The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy was conceived in the year 2000, initially as a web resource providing access to controlled and verified information. Later the co-founders, Joe Edwards and Lindsay Brook, developed the plan for a non-profit charitable organisation that could collect, books, journals, scholarly papers and research outputs. Where possible access to these would be provided online.
An important component of the founding collections were the books and papers of the late Charles F H Evans, FSA, FSG, much of which concerned medieval genealogy. Lindsay Brook had been a colleague and friend of Charles, and they had worked over many years on a complete revision of Turton's The Plantagenet Ancestry. In the event, this project was subsequently put on hold given the progress made by other researchers, particularly in the USA, but it was a stimulus for the establishment of the FMG.
An inaugural meeting was held on 3 November 2001, involving Lindsay Brook, Joe Edwards (Charles Evans’ grandson) and other members of Charles’ family. It was agreed that a formal organisation should be established, to be called “The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy”. Charles Evans should be designated a posthumous patron.
With advice from the Charity Commission for England and Wales, a constitution was drafted and a board of five trustees appointed. FMG was granted formal charity status by the Commission on 1st February 2002, registered number 1090387.
The objects of the foundation remain valid today, encompassing:
- the advancement of public education in the study of medieval genealogy and prosopography
- the promotion of research into medieval genealogy
- the publication of the useful results of that research.
The subsequent years have seen steady growth and consolidation, building up the collections of the Foundation and encouraging Users and Members to contribute. We identified a niche for a specialist publication focused on medieval genealogy, and the first issue of Foundations, was published in January 2003. The journal has matured into a fully peer-reviewed publication, aiming to set a high standard of quality and reliability. Another landmark was the tribute to our guiding spirit, Charles Evans, through the publication of his Complete Works in book and CD formats to celebrate the centenary of his birth in 2003. Other activities have included online publications, including the Medieval Lands dataset which is regularly updated with inputs from contributors around the world, and our searchable bibliographic database that incorporates a full library catalogue. Further information about the Foundation can be found by browsing the website.
A significant new collaboration was established in 2012 through an agreement with the Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies (CMRS) in Oxford. The Centre has kindly agreed to store the bulk of our book collection in good and secure condition, with study access for our members.