in Cheshire

Latest news from the FHSC

A House Through Time: Series 4

Series 4 of a House Through Time starts next Tuesday [7th September] BBC 2

David Olusoga sets out once more to uncover the history of a single house, exploring the lives of its residents to tell an extraordinary story that spans 150 years.
This time the house is in Leeds, a city whose wool and textile trades helped make Victorian Britain an industrial superpower.
The featured property is 5 Grosvenor Mount, a Victorian family home of middling social standing in the suburb of Headingley.
Current owners Jackie and Pete know very little about the houseโ€™s history, but reveal tantalising clues about its past - from a name scratched into a wall, to a crack rumoured to be caused by an earthquake.
As normal I will be providing a sheet with links to all the archives and record set used and will publish them on our social media feeds and upload them to the website 
Link to BBC website for more information
Latest News on our Research Centers

Mobberley Research Centre & Crewe Family History Unit News 



We expect to be able to reopen Mobberley Research Centre to members on Monday 6th September.

Please phone the centre on 01565 872210 during opening hours before making your journey - for opening hours

Before we reopen we will carry out a risk assessment and  make any necessary arrangements for the safety of our volunteers and visiting members.

We will have hand sanitiser and wipes available for tables and computers.

Please bring a mask with you and, if you wish, disposable gloves.


We are unsure if the kitchen facilities will be open so you may need to bring a drink.

Toilet facilities will be open as usual.

The centre will be kept well ventilated.

The Mobberley Committee and Duty Volunteers look forward to reopening the Research Centre and welcoming members back to continue their research.




The Crewe FHU team are busy preparing the Unit to receive visitors/researchers,  but until Cheshire East Council fully reopen the Municipal Buildings we cannot give a firm date. 

We envisage that an appointment only system will be in place at first.

As soon as any definite news is available members will be updated via newsletter or email

HS2 Seeks Help Transcribing Historic Burial Records


Are you up for a bit of volunteer transcribing? 


The HS2 rail project are seeking members of the public to transcribe over 50,000 records and have launched a new crowdsourcing project to transcribe 57,639 burial records from Londonโ€™s St Jamesโ€™s Burial Ground.

St Jamesโ€™s, an 18th century burial ground near Euston station that was home to 31,000 bodies, was excavated by archaeologists between 2018 and 2019 as part of HS2โ€™s construction.

The St Jamesโ€™s burial records have been digitised on crowdsourcing platform Zooniverse, and volunteers are encouraged to transcribe details such as each personโ€™s name, date of burial, lot and plot number, age at death and cause of death.

Link to the transcription page and more details -


FHSC Seminars

With the relaxation of lockdown restrictions on the horizon many Groups are looking forward to returning to the traditional meeting format at local venues BUT are also keen to carry on with occasional Zoom talks.  During the pandemic the shift to online delivery had the added benefit of enabling many members, from both abroad and around the UK, who would not normally be able to attend meetings, to join in with the activities, feel part of the FHSC community, and add to the richness and diversity Group meetings. 

In order that members should not feel disenfranchised FHSC have decided, in addition to the normal Group meetings, to stage a regular, centrally-organised monthly seminar open to all full FHSC members. Called the Family History Society of Cheshire Seminars these talks will feature well-known national and local speakers addressing an impressive selection of topics related to Family History, from instructional talks on using DNA,  a presentation on the history of the Titanic,  to the more light-hearted with a look behind the scenes at Who Do You Think You Are. To date, we are pleased to announce that, among others, we have booked: Dr Nick Barrett, Mark Potts, Prof Martin Johnes, Dr Michala Hulme, Natalie Bodle, Dr Janet Few, Dave Annal and Prof Rebecca Probert.

These seminars will take place on the third Wednesday of each month and will get underway on 20th October with the inaugural Dorothy Flude Memorial Lecture, delivered this year by Mark Potts.  The seminars will be advertised in the usual way on the Events page of the FHSC website, in the Group News section of The Ancestor as well as on our social media platforms and by newsletter.

The talks will be co-ordinated and hosted on behalf of the Society by Margaret Spate, Jean Laidlaw, and Margaret Roberts.  The Seminars will be run slightly differently from a normal Group Zooms and a newsletter will be winging it's way to members soon with details of how to register for each talk.  It is also important to note that we have a dedicated email address -  - to which any queries or comments regarding the series should be sent. 

The Family History Society of Cheshire Seminars form part of the service provided by the Society to its members and are included within the normal annual membership subscription. Why pay up to ยฃ10 to watch a single โ€˜virtualโ€™ speaker when your ยฃ18 FHSC membership currently gives you at least six Zoom meetings a month and will soon have the additional benefit of our innovation centralised Seminars  - what a bargain!


Margaret, Jean and Margaret



Findmypast Removes International Newspaper Collection

Family history website Findmypast has removed 120 million pages of international old newspapers after its contract with Heritage Archives elapsed.


If you follow the FHSC social media platforms then you will have read about this last week 


Under a contract, signed in 2012, Findmypast made 120 million newspaper pages from the USA, China, Denmark, Germany, France, Jamaica and South Africa available to its Pro subscribers.

However, from early August reports emerged of Findmypast removing the newspapers without warning.  FMP added that it would not offer a reduced subscription fee but also noted that they are now offering free access to one million pages from their British Newspaper Archive Collection, with millions more to come over the enxt four year. 


