We are sad to report the death of Bertram Merrell on 14 April 2015 at the age of 76. He was a founder member of the Family History Society of Cheshire and chaired the inaugural meeting at Stanley Palace in Chester on 28 June 1969 which was attended by 34 members. The formation of the Society, which was one of the earliest in the country, and the publication a quarterly newsletter that was to become the Cheshire Ancestor magazine, and many of the early transcription and indexing projects projects would not have happened without the energy and commitment shown by him and his wife, Victoria Merrell.
By December 1969 membership had increased to 78 and it is interesting to recall that the initial subscription was £1 per annum and the price of GRO birth, marriage and death certificates was just 8 shillings (40p). He had already started to compile what was to become known as the Bertram Merrell Marriage Index of Cheshire covering the period 1580-1837 and had amassed 14,000 entries. Another early project was the Surname Referral Index which was based on pedigree charts of Cheshire families compiled and submitted by members. Other early projects were the indexing of names appearing in Cheshire parish registers and transcribing monumental inscriptions in Cheshire churchyards.