• Community Forums

    Although primarily a genealogy site, we also have very active community forums where members can take a break from research to socialise, arrange meets, show off family photographs or discuss issues of the day.

    Community forums are only open to registered members but registration is free.

    At any time of the day or night, these boards are moving quickly. There might be a discusssion about the use (or mis-use) of the apostrophe, a request for advice on stain removal or a discussion about the previous evening's television.

    It doesn't matter what the topic might be, the discussions remain reasoned and balanced even if it is clear sometimes that there is no common ground!

    "A group of people having common interests" and "Sharing, participation, and fellowship."


    "I love this site! You can ask anything knowing you'll get helpful answers without any condescension or implied sneer. "

    "I'm learning something new every day. "

    "The beauty of this site is that we are so varied that we all know something ... "

    In many ways, it is the atmosphere in this private area of the forum that helps to create the feeling of community across the whole site. Although remaining as anonymous as they wish, posters are able to relax and be 'themselves'. Few people have met other members and in real life, had they met, they may have felt that they have nothing in common yet throughout the boards one has a feeling of being among supportive friends. There is no obligation to post and some members rarely post in this area although there are many stalwarts who contribute on a regular basis. As in any family there will be occasional disagreements, but these fizzle out quickly because of the effective moderation.

    The Terms and Conditions of the site are clear and have been built up with the help of the members. If there is any danger of personal abuse or other impropriety, members are able to report this and the moderating team will immediately and discreetly deal with the situation if they haven't already intervened.

    The Community area is divided into sections:

    General Discussion: For members to discuss non-genealogical topics. This board is the foundation of the Community. It doesn't matter whether you are looking for cookery tips, to discuss the lack of snow in Somerset, or intellectual religious debate, it will all appear here!

    Hobbies: Even genealogists have some time left to pursue other hobbies. At the time of writing there are threads on Card Making, Decluttering, Books, Knitters/Spinners/Textiles, Healthy Eating, Patchwork and Quilting, Poetry, Cross Stitch, Crochet and Gardening. The threads are good places to pick up tips or sources for materials or to share your progress on your current stitching project as well as to find new authors to try.

    Events: Notices about genealogical events such as Family History Fairs and invitations to members for FTF get-togethers will be posted here - often followed up with photographs of the smiling participants.

    Hugs and Support: A strength of the forum, this area is used to offer support and encouragement to members, or their friends and relations, who are going through personal difficulties or illness.

    Ancestral Anniversaries Calendar

    As part of the seasonal celebrations in 2007, a member suggested that we see if it was possible to post the baptism, birth or marriage dates of our direct ancestors on every day of the month. This was so successful that it was extended for the whole of 2008 including February 29th. Where possible, photographs and potted biographies are also added which made the threads fascinating to browse through. For 2010 the Ancestral Anniversaries challenge was relaunched to include dates of death or burials and the entries put together to create the Ancestral Anniversaries Calendar.

    : In the run up to Christmas in FTF's first year, the boards began to fill up with messages, links to games and general seasonal paraphanalia, so it was decided to open a Christmas Grotto to contain it all! The Grotto opens on the 1st December and has held Christmas Competitions and even Advent Calendars created by the members alongside hints and tips for Christmas food, best shopping deals and pictures of trees and decorations.


    A feature of the site is the ability to be able to post photographs through Photobucket or similar sites. There are several areas where this is very useful.

    As part of the Community area, there is a separate Photo section. At any time, the threads here could include holiday pictures, unusual or strange photographs, pictures of sky, clouds and rooftops, wedding photos from all eras or pictures of members' dogs and gardens.

    A direct development from this board was the creation of a 2009 FTF Calendar which used images from these threads.

    In the public area of the site, there is a board dedicated to Family History Photographs: Family Tree Photos. This is where to go if you need a picture restored or help in dating photographs or identifying uniforms. You can also ask for help and advice with using photographic software.

    The photographic expertise of the members is important in several aspects of the site.

    One area is our need for copyright free pictures for the Family Tree Forum collection of International (non-UK) War Memorial photographs. This growing collection of photographs currently includes pictures from Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain and Thailand. If you would like to get involved, you can find out more about the project here.

    The Family Tree Forum Costume Gallery. This area wouldn't exist without the participation of the members who have uploaded their pictures and we are always looking for more contributions.

    The Places of Worship Project. This huge undertaking is again entirely dependant on members uploading their own pictures of religious buildings so as to create a pictorial database of the buildings where our ancestors were baptised, married or buried. For more information on how to become involved, see Regional Projects.