young people. Their annual Treasure Trails around Plymouth Hoe and Devonport Park have been well received by local children and their parents/carers as part of the annual Plymouth History Festivals.  

The Society have also organised a large number of transcribing projects from documents held in the three ROs, and those held by Plymouth City Council other town councils and the South West Police Heritage Trust. Approximately 1.5 million items have been transcribed and over 1000 items filmed on professional standard camera equipment for individuals, groups, societies and the Record Offices.

An annual Conference rotating around the county (Plymouth in 2020) and a Mayflower International Genealogical Conference is planned in Plymouth Guildhall on 29 August, and there is a Mayflower competition for young people.

The Society’s world-wide membership exceeds 3,000 members in 24 countries, all having ancestors from Devon. Groups meet monthly in Plymouth, Exeter, Bideford and Kingskerswell and volunteers attend and arrange a number of family history events nationwide. Attendance at most events and group meetings is free. 

Membership to receive the Society’s quarterly magazine, access to the online Members’ Area and entry to Tree House by electronic or postal membership is available, starting from £12 http://www.devonfhs.org.uk/about.htm

See the Society’s earlier post for some ideas on how you can start to research your family’s history!

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