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Taking the Past into the Future

Mayor of Woking

Family and Local Historians who attended the West Surrey Family History Society’s latest Family History Fair and Open Day at the Woking Leisure Centre were delighted with the quality and quantity of the displays. Over 50 exhibitors attended including County Family History Societies, Local History Societies and commercial retailers of books, postcards and genealogical supplies.

Hall View

The Society was pleased to welcome Clr Anne Murray, Mayor of Woking, to our Open Day. She was shown around the exhibition by WSFHS President Ray Anstis and Maura Sellars, a member of the WSFHS Executive Committee. The photograph on the front cover of this issue shows them visiting the WSFHS Bookstall where Jean Follett and her team were kept busy all day.

The Society has a wealth of knowledge amongst its membership and our members are prepared and happy to share their expertise with others. Visitors were able to make full use of their experience and knowledge on topics as wide ranging as the use of DNA in family history research, Scottish research, reading old documents, Canadian research, Army research and dating old photographs. Also available for consultation were our Surrey Monumental Inscriptions Indexes and our reference library. For those researching a particular surname our Members’ Interests files together with our Total Descent Charts were on display.

Expert Desks

As in previous years the free talks proved a popular attraction for visitors. This year we had talks from Brian Swann "DNA and Ireland/Wales Migrations", Myko Clelland "Using Findmypast to uncover family stories", Jeff Dowse from the Surrey History Centre "How to care for your records", and Don Inskeep "What’s new in FamilySearch".

As this year is the centenary anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, it is not surprising that our military-themed stands and research areas were very busy with relatives seeking to find out what their ancestors did in the Great War and in other conflicts.

The Society’s Bookstall was kept busy with visitors purchasing books on many of Surrey’s prominent villages and local trades. The Membership Desk, also situated in the Bookstall area, dealt with many enquiries about WSFHS membership. We are pleased to welcome the twenty one new members who joined on the day.


Finally, everyone must give a huge thank you to all the volunteers who worked behind the scenes in the months leading up to the Open Day and to those who helped to set up the hall, worked on the various stands, introduced talks, and dismantled the exhibits after the event when all the visitors had gone home.

West Surrey FHS’s Family History Fair and Open Day will be held on the Saturday 4 November 2017.

Photographs are courtesy of Maura Sellars and Richard Weatherhead

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Copyright © 2018 West Surrey Family History Society   Last modified: 2 December 2016
Copyright © 2018 West Surrey Family History Society