All the latest news

Macclesfield Group AGM September 2014

The Annual General Meeting of the Macclesfield Group was held on Wednesday 24 September 2014, at St John's Church Macclesfield.
Click here to download the Minutes of the Meeting.

AGM in a Nutshell:

The Committee Members were re-elected:
Group Leader - Rosie Rowley
Secretary - Howard Rowley
Treasurer - Babs Johnson

Meetings - change of day, venue, and admission charge
From January 2015, meetings will be held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at the Salvation Army Hall, Roe Street, Macclesfield, SK11 6XD - park in Churchill Way car park (free in the evening) and enter the building through the new main door on Wellington Street.
Meeting admission charge will be £2 per person including refreshments.
Computer Club meetings will no longer be held, but computer-related topics will be incorporated into main group meetings.

Christ Church, Bebington and St. Andrew's, Bebington M.I.'s.

We have recently completed transcribing the Memorial Inscriptions at Christ Church, Bebington and have produced a book that also contains photographs of all the current headstones. The book also incorporates those transcriptions recorded in 1985.
We have also transcribed the Memorial Inscriptions at St. Andrew's and have produced a book that also contains photographs of all the current headstones.  The book also incorporates those transcriptions recorded by the S.O.G. in 1968, before the headstones were removed. There are copies of the book at Bebington Library, Mobberley and our own library.
The books have also been produced on CD and is available for purchase through the usual channels.
NEW! The BebingtonGroup will do lookups and and provide extracts from the book for the following fees : Monumental Inscription only £1.20; Inscription plus pictures of church & churchyard, plot plan, and, if available, picture of grave £2.50.
Click on the "Group Leader" link above and email us with the details of the ancestor you wish us to trace and the Church you wish us to search. We will reply and let you know if we can locate a grave.

Macclesfield Reflects

‘Macclesfield Reflects…’ WWI Project
‘Macclesfield Reflects…’ project members are researching the history of the
Macclesfield area during the early 1900s to discover the stories of those who
lived or died during the Great War and ensure they are not forgotten.
The Macclesfield Group is assisting with the ‘Macclesfield Reflects…’ project by:
transcribing local WWI - related records held in Cheshire Archives, collecting
local WWI - related information from individuals and old newspapers, assisting
local churches with research into the names on their war memorials, uploading
information to the website at, producing local
WWI displays and providing a research helpdesk at some events.
If you have any memories, photos, or documents about someone from the
Macclesfield area who was involved in WWI in any way and you would like
to share this information, please get in touch. The project group also has some
unidentified photos on the website - click on ‘Can you Help?’ to view them. If
you can identify the people or the location, please let us know. The contact
email address is

Bramhall Group Newsletter Spring 2014

January- June 2014


2nd Thursday of the month at 7.30pm


9th January –   Puddings, Pomanders and Polish – what happens in National Trust properties when closed for the winter -                                                              Barbara Foster   


13th February – Hazel Grove Full Circle– Rowcroft family history research reveals the unexpected -                                                                                                   Norman Rowcroft


13th March – CheshireKnights and some of their Ladies - Part 1– a look at the wonderful medieval effigies found in some Cheshirechurches–                       Tony Bostock  


10th April- ResearchingJohn le Mesurier’s Ancestry –                              Cathryn Walton

 8th May -  The Irish Potato Famine -  conditions & migration of  Sandra’s family -           SandraMcLaren                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

12thJune– What’s in the News – Using newspapers for family history -          Sylvia Dillon



The Bramhall Groupmeets in the Main Hall of the United Reformed Church on the corner of Robins Laneand BramhallLane South, SK7 2PEat 7.30. p.m.

Unfortunately due to the increase in costs of room hire, speakers etc. since the group’s formation, our admission cost will increase to£2 including refreshments from January 2014.

Those of you who attend on a regular basis will know that at the end of the meetings we ‘make some time’ for refreshments and give people the chance to discuss their ancestral research problems with others in the hope that they can sort some of them out. Visitors are always very welcome but we trust that those who attend regularly will join the FHSC.


For further information

Please ring 01614395021 or email 

                  Our Bramhall Group Website is

                Ian Cameron has taken over from Jim France as our new web-master

.                The Family History Society of Cheshire Website is

Our LibraryWe are in the process of cataloguing our library books & realise that some of the research sources mentioned in them are now out of date. The first place we search for information now is the internet to find out what records are available on-line.  All the same, many original sources do need checking and some of our books do contain research tips that are still relevant – so please use our library or lose it. We do need volunteers to man it at our meetings. Books, CDs etc. can only be borrowed by members. Please return all library items by the following meeting as others may be waiting to borrow them. An up-to-date list of all items held in the library can soon be viewed on our website at

We are grateful to Chris Bradley of Bramhall who has donated some books of his late father, Dennis, to our group library. Also thanks toother members & non- members for donations.

