Isle of Man Family History Society

Genealogy can be a time consuming process, littered with frustrations, surprises and fascination, but help is at hand for those budding genealogists who require help in pinning down their elusive ancestors.
The Isle of Man Family History Society was formed in 1979 by a group of twenty nine enthusiastic volunteers under the leadership of Mona Christian, in order to encourage others worldwide to research their ancestry.
Spokesperson Priscilla Lewthwaite said, “Genealogy is the bare bones of the development of a family. Family history is putting the flesh onto the bones, or putting leaves on the family tree. This is what we try to encourage our members to do, not just to produce a Family Tree going back into the dark ages, but to try and find out as much as possible about each person on the tree”.
With over thirty years’ collective experience under their belt, members of this respected organisation have used their time productively. Each gravestone, ranging from early examples up to the 1980s, has been recorded, burial records indexed, publications and discs produced and valuable Census Records indexed from 1841 up to 1901. They have also generously given their time to transcribe Wills, index records of the poor and give voluntary assistance to the staff of Manx National Heritage.
The society’s on-going popularity has ensured a worldwide membership of more than 1200 people who receive a fact-filled quarterly journal. But there’s also time to continue indexing and arrange an annual exhibition in a different part of the Island each year to help create public awareness of their work. Many will also be conscious of their presence within the Homecomers’ Tent on Tynwald Day. Members of the society also took part in the ‘Who Do You Think You Are Exhibition?’ in London in conjunction with other agencies from the Isle of Man.
There are many advantages to becoming a member of the Isle of Man Family History Society, where they will guide new recruits through the sometimes demanding process of filtering the wheat from the chaff of genealogical research. This includes the society’s library situated on Derby Road in Peel (open three afternoons each week) which contains a growing collection of valuable information. Members also have the opportunity to meet socially every month at Union Mills Methodist Church to hear an invited Lecturer speak on a chosen topic, followed by the chance to discuss any problems members may have with their research.
New members are always welcome with further information available from their website.
Valerie Caine
© February 2012
(Courtesy of Manx Tails)