American Family History Societies

This section lists the country-wide associations from the British Isles FHS to National Genealogical Society giving details about each one and what resources and publications they offer.

Statewide Societies

British Isles Family History Society - USA

Founded in 1988, its aim is to promote and encourage interest in genealogy, particularly that relating to the England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Ireland, to exchange genealogical information and to maintain a collection of genealogical materials.

Their website gives help to people wishing to trace an immigrant ancestor.  It is possible to download copies of their bi-monthly newsletter from May/Jun 2002 to Sep/Oct 2012, and their half-yearly journal from 1988-2010. 

Resources are accessible in Los Angeles FamilySearch Library, with resources relating to England and Wales including:

  • Bank of England Will Abstracts
  • Census Returns
  • Civil Registration Indexes 1837-1983
  • Death Duty Registers Indexes
  • Land Tax Assessments 1798
  • Naturalisation Records Index 1509-1924
  • Probate Calendar 1658-1901
  • Royal Hospital, Chelsea Pension Records
  • Wills Indexes 1383-1857 PCC and PCY

Some resources relating to Scotland:

  • Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories 1876-1936
  • Census Returns
  • Civil Registration Indexes 1855-1955
  • General and Particular Registers of Sasines Indexes
  • Old Parochial Registers Index
  • Register of Deeds Indexes 1661-1696, 1770-1851
  • Testaments to 1823 Indexes

Some resources relate to Ireland:

  • Civil Reigstrations Indexes 1845-1958
  • Genealogical Manuscripts Collection from the Genealogy Office, Dublin Castle
  • Householders Index
  • Old Age Pension Claims
  • Probate Calendar 1858-1917
  • Register of Deeds (Surname index to 1901, Place Name Index to 1849, and Deeds to 1847)
  • Richard J. Hays, Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization
  • Royal Irish Constabulary Records
  • Tenison Groves Collection
  • Tithe Applotments and Griffith’s Primary Valuation
  • Wills in National Archives and PRONI Indexes
  • Wills in the PCA and Diocesan Courts Indexes

There is also a Surname Register, which contains details of Surnames being researched by group members. 

Study Groups which help people who have English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish roots or those who have Colonial Connections are also available.


Federation of Genealogical Societies

Established in 1976, the association represents over 500 organisations across the US and overseas.  It is possible to download copies of the FGS Voice Newsletter and the Society Strategy Series white papers from their site.


International Society for British Genealogy and Family History

The society was established in 1979 by people who wanted to help others to trace the origins of their British Isles emigrant ancestors.  They are on Facebook and have a searchable blog.

A list of surnames currently being researched by members is accessible on the site, along with a list of links to other sites you may find of use.


National Genealogical Society

The association was founded in Washington DC in 1903.  Many publications are sold by the society, which include:

  • Bundle of American Genealogical Studies: Guide to Documentation and Source Citation and Basics
  • Genealogy and the Law: A Guide to Legal Sources for the Family Historian
  • Genetic Genealogy in Practice
  • Magnifier
  • Mastering Genealogical Documentation
  • Neck Wallet
  • Paths to Your Past
  • Perspectives on the Family Bible
  • Research Guides
  • Understanding and using Baptismal Records
  • Working with Deeds

Other great resources for tracing your genealogy in America are also available.

If you are just starting your research in America, the Home Genealogy Guide may be of use.

Your ancestors may have come into America through Ellis Island.  You can go to this site if you require further information regarding the history of Ellis Island.

  1. Family Tree Resources
  2. Other Family History Societies
  3. American Family History Societies