Our meetings take place on the second Tuesday of the month at Jubilee House, St Paul's St. Crewe. CW12QA
For parking use postcode CW12PT which is Victoria centre carpark (Asda carpark at the top end)
We are holding a mix of Crewe Group Face2Face meetings whilst continuing with joint zoom meetings with the Nantwich Group.
Details for the next few meetings are listed below and are posted on the Events page
Face2Face meetings are open to all, doors open at 7.15 for a 7.30 start.
There is a charge of £2 to members of FHSC and £3 for non-members of FHSC, refreshments included
Our next few meetings are:
August 10th 2023
Members Day at the Family History Unit
Come along between 10-3 and see how we can help you, bring your own laptop or use one of our PCs.
Can be help with that brickwall or are you just interested in seeing what we hold at the centre?
Pop in anytime during the opening hours.
Refreshments are available and a small donation is required
September 5th 2023
Crewe Group AGM followed by a Family History Workshop
7:30pm Start at the Wishing Well, Jubilee House, Crewe, CW1 2QA
We would like your suggestions for a subject either a workshop or a Q&A session.
We would like advance notice to prepare for this evening and can tempt you with homemade cakes it that helps.
Usual admission charges will apply.
October 10th 2023
Our Winter Programme via Zoom
Denise Bates: What's in a Name
Alongside traditional forenames that have been used across many generations, birth,
marriage, and death records reveal that there have always been some parents who have
selected non-standard names. Denise became interested in the use of such names after
discovering several examples whilst researching her family tree. This inspired her to conduct
her own extensive research into the topic which enabled Denise to identify naming patterns.
Interestingly Denise then linked this into wider social history, considering what the use of
certain names might reveal about individual parents, the times or the community where
November 21st 2023
David Cufley: The Rat Catchers
7:30pm Start via Zoom, contact to register
This talk is on the 19 th century profession of Ratcatchers and uses parts of Manchester, Kent
and Middlesex as sources. However, as the trade and methods of a ratcatcher were generic,
this will relate to us here in Cheshire perfectly. David will describe how the ratcatchers plied
their trade and earned their money, including sporting events involving rats that took place
December 12th 2023 [Hybrid]
Zoom talk preceded by Christmas Get together at The Wishing Well
This social aspect of this meeting will start at 6pm, where you are welcome to join us for
some Christmas fare, share research discoveries and maybe take part in some Family History
activities! This will be followed at 7;30pm by the talk below on Zoom, which will be
broadcast into the room via our large screen.
Jackie Depelle: Grave Concerns: More than a Resting Place
Burial records, gravestones and memorial inscriptions are all key elements of Family and Local
History. Perhaps laying an ancestor to rest closes closing down closing down the family line but there
much more associated information to uncover and research.
The Origins of Crewe
Amongst the planned communities that appeared on green field sites in nineteenth century England was that at Crewe, Cheshire which is located in the north midlands of the UK. Its creators were the Directors of the Grand Junction Railway Company (GJR) who, in June 1840, ordered their chief engineer Joseph Locke to purchase land ‘…at the junction of Crewe’ as a site for the repair and manufacturing of locomotives. The reason for this was the drastic engine failures during the early years of traffic on their line from Liverpool to Birmingham, opened in 1837. The existing small workshop at Liverpool proved incapable of expansion so the seemingly incongruous decision to transfer a community from the urban sprawl of Merseyside to the civil township of Monks Coppenhall (as the area was then known) in the rural acres of Cheshire was implemented. Thus by 1843 a new town appeared that was to dominate the economy of the region for rest of the century and beyond.
Initially, control of the community rested with the GJR which provided houses, a church, water, gas and policing, along with paving and cleansing streets. Even a primitive sanitation system was initiated, based upon the nearby Valley Brook, a trout stream, from which the trout soon disappeared.
Within a short time non-railway houses were added to the fringe of this GJR colony grouped around the workshops meaning by 1851 the population had risen in ten years from 251 to well over 4,000. This meant there were areas of the town beyond railway control so by 1860 a Local Board had been elected with powers to deal with sewage, determine levels and widths of streets, construct bridges and provide the town with an adequate water supply.
As the GJR expanded their operations by manufacturing their own locomotives and creating engine sheds for the motive power department the population also expanded. This meant that the powers of a Local Board were not sufficient to adequately deal with the problems of a large, urban community. Consequently, in 1877 Crewe was dignified with a mayor and corporation when it became a municipal borough, now outranking the nearby ancient market towns of Nantwich, Sandbach and Middlewich. By the Great War in 1914 its population was in excess of 45,000.
Unfortunately Crewe was still a single industry town with its economy heavily reliant upon the London and North Western Railway Company as the GJR had become in 1846. Such a state of affairs existed until 1938 when Rolls-Royce opened a factory to manufacture Merlin aero engines that were urgently needed to power the aircraft under the National Governments rearmament scheme. When the Second World War ended in 1945 the factory was quickly adapted to the manufacture of Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars for the luxury market.
So the town was set for the next fifty years surviving the nationalisation then privatisation of the railways, the amalgamation of Crewe with nearby Nantwich for local government purposes and finally the departure of Rolls-Royce when RR Motors was sold. It was propitious for the economy of the region that Bentley Motors remained in the town to provide much needed employment. Crewe still retains its links with its origins, however, as it still serves as junction of six railway lines that helped to bring about its birth.
Baptised in Crewe Vol 2 - further transcription of baptism records. Preparing to publish.
Transcribing of St. Michael's Coppenhall Burial Registers 1858 - 1970
Indexing of Crewe Chronicle orbituary pages.