The Furness Family History Society is a group of people having an interest in family history (in Furness or elsewhere) and pursuing their own researches while also helping each other in the subject. The Society as a body does not (in general) act as an agency carrying out research work on behalf of any person, does not deal with modern or current family matters and is not a pressure group (except as appropriate to the function of the Society).
In the following sub-sections, for each department the officer position is indicated, along with the name of the person currently performing the function described. (Some of the positions are identified mainly in order to provide co-ordination with the organisation of the Federation of FHS.)
All communications from members which expect a reply should contain an appropriate stamped and addressed envelope for the response.
The Society structure is headed by the President (Currently a vacant post), with the support of a Vice-chairman Chairman (Currently a vacant post). A copy of the Society's Rules is available to every member upon request.
General Secretary Carol Collinge. The General Secretary handles the general correspondence.
Treasurer Cath Wilkinson. All financial matters and correspondence are handled by the Treasurer.
Membership Secretary Cath Wilkinson. Routine membership matters are handled by the Membership Secretary. Special membership questions are considered by the Committee as necessary. UK subscription rates are £7 for a single member and £11 for a family membership of two persons; the corresponding overseas rates are £10 and £14. Payments must be in sterling. Subscriptions can be paid for up to five years ahead. The general needs of distant members are served by the Membership Secretary. The current membership list is available to members.
Events Secretary (Currently a vacant post). The Society events programme is developed by the Events Secretary and approved by the Committee. Development and pursuit of each event is allocated to an appropriate person. Presentation meetings are normally on the first Monday of each month (except January & August), starting at 19:30 (Because of circumstances, attendees to these should arrive no later than 7:25pm.) Workshops, should they be required will be held between 6:15 & 7:15 pm. Followed be the monthly subject meeting at 7:30 pm (Donations towards the cost of the events are expected.)
The Furness FHS is a member of the Federation of Family History Societies. This affiliation provides a number of services and facilitates communication with researchers elsewhere.
Interests Secretary (Currently a vacant post). An interests form is supplied to each member, who is encouraged to supply on it the surnames for which knowledge is held and/or which are being researched, with the relevant periods. The interests are then entered in the Society's file of members interests. Interests are normally published in the Society's newsletter and a directory of all members interests is available to members. (Researchers listed must be contacted only by post.)
Computing Liaison Officer (Currently a vacant post). Informal meetings are held for those members who are interested in computing methods, at whatever level of experience. Advice on computing methods can be given.
Librarians Linda & Doug Kitchin. The Society Library contains relevant guide books, the results of work projects, indexes, lists of relevant books held by members, certain original records and micro-form copies of several research tools. The Library is available at most meetings. Most of the Library items are available for loan to local members. The Librarian abstracts from publications received items relevant to Furness.
Migration Secretary (Currently a vacant post). Outward strays (persons born in Furness and found elsewhere) are recorded in the Society's files and are available for inspection. (The strays lists published by the Cumbria Family History Society are available.) Inward strays (persons born elsewhere and found in Furness) are supplied to the Federation and to the appropriate societies.
Newsletter compiler editor Carol Collinge. The Society's newsletter, entitled Furness Families is published quarterly. Members are invited to supply for publication their pleas for help, offers of assistance, accounts of research etc. Naturally, the Editor must reserve the prerogative to abbreviate items as necessary and withhold publication when this might be harmful to the Society. Advertisements can be published when space is available. Advertisements from members which are of a non-business nature are free of charge but other advertisements are charged.
[General Secretary] Information on other, relevant organisations is held by the General Secretary. The Society works in co-ordination with related societies and neighbouring societies and seeks to avoid duplication of effort.
Publicity Officer (Currently a vacant post) The Publicity Officer is responsible for all publicity communication with other societies and with the general public, including literature, advertisements and displays.
Queries on family history research method and specific family history problems can be brought to a workshop session or referred to the Research Coordinator. Queries of general interest can be submitted to the Editor for publication in the newsletter.
Research Coordinator Carol Collinge
The Society's research guide is entitled "Genealogy in Furness" and copies are available to members. The Society's research tools include the IGI (1988 edition), the 1881 census returns, some interest directories and various miscellaneous indexes. The Society is able to do limited research for members (members only) on an expenses , plus donation basis, each task being limited to a couple of hours work on specific queries; persons requiring more-extensive work should expect to pay for the work at a time rate, which needs to be agreed in advance. Although the tasks may be handled by other representatives, enquirers in the first instance should address their needs to the Research Coordinator, . The following tips should be observed when asking for help: state requirements as specifically and explicitly as possible, give the background information (such as dates, location, occupation, relationships and religious denomination) and indicate what source/s have already been searched.
While the Society's advice service attempts to steer researchers in the right directions, it should be kept in mind that these advisers would not be expected to apply their skills to extensive research on behalf of members nor to do the work of Library and Record Office staff.
The society recognises that it also has a 'pledged' commitment to acquire research information in an electronic format relevant to Furness and District.
Sales Officer Doug & Linda Kitchin. A stock of reference books, materials etc for sale to members and (as appropriate) to the public is held. This stock is available at most meetings. (It is our intention to provide a comprehensive sales inventory leading to online sales)
Work Projects Coordinator (Currently a vacant post). Projects of various kinds that are undertaken by members and the Society are done so in projects that are set up by related organisations. Each project is organised within the Society as a working party with a leader; the Work Projects Coordinator plans the avoidance of conflict of resources between the various projects and monitors the progress of all the projects. Enquiries of projects still in progress should be addressed to the Work Projects Coordinator. The results from work projects are placed in the Society Library and are normally published in micro-fiche form for sale, although our commitment to producing a more efficient method of publication i.e. CD-Rom or similar is progressing well to date.
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© Furness Family History Society. Established 1993. Affiliated to the FEDERATION OF FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETIES.