Achievements and possibilities
January is a month for looking both backwards to the achievements of the year just finished and forwards to the possibilities of the year just beginning. Working on this principle, we in the GFHS have many things to celebrate and to anticipate.
Throughout 2022 the Centre volunteers were delighted to meet (and help) a wide range of people who were visiting the county to find out more about their Gloucestershire roots. We were especially pleased to welcome back researchers from overseas for the first time since March 2020. Many people want to visit the places where their family lived so it is particularly satisfying to help them to appreciate their heritage. We’re always keen to meet new people so the start of the series of monthly Saturday events in the Heritage Hub gave us a chance to work with Gloucestershire Archives to help people to look at the past from a different perspective so we’re looking forward to continuing this collaboration in 2023.
One of the most eagerly awaited events of 2022 was the release of the 1921 census returns through the Find My Past website. Originally we couldn’t offer free access to this census in the Centre which was a great disappointment for everyone trying to trace people in the years between the world wars. However this has changed now so you have a much better chance of locating that elusive person. We’ve also become a FamilySearch Affiliate Library which has given us access to many of the resources available through this website. Ancestry, Find My Past and FamilySearch, all available in the FH Centre, cover the whole world and so are a useful resource wherever your interests lie.
Not all our volunteers ‘work’ in the Family History Centre. We’re celebrating the completion of one of our major indexing projects. This was started around 20 years ago - we family historians are patient and tenacious individuals - and covers the local civil registration records (births, marriages and deaths) from 1837. This is a wonderful resource and can solve many research problems although sometimes it throws up a few unexpected questions. We’ve started a new project to compile a comprehensive index to the name-rich series of Gloucester City lease books which start in the 16th century. We’re looking forward to continuing this work in 2023.
Our volunteers run a bookshop based in the FH Centre but also accessible online. We’re always delighted to support local authors, many of whom have used the FH Centre or Gloucestershire Archives for their research. We also stock a variety of other books with a family history/heritage theme. You can find out more about the bookshop on our website gfhs.org.uk .- You can order online or just drop into the FH Centre and see what you can find.
Prompted by the lockdowns, we’ve developed an exciting programme of online talks over the last 18 months and this will continue in 2023 and beyond. Non GFHS members are always welcome so visit our website for more details. gfhs.org.uk