Family history society rooting out the past

The Foyle Family History Society is seeking to recruit new members keen to trace their roots.

The society’s aim is to equip members with the skills needed to trace their family trees efficiently and support them in their endeavours.

A growing number of people have caught the genealogy bug in recent years and the Foyle Family History Society is always available to lend a hand helping budding genealogists employ the most efficient methods to trace their roots.

Gerard Harvey of the Foyle Family History Society said the group is always looking for new members. “A lot of people are interested in genealogy and history. We’re trying to build up an active family history society to help educate people to research their own genealogy. We also try to give them a perspective of the city and country our ancestors lived in. We do this through talks by local genealogists and historians along with meetings to discuss any difficulties people are having in their researches.”

The society meets monthly from May to September, hosting a series of lectures by experts and several field trips. The meetings are normally held in the Central Library lecture room. Mr Harvey explained: “We are a branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society and our details can be found on the website at www.nifhs.org. Membership is £20 per annum (couples £25) and we try to provide a cup of tea and a biscuit at the meetings as well.”

The society now plans to digitise some local records - depending on funds and volunteers - and also aims to build up a small genealogical research library. The next lecture to be hosted by the society in the Central Library will be delivered by military historian Richard Doherty, who is to speak on military records and their use in genealogy, on Monday next, October 3.