The Family History Society of Cheshire

...a helping hand in Cheshire Genealogy Registered Charity No. 515168

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The Family History Society of Cheshire

Crewe Family History Units move

The Family History Unit (FHU) will be moving from Crewe Library to a suite of rooms in the Municipal Building.  This relocation is due to the construction of the 'Lifestyle and Wellbeing Centre'. the library will move but there is not space for our research archives.

We will be housed on the 2nd. floor of the Municipal Building.
Opening hours will remain the same, as will facilities, but with more space.  In order to undertake this move the FHU will close to visitors on Tuesday 13th. October at 4p.m.
The proposed date for reopening is Monday 4th. January 2016.  If we are able to reopen earlier than this date a notice will be posted on the website and in Crewe Library

Find My Past FREE this weekend

News just in - Find My Past (all World records) will be free this weekend
from 12 noon on Friday 18th until 12 noon on Monday 21st September.
Existing subscribers will have their subscriptions automatically extended by 3 days to compensate.
Those subscribers who only subscribe to a Local service (e.g. Britain) will additionally be able to access all world records for the weekend.

This offer excludes the UK Electoral Registers (2002-2014) and the UK Companies House Directors (2002-2014) record sets.

More details at

FindMyPast is particularly useful to Cheshire researchers as it includes access to Cheshire Parish Registers and other local records – see
Other special collections can be found at

FindMyPast also includes access to the British Newspaper Archives via its own search page at

No doubt this will be very popular and you may experience difficulty accessing the records at peak times!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2015 11:12

Cheshire Magna Carta Event

Paul Newman has arranged for Professor Graeme White to come and give a talk about the Cheshire Magna Carta at Sandbach Library on Tuesday 20 October at 2.30pm

The talk is free but places need to be booked. Click to download a poster with full details.


Events at Chester Record Offices

Something for everyone click here to download Events_programme_Aug-Oct_2015.pdf

Last Updated on Friday, 28 August 2015 22:09


A Family History Course is planned, for beginners or as a refresher, starting September 2015 at the FHSC Research Centre, Mobberley.

The Tutor for this six week course is Jean Laidlaw.

The cost will be £4 per session; charge includes use of the Research Centre Facilities: Microfilms/Fiche - Reference Library - Free access to Ancestry - FindMyPast - The Genealogist

Topics to be covered will include: Recording and Managing your Information - Civil Registration - Census Returns - Parish Registers - Non Conformist Records - Internet Research - Printed Sources - Wills

For more information, please email Jean Laidlaw ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or give your name and contact details to the Duty Volunteer at Mobberley Research Centre.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 May 2015 09:33

Pam Whyte of Macclesfield

We were saddened to learn of the death of Pam Whyte, wife of former Macclesfield Group leader Dennis Whyte, who passed away in Macclesfield Hospital on Thursday 2nd April 2015. Pam was a great help to Dennis for many years during his time as group leader of the Macclesfield group: she gave us a friendly greeting on arrival and organised the refreshments, until ill-health prevented her from attending meetings. She was also well-known to other members as a helper at the Society Research Centre when it was at Alderley Edge, and at Society open days at Northwich. We send our sincere condolences to Dennis.

The funeral will take place at Macclesfield Crematorium, Prestbury Road, Macclesfield, SK10 3BU on Thursday 30th April at 12 noon .

Family flowers only by request; if desired, donations may be made to the East Cheshire Hospice.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2015 21:33

Membership Changes - These Affect You All


For the new membership year commencing 1st July 2015 your key decision is whether you wish to continue receiving a printed version of the Cheshire Ancestor or accept an online alternative.  Page 40 of March Ancestor leads you to see how it looks.

The online file will not be sent as a personal copy: a link will be delivered directly to your email address.

To keep our copyright secure you will need your membership login.

Full details of the new subscription rates; with new bank mandates and other payment forms, are printed in the centrepages of the current editions of CHESHIRE ANCESTOR.

Every member must advise Renewals of their intentions



ALL existing members - must advise Membership Renewals of their choice for the new membership year commencing 1st July 2015.


Electronic Copy Choice – Renewals must also be given your current email address.