Read more at the link below




Updated Open Times for Cheshire Archives & Local Studies

New Opening Times for CALS below, including updated restriction/mitigation arrangements 


Monday, closed

Tuesday, 9am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4pm

Wednesday, 9am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4pm

Thursday, 9am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4pm

Friday, closed



  • We have space for four researchers accessing original records or local studies publications per morning or afternoon session
  • We have space for one researcher using a microfilm reader per morning or afternoon session
  • Copying and research service is available if you don't wish to travel to the Record Office
  • Access to staff will be limited and any conversations regarding collections should take place in advance by telephone
  • Visitors to the Record Office are encouraged to wear face coverings at all times
  • Gloves should not be worn to handle documents
  • Social distancing arrangements will be in place

Arranging an appointment

  • If you wish to make an appointment please contact us in advance. We will let you know what time slots we have available or suggest other options for accessing the records remotely
  • If you would like to speak with an Archivist in advance let us know and we will arrange a telephone call

For further details click on the following link to the Visting Us section of the CALS website


Explore Over One Million Historical Newspaper Pages for FREE
Explore over one million historical newspaper pages for FREE on FindMyPast and the BNA

This will be expanded by more than 2.7 million additional free pages over the next four year

There are currently 158 free newspapers on offer, dating from 1720 to 1880 and covering a diverse array of histories, locations and topics.

In order to search these free titles you will need to visit the main search page of the BNA, [ ] or the newspaper serach page of FindMyPast [ ]

and in both cases scroll down to the box on the left-hand side of the page noted as 'Free to View' - check that box and then carry out your seach. 

A link to the blog with much more detail from Find My Past - click on this link        



Murgatroyd's Brine Pumps Middlewich: Open Days

The Brine Pumps are open for Heritage Open Days:

18th/19th September from 12 noon to 4pm each day

Brooks Lane, Middlewich CW10 0JG


Now restored and off the at risk heritage list.

Explore 130 years of history on this scheduled monument site, discover the story of one man's dream of progress and fortune

The site also includes information on the ground beneath our feet and the art of salt making both relevant to the school curriculum.

The event is totally free and the project would appreciate people's feedback on the restoration so far.


Do you have Memories or Treasures from Browns of Chester to share?

On Friday 20 August, from 12pm -7pm


A POP-UP display at Chester Market will give visitors and residents the chance to look back on the history of the city's iconic Browns department store and contribute to a growing archive.

Staff from Cheshire Archives, Cheshire West and Chester Museums and the University of Chester will be showcasing some of the objects, photos and documents they hold from the store

Members of the public are encouraged to come along and view these treasures, and share some of their own memories and personal items from Browns of Chester.


๐๐‘๐„๐€๐Š ๐ˆ๐ ๐€๐“ ๐“๐‡๐„ ๐Œ๐€๐‚๐‚๐‹๐„๐’๐…๐ˆ๐„๐‹๐ƒ ๐’๐ˆ๐‹๐Š ๐Œ๐”๐’๐„๐”๐Œ
Maccesfield Museums are devastated to report the Silk Museum was broken into on morning of 2nd August around 5am.
On top of the thieves creating a huge amount of damage to the museum building, they have smashed the donations box and taken public donations as well as stealing 2 medals awarded to Charles Tunnicliffe:
  • Gold Medal - awarded to Charles Tunnicliffe for his services to bird protection by the Royal Society of the protection of birds in 1975.
  • OBE - awarded to Charles Tunnicliffe for service to the arts.
On the centenary year of Charles Tunnicliffe this a callous act and is a huge blow to the museum in what is already a difficult year.
Please share these images of the medals far and wide, FHSC hope that they can be returned soon.
The Silk Museum a great home for Macclesfield's past and a great space for Macclesfield's present and future.
To help in anyway at all then please click on the link below
Note for the diary ๐Ÿ“–
A free conference on Zoom
Saturday 25 September 2021
๐‘ฎ๐‘ฌ๐‘ต๐‘ฌ๐‘จ๐‘ณ๐‘ถ๐‘ฎ๐’€ ๐‘จ๐‘ต๐‘ซ ๐‘บ๐‘ถ๐‘ช๐‘ฐ๐‘จ๐‘ณ ๐‘ฏ๐‘ฐ๐‘บ๐‘ป๐‘ถ๐‘น๐’€: ๐‘ฒ๐‘ต๐‘ถ๐‘พ ๐’€๐‘ถ๐‘ผ๐‘น ๐‘จ๐‘ต๐‘ช๐‘ฌ๐‘บ๐‘ป๐‘ถ๐‘น๐‘บ
from the Register of Qualified Genealogists (RQG)

The  main speakers include:

Helen Johnson, Professor of Criminology at the University of Hull and Professor Heather Shore, Professor of History, Manchester Metropolitan University speaking on focussing on their research into criminal ancestors.

Melanie Backe-Hansen, a historian specialising in house histories who was involved in the recent BBC programmes โ€˜A house through timeโ€™, speaking on her research on house histories

David Annal, speaking about his research focussing on the impact of illegitimacy on the records our ancestors leave behind and the ways in which they are recorded.

For full programme details and how to register please click on the link below
๐–๐ž๐›๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ: ๐€๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐†๐ž๐ง๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ฒ: ๐€๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐’๐ž๐ฉ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐‹๐จ๐ง๐ 
News of a FREE online conference by Legacy in conjuntion with MyHeritage: 
๐–๐ž๐›๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ: ๐€๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐†๐ž๐ง๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ฒ: ๐€๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐’๐ž๐ฉ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐‹๐จ๐ง๐ 
While most of the talks are North American centric there are some really interesing subjects, especially if you have ancestry over the pond!
You can watch live or the recordings will be free to view from September 3rd until the end of the month
Details below [taken from the publicity material] -
Take your genealogy skills to the next level with this FREE online genealogy conference, held each Friday in September:
30 live and pre-recorded webinars in all.
Join live for all four Fridays or just one, and if you can't, then you're still covered!
Enjoy the recordings at your convenience โ€” they'll be free to view through to the end of the month.
Link to PDF flyer with more details and how to register ๐Ÿ‘‰