«MEMBERS' INTERESTS REGISTER» Input Form (vn 1.6)
Our Register is hosted on the Family History Federation (FHF) website, where our members' «Surnames of Interest» data submitted here will be posted. This INPUT facility is only for the use of our own paid-up members (though other societies within the Federation offer similar facilities).
For the corresponding SEARCH facility, click on the first blue link above, which will return results from our and other Member Societies.
As we don't have membership numbers, each entry input onto the Register will be annotated with your «First name» — and, if necessary, the initial of your «Surname». You can supply an (uncontroversial!) nickname or alias as your «First name» instead, if you wish. Neither your «Surname» nor «email address» will appear on the FHF website, but just your suggested unique ID.
That ID will be used by our Members' Interests Co-ordinator to identify and redirect any responses back to you, including the email address of the enquirer (your possible distant relation), so that you can make direct contact with them if you wish to.
We are grateful for the Federation's assistance and advice in agreeing our simple standard for members' input, as set out below.
The form allows for up to four «Surnames of Interest» to be supplied at a time, and you will see that each of the four record-sets comprises six fields, which repeat. For example, you could specify variants of the same name (such as SMITH, SMITHE, SMYTH and SMYTHE), but without the complex conventions (of "wildcards" like "❋" and "?") that some websites suggest. You can also supply a variety or names, or indeed just one single entry.
By tradition, surnames are supplied in BLOCK CAPITALS, and fields marked here with an asterisk❋ require an entry. Obviously overwrite "IGNORE" if you wish to register an interest in any second, third and fourth surnames. You can complete further forms after, if four entries are insufficient for you.
The «Place(s)» fields can hold up to about 55 characters (five or six names or so, all in the same county) — but of course you will often only want to supply a single placename or "ANY". Names should be supplied, hyphenated if they are multi-word, with a single space between each, such as "Saxmundham Benhall Stratford-St-Andrew Lit-Glemham" — some of these are, of course, unusually long names for Suffolk(!), but chosen here to illustrate all likely formats. Please don't use any other punctuation, such as (especially!) commas. You're not constrained locally, but can specify placenames anywhere — even abroad — as explained below.
What is required for the «County» and «Chapman code» is determined very much by the location. [The "County" column may be dropped during further development of this facility, but is being retained for now, as it would then be difficult to reinstate if need be. Supplying both field values introduces the complication of cross-validation. For now, please leave the «County» values blank.]
«Chapman codes» are three-character codes, used in genealogy to identify administrative divisions in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. The Federation prefers their use, as they simplify the matching and searching processes — and indeed validation too. Bear in mind that most of these codes refer to the pre-1974/75 historic or "ancient counties". The most likely ones you'll use probably appear below. You're unlikely to want to use the post-1974 Chapman codes.
EAST ANGLIA, etc: The region includes "SFK" (Suffolk), "NFK" (Norfolk), "CAM" (Cambridge) and "ESS" (Essex). «Country», of course, is "England".
LONDON: The obvious «Chapman code» is "LND", but this relates to the post-1965 GLC, so is unlikely to be relevant to your enquiries. You will want some choice from "MDX" (Middlesex), "HRT" (Hertfordshire), "BKM" (Buckinghamshire), "BRK" (Berkshire), "SRY" (Surrey), "KEN" (Kent) and again "ESS" (Essex) — all also within the «Country» of "England".
CHANNEL ISLANDS AND THE ISLE OF MAN are both 'countries' according to Chapman, so «Chapman code» and «Country» are duplicated as "CHI" or "IOM" as appropriate (or you can specify individual CI islands instead).
REST OF GREAT BRITAIN: The full list of Chapman codes can be viewed here, with the «Country» of England, Scotland or Wales as appropriate. A value-pair of "ALL" + one of these three countries is also acceptable; whilst "ALL" + "UK" defines the whole UK, including the Channel Islands and IOM.
THE ISLAND OF IRELAND is treated as one entity by Chapman, as indeed it was until 1921/22. The Chapman codes for Ireland are listed here, with «Country» also set to "Ireland", even for the Six Counties of Northern Ireland — "ANT", "ARM", "DOW", "FER", "LDY" (Londonderry) and "TYR".
OVERSEAS LOCATIONS were not identified by Dr Chapman, so use the three-letter ISO 3166-1 country codes, found here, for both the «Chapman code» and the «Country» values — such as "AUS" for Australia or "ZAF" for South Africa. Although there is still an ISO code "RSR" for Southern Rhodesia, use instead the current code of "ZWE" for Zimbabwe.
THE WHOLE WORLD is «Chapman code» and «Country» both set to "ALL".
The values of "ditto" are just to save you typing, but you can copy the value down from the equivalent position within the previous «Surname of Interest» record-set, if you so wish and find that clearer. If you don't, the Co-ordinator will do it for you before submitting your data to the FHF.
The «Period» field must always be supplied, but is completely free-format, so could, for example, have values of "1800 and later", "1900-1950", "ALL", "before 1800", "after 1750", etc. You will see that, unlike the other fields, «Period» has a more likely default of "ALL", rather than "ditto".
Finally, all record-sets where the «Surname of Interest» is "IGNORE" or been blanked out will of course be ignored — as will any subsequent record-sets. We shall copy you in by email with our interpretation of your input, so you know what we are submitting to the Federation.
☞ If you have any problems with interpreting the above guidance, please email the Members' Interests Co-ordinator for clarification.