FEEFHS was organized in 1992 as The Federation of East European Family History Societies, an international organization to promote genealogical research in Eastern and Central Europe without any ethnic, religious, or social distinctions. Originally set as an umbrella organization for societies with similar interests, the organization changed their name in 2014 to The Foundation for East European Family History Studies with a new focus. (see news article on the home page)
FEEFHS defines Eastern Europe in the broadest, most inclusive sense, taking into consideration current and former political alliances as well as geographic designations. FEEFHS' map of Eastern Europe, therefore, encompasses the following regions:
* The furthest extent of the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union, including even Asian republics.
* All other European countries that were at one time considered to be behind the Iron Curtain.
* Central European countries whose historical boundaries once extended into these same regions, such as Germany, Sweden, and Austria.
* Other European countries physically located eastward.
Put another way, FEEFHS scope includes the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine.
The idea to create an international organization designed to foster the development of East European genealogy was conceived in 1992 by a small group of leading genealogists, linguists, and other specialists with East European expertise and diverse ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds. Charles M. Hall conceived the idea of an international federation concentrating on East European research, and invited the group to meet in Seattle, Washington that June to consider the best ways to proceed.
At that time, the recent collapse of the Iron Curtain had created new opportunities for working with Eastern European records, previously unknown or inaccessible to the genealogical community. This flow of information coincided with an upsurge in interest in genealogy and the movement to establish new genealogical societies in particular ethno-geographic niches. The founders of FEEFHS recognized the need for a support organization to foster the creation and development of individual societies, promote interaction between societies for mutual benefit, and advance the field of Eastern European genealogy research in general. Existing genealogical umbrella organizations served primarily North American and British Isles interest groups. The same kind of support organization was needed for the Eastern European genealogy. Thus, FEEFHS was born.
By the end of 1992, eleven societies embraced the concept of FEEFHS as founding members. A constitution and bylaws were ratified in 1993 (and revised in 2002). The number of FEEFHS' member organizations doubled each year for several years after its founding. By bringing together people with similar interests, FEEFHS helped inspire the creation of several new organizations, including the German Galizien Descendants and the Silesian American Genealogical Society. Our website has served as an incubator of sorts, providing an Internet presence for dozens of societies until they were able to start their own sites. Our influence over the years cannot be overstated.
The development of electronic communications to facilitate global outreach and community building was then in its infant stages. FEEFHS became one of the earliest genealogical organizations to establish a presence on the Web in May 1995. Our own doman, FEEFHS.org, was introduced in the spring of 1996. Our website featured the first Eastern European map collection for genealogical use. From the beginning it has provided web space and links to member organizations and individuals. The site has received several awards over the years, and was recognized in the first New York Times article on web-based genealogical research.
FEEFHS has been actively involved in numerous activities over its 15-year history. Among other things, FEEFHS activities have included:
* Publishing an annual professional journal
* Publishing an online member newsletter
* Maintaining the award-winning FEEFHS.org web site since 1996
* Hosting annual international conferences
* Creating and hosting genealogy databases
* Hosting a premier collection of historical maps online
* Promoting awareness of member societies
* Promoting communication among member societies
* Providing support to member societies and to the creation of new societies
In early 2010 we adopted a new approach, eliminating the formal concept of paid membership and dispensing with our annual journal. FEEFHS is open to everyone, and we offer this website as well as an annual workshop for genealogical researchers.
The business administration of FEEFHS is governed by an Executive Council. The constitution requires that at least one officer is a Canadian and at least one an American, to insure international participation..
FEEFHS is incorporated as a Utah non-profit educational institution. FEEFHS is nonsectarian. FEEFHS is not affiliated with any religious institution. FEEFHS members include diverse Central and East European religious and ethnic groups. Nonetheless, FEEFHS deeply appreciates the contributions of religious institutions to family history through collecting, preserving, microfilming, digitizing and making available records of genealogical and historical interest.
We seek to cooperate with all religious groups to increase knowledge of and access to genealogical records. We can and will work with anyone interested in creating an online finding aid, database, etc. for any Central or East European records. We also invite professional and amateur genealogists to contribute articles, case studies, lists, links, images, or other information for possible inclusion on this web site.
All material on this website is fully copyrighted by the originator of the material. For material created by others, FEEFHS or the webmaster retains copyright on the website version of this material only by virtue of adding the HTML tags and coding needed to publish it on the web.
FEEFHS retains a non-exclusive copyright on FEEFHS Resource Directory pages it has created for publicizing the services and existence of other member and non-member organizations, societies and associatons. This is so as to be able to publish this information in printed form within its annual FEEFHS Journal and in other ways.
Respect of Copyright Ownership of Others
It is the intent and ongoing effort of FEEFHS and the webmaster to fully respect and obey all copyright provisions of the laws of the United States of America on these web pages. By doing so, we also hope to fully respect the copyright laws of other nations worldwide.
In doing so we ask all submitters of information to this website to copyright their own intellectual property and/or obtain the written consent of other copyright owners when using material copyrighted by others. This applies beyond brief quotations under the "Fair Use" principle. We also encourage all submitters to give full credit to all their significant sources, whatever their copyright status.
On several occasions in the past we have refused to post and publish on this website material that appeared to come from the copyrighted work of others (for which no release had been obtained). Should any material appearing here seen to be the copyright work of someone not recognized, Please contact , FEEFHS Outreach Director, immediately so the situation can be resolved.
All material on this destination website of the World Wide Web has been posted on a good faith basis for the sole purpose of assisting record searchers in successfully accomplishing their genealogy and family history objectives. Caution is advised in checking the underlying source material for accuracy before accepting any factual statement made here.
By using any or all material on this "do-it-yourself" website, you agree this information is provided as is on a best efforts basis, will all faults and without any warrenty of any kind, expressed or implied. The entire risk as to the quality and purpose of this website material is with the user.
In no event will the copyright holder be liable for damages, including any general, specific or consequential damages, arrising out of the use or inability to use this website and/or any of its files, pages or information.
Our mailing address:
P.O. Box 321
Springville, Utah 84663
For general email inquries, please contact , FEEFHS Outreach Director.
Charles M. Hall, Holladay, Utah
FEEFHS executive council
Thomas K. Edlund, Granite, Utah
Milan Pohontsch, Provo, Utah
Walt Knepper, Redington Beach, FL
Kahlile Mehr, Bountiful, Utah
Joe Everett, Mapleton, Utah
Joanne Sher, Duluth, MN
Board Member, Past-President:
Dave Obee, Saanich, British Columbia
Peg Ivanyo, Springville, Utah
More about the FEEFHS officers