 Printed Journal Choice - You must adjust your payment method for the new rate and confirm your postal address


Will regretfully no longer receive a printed copy of CHESHIRE ANCESTOR,

You must advise Renewals of your current and correct email address.

The 2015/2016 subscription rate for all OVERSEAS MEMBERS is £13.00 – a reduction!  So you will need to adjust your payment system

Special and individually negotiated rates to can be arranged at cost for overseas members unable to accept the online journal: contact Membership Renewals.


This whole new system requires that:

1.   we must have your current email and postal addresses

2.   you must check your email reasonably regularly

3.   You will need to login to the Society website, needing to know your login details and password.  You can find out there what other treasures the website contains to help you!

Note That Standing Order Mandates Must Be Sent Directly To Your Bank: not to the Renewals Officer!

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 12:46

Electronic Ancestor

From July we are launching differential membership rates - the main ones as follows:

£13.00  - no increase , but you must opt to receive an electronic copy of the Ancestor

£18.00 - if you still wish to receive a paper copy

 It is  especially easy to read electronic copies via an iPad, Kindle or Tablet device. You can try out electronc copies by clicking on Cheshire Ancestor in the Main Menu and following the instructions from there. You must be logged in to view.

You must let our Membership Renewals Officer know your membership intentions and you must let us have a current email address if you want to take advantage of testing electronic copies.  You need an email addrsss to be able to login to our website and to receive society emails etc,

A more detailed article will appear here soon.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 21:49

Journal Editor required

Jean Laidlaw will be standing down as Journal Editor after producing the next  issue (December 2015).
If anyone is interested in taking over the role, please contact Jean for more information about what the job entails.

Note that it is not essential for the Editor to live in Cheshire, but of course you must be an FHSC member.



September 2015: Photo of the month

Buxton Road, Macclesfield, c. early 1900s

This postcard was published by Hartmann, 'printed in Saxony', and unposted.
The card has a divided back, so was published after 1902, but the picture itself could be from some years earlier.

In the picture can be seen:

  • a steam engine on the Macclesfield Central Station railway bridge, pushing one or more coaches 
  • just beyond the railway is the Town Yard, where the workhouse once was;
    Arighi Bianchi's furniture store is just off the picture to the left
  • beyond that, the old houses of the area between the railway and Victoria Park,
    which were declared to be slums and pulled down in the late 1960s,
    to be replaced by the Victoria Park flats which were themselves pulled down in July 2000,
    to be replaced by conventional housing.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 September 2015 15:21


The Allen y-DNA Project and Allen Guild of One Name Studies is seeking direction and guidance in establishing contact and research relationships with interested and relevant Allen participants in all locations around the world.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 August 2015 22:19

Downloading and Reading the Electronic Cheshire Ancestor

This article explains how to use a portable device such as a smartphone, tablet or Kindle to read the Electronic Cheshire Ancestor.

(Click on 'read more' below to read the full article).

Last Updated on Friday, 05 June 2015 21:55

Bertram Merrell (1938 - 2015) Obit

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.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 12:55

Volunteer Required

We urgently require a volunteer to take over the 2nd & 4th Friday afternoon sessions at the Mobberley Research Centre.

The volunteer is needed for October starting on 23rd and then every alternate Friday thereafter.

Training will be given and you will be made most welcome.

Please contact Kay Brown at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 0161 485 5579
Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2015 14:54

Forgotten your Login Details?

Please do not use our Forgotten Your Password link - it no longer works.  We will soon launch a new website, but until then just contact our webmaster to ask to have your password details reset: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 August 2014 10:06

Bracey/Bracy DNA Study

 I am the administrator of a project investigating the genetic relationships between male holders of the Bracey name and it’s variants. We have recently found a cluster of Bracey/Bracy chaps in the USA who are all the genetic descendants of William Bressee of Isle of Wight County, Virginia in the seventeenth century. 
 The Bracey surname is historically found in three locations in England, South Gloucestershire, Cheshire and Norfolk (apart from a London population from at least 1600 that are considered likely migrants, possibly from all three of those counties). We know that the South Gloucestershire family are genetically distinct from that of the Virginia patriarch and our group would like to probe the relationship between the Cheshire Bressy/Bracey family and these two clusters.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 20:21
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Registered Charity No. 515168

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