Family & Community Historical Research Society

The Family & Community Historical Research Society (FACHRS) was formed in 1998 by students and tutors of the Open University course DA301 Studying Family & Community History: 19th and 20th Centuries.

The main criterion to join the Society is a desire to find out more about how people lived their lives within the community, giving an insight into what shaped their daily routines.

The Society carries out research projects that relate to families and the community, organised across a network of members over all relevant regions of the country.

Our mini projects entail researching at home via Internet sites. Each member is offered an individual from the 1881 census to research and is under no obligation to research any more than the basic information requested on the supplied form. However, many delve much further into various aspects. This research can be carried out in a matter of hours, or can take as long as you like should you wish to delve deeper.

Our major projects take much longer and are much more in-depth and wide-ranging. They are overseen by a project coordinator and an academic adviser. These generally start with a pilot study, lasting a few months. Once any problems that arise are ironed out, the project proper commences and generally research lasts for one to two years. Following this, analysis is carried out by co-ordinator and academic adviser, and a decision is then made as to whether to produce a book, or a series of booklets on various aspects uncovered during the research, or whether to produce one or a series of articles for publication in the Society Journal, Family & Community History, or just place the resulting data on the Members’ Only section of the Society website.

The Society produces an academic Journal, Family & Community History, three times a year, which is recognised as a quality publication by institutions around the country. Members are also kept up-to-date with activities within and outside the Society by a Newsletter produced every four months, an occasional e- newsletter, and on the Society website at Our webmaster has also developed an online shop for the sale of books and CDs via the Internet accessed via the Society website.

Most questions can be answered by visiting the Society’s website, but if you have any specific queries or would like more information then you can speak to Valerie or Brita at the FACHRS table or contact Brita at