in Cheshire

Latest news from the FHSC

Cheshire Research Buddies: Virtual Helpdesks

Ever wished you could have a Cheshire research buddy? Other FHSC members who perhaps know a little more about the area your ancestors hail from, who live in the town or parish, could point you in the right direction for records or even pop out to take a picture of a gravestone or a building, or who may even be a long lost relative?

This new FHSC initiative will offer just that โ€“ a chance for members to help each other and in the process become better family historians.

Starting in May our Publicity Officer, Margaret Roberts, will be running a monthly Zoom Helpdesk based on a particular parish/village/area, industry or surname interest. The idea is that members who are researching the topic of the month can come along to ask for help, share knowledge, offer assistance and generally support each other.

The meetings will take place on the last Saturday of the month at 2pm, except for October when it is usually our AGM. The dates and topics of the first two meetings are shown below. These are both places that are often mentioned as those that members are researching in and need help with.

  • May 27th: Sandbach
  • June 24th Malpas

In order to make sure the places and topics that members want are covered, please email Margaret on with ideas for future meeting topics. Watch out for further updates as the list is compiled. Margaret also asks that those who wish to attend and who have a research question to email that question in advance so that it can be shared  with other attendees beforehand.

FHSC members will need to register to attend, in the same way that you do for the Seminar series. Pop along to the FHSC website, click on Events at the top of the page and scroll down until you find the Cheshire Research Buddies listing, click on the blue title, then click on 'Join' followed by 'Save'. 


PLEASE only register if you plan to attend the meetings, as numbers will be limited. Registration is open now and closes at 10am on the day of the meeting 

Latest Dataset from Railways Work. Life and Death project

What happened after an accident? The new trade union data release


The next update to the Railways Work, Life an Death project dataset has been launhed, with around 25,000 records from the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (ASRS)/ National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) trade union. Their records show how the Union supported its members after accidents โ€“ and not just accidents, either: ill-health and old age both feature extensively, giving us even more insight, previously unavailable, into workersโ€™ lives.


The link with information and to download the data is ๐Ÿ‘‰


The Crewe Works 180th anniversary exhibition is coming to Crewe in July!
2023 sees the 180th anniversary of the Grand Junction Railway Engineering Works moving from Edge Hill to Crewe and to mark this historic event Crewe Town Council are planning an exciting exhibition.
๐Ÿ“… 1st July - 10th September (weekends and bank holidays)
๐Ÿ“Œ Crewe Heritage Centre
The exhibition theme will be "How Locomotives were a catalyst for change in Crewe" and visitors will be able to explore the following topics:
Crewe Works:
โ€ข Experience the sights and sounds of arriving for a shift at Crewe Works
โ€ข Understand why Crewe Works was built and what was made there
โ€ข Sit in the Drawing Office and design your own loco or learn what tools were used in the Erecting Shop
โ€ข Meet the workers and learn about their lives
โ€ข Drive a train
How did Crewe Works affect peopleโ€™s lives?
โ€ข Find out how the technologies and innovations from Crewe Works influenced railway development across the world
โ€ข Discover Creweโ€™s record holders and award-winning locomotives
โ€ข Explore how the Works contributed to the war effort in 1914 and 1939
How did Crewe Works affect the development of Crewe?
โ€ข Learn how the Works shaped the town of Crewe
โ€ข Have dinner in a railway cottage
โ€ข Go to school in Victorian Crewe
โ€ข Discover how railway accidents at the Works informed developments in health
Looking to the future:
โ€ข Find out what is still made at Crewe Works today
โ€ข Add to a community exhibition about what we are proud of in Crewe
A wraparound programme of pop up events will also be on offer, including drama, town trails, school sessions, heritage skills demonstrations and talks.
If you would like to be involved or to find out more, please contact:
The Crewe Works 180th exhibition webpage is live and will be updated with programme information on an ongoing basis:
Photo credit: Crewe & District Local History Association.
๐€๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ : ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐‹๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐‘๐ž๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ
Irish journalist Martin Barry was only 30 years old when he died at the Dignitas Clinic in Zurich, accompanied by his ex girlfriend Laura McDaid.
The night before he died, he asked Laura to fulfil his last request: to track down his birth mother and pass on a message.
Martin had been born in a mother and baby home in Co. Cork in Ireland. He'd never met his birth mother.
Twenty years later, along with her producer Kerry Jamison, Laura embarks on a search that will take her from the top of this island to the bottom and across the Irish sea, to fulfil the promise she made to Martin
๐€๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ : ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐‹๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐‘๐ž๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ
A 6 part podcast from the BBC - be sure to listen to them all for the full story ๐Ÿ‘‰
Eighteen (!) FREE sources for Irish Genealogy

  1. Guide to Irish Family History sources (NLI website):
  2. RC parish records (not indexed, best used in conjunction with free FindMyPast index):
  3. source of civil registration records (all island up to 1921) and information on other sources (read about what is available and what time-frames are covered):
  4. National Archives of Ireland genealogy links: Including the census, will calendars from 1858 (read the guide to testamentary records), and many other useful genealogy sources.
  5. contains directories, maps, and how to work out which civil parish or registration district an RC parish is in and vice versa.
  6. LibraryIreland: Various sources including many town and county directories (not all at Swilson) and some useful sources (Matheson) on surnames and first name variations in the registrations
  7. AskAboutIreland: includes some Thoms Directories but most importantly the Griffiths Land Valuations:
  8. For places (townlands, electoral districts, civil parishes - important info for census and civil registration) see
  9. Transportation Records to Australia:
  10. Chief Secretary's Office Papers (CSORP): sometimes you'll find information about appeals related to transportation or requests for appointments, or transfers to other parts of what were then the British colonies.
  11. Linked to both transportation and CSORP papers are the proclamations giving details of offences and the persons sought in conjunction with them (weirdly, these are published on the website of the Law Reform Commission as these Acts need to be repealed!)
  12. Dรบchas Schools Folklore Collection. A project organised by the Irish government in the 1930s, folklore including stories about local people gathered by primary schools around what's now the Republic of Ireland
  13. Registry of Deeds Index Project: Mostly deeds/mortgages related to land, some marriage articles/settlements and wills: This is an ongoing project to index and transcribe documents dating from the 1700s The collection is imaged but not indexed here:
  14. Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland (No clan tartans - not an Irish thing!) - if a specific ancestor and his descendants were issued a coat of arms you may find the details here of the pedigree that they presented
  15. Irish Manuscripts Commission - a variety of sources including King's Inn's Admission papers for anyone with a lawyer in their family tree, Registry of Deeds and abstracts of wills from about 1708-1830, Guide to Irish Quaker Records, Books of Survey and Distribution, etc etc
  16. Virtual Treasury - a new collaboration and work in progress to try to reconstruct some of the sources lost during the fire in the Public Records Office in 1922, including some of the sources mentioned in previous links e.g. Irish Manuscripts Commission:
  17. I almost forgot about the Memorials for the Dead, a collection of journals publishing (notable) memorial inscriptions, sometimes on graves that no longer exist or are now illegible. Several volumes available at - this is just one.
Watch our Membership Renewals Secretary on Eggheads
Here at FHSC there are a lot of us on the Exec committee and those who volunteer at our research centres that work away feverishly in the background - 
You may never meet any of us or indeed even know what we look like
Well - our Membership Renewals Officer - Kevin Dean - will be appearing on Eggheads quiz show on Monday 13 March 2023 at 6:30pm on Channel 5.
His team is called Mrs Clark's Boys
I know it's already been recorded but good luck Kev all the same!
UPDATE - the date has been changed to one in April - will update when I know more