New Books in our Library:

The OxfordNames Companion – a definitive guide to surnames, first names & place names of the British Isles.

Discovering Cathedrals– David Pepin.

Tracing Your Family Tree – Jean Cole & John Titford.

The Genealogical Services Directory - Family & Local History Handbook

The History of Marple & District– Marple Local History Society

Remembered – Marple Men who fell in The Great War – Clarke, A. Cook & J Bintcliff.

McLaughlin Guides – Eve McLaughlin: Reading Old Handwriting, Simple Latin for Family Historians, Illegitimacy, The Censuses – 1841-1891

Gibson Guides - Electoral Registers since 1832 & Burgess Rolls,Poll Books c.1696-1872Land Tax Assessments c.1690-c.1950.

An Introduction to Occupations – Joyce Culling. FFHS.

An Introduction to Poor Law Documents before 1834– Anne Cole. FFHS.

Records of the Church of England – Susan Bourne & Andrew Chicken

Discovering Your Old House– David Iredale & John Barrett

My Father was a Merchant Seaman – C & M Watts

Shoemaking– June Swann

Tales of Manchester Jewry & Manchester in the Thirties, More Tales of Manchester Jewry & Rothschild in Manchester etc.- Monty Dobkin

Workhouses & Hospitals of North ManchesterSusan Hall

Working Class Housing in Nineteenth Century ManchesterJacqueline Roberts

The Invasion of 1745 - Peter JC Smith

Waterways into Castleford - John C Fletcher

Electricity in ManchesterRoy Frost

Hulme Memories- Mary Jordan

The Way to Glory - James W Bancroft

Directories of Manchester & Salford 1772 & 1778 - Elizabeth Raffald

Magazines – Selection of Family Tree magazines, Derbyshire Family History Society Journals & The Yorkshire Family Historian

                                                              BRAMHALL GROUP COMMITTEE

                                                             Ian Bickley                           Group Leader

                                                            Liz Wilkinson                      Treasurer

                       Susan Bickley                      Programme Organiser/ Publicity

                      Janet McMurray                  Refreshments Organiser

                      Mary Gash                           Refreshments Assistant

                      Norman Rowcroft               Committee Member

Please let me know at  your current email address if we do not have it. Thanks - Ian   

Wallasey Group 20th Anniversary 2010

The Wallasey Group was inaugurated 20 years ago in March.  The Committee wanted  to mark the event and have published a book to celebrate the occasion and record the achievements of the group’s members over the years.

 Our Anniversary Book, Wallasey Now and Then, is now published, and is available  at  £9.95 plus P&P, if required.  It is an A4, perfect bound book, with 176 pages and contains more than 400 photographs, old and new.

The book records many of the changes that have taken place in what was the County Borough of Wallasey.  It covers the areas of Poulton, Seacombe, Egremont, New Brighton, Upper Brighton, Liscard, Wallasey Village, Leasowe, Moreton and Saughall Massie.

Most of the new photographs have been taken during 2009 and 2010, especially for the book.

Please get in touch with me for further details of how to obtain your copy.

Irene Birch

Group Leader

Eaton Family DNA Project

I am Philip Converse, Director of the DNA program for the EATON Families Association here in the U.S. We have been operating since 2006 and have nearly 90 DNA samples by now. Most of these are U.S. Eatons, although we also have a sprinkling of samples from the U.K., Scotland and Ireland. We have so far isolated about 6 or 7 Eaton "sub-clans" residing in the U.S.

Our most urgent need is to find an Eaton male descending directly from the Richard Eaton, Vicar at Coventry, who went on to be Vicar at Great Budworth, Cheshire, in the years before his death in 1600. Two of his college-educated sons came to America.  One of them, Theophilus, later founded a new colony in southern New England, where he became the first Governor of our State of Connecticut. He died in that role in 1658, whereupon his widow brought their children back to the Great Budworth area. 

Actually. we think that we have DNA from a modern Eaton whose family has been in Ireland since before 1700, which traces to a Theophilus brother.  However, his paper trail back to Theophilus is a bit weak in the early going.  Therefore we are eager to find a current Eaton who has strong credentials back to Theophilus and his father. Cheshire seems a logical place to look, since from the 1600s to 1860, Cheshire censuses show an abundance of Eaton households residing in ithe general area around Great Budworth, who may or may not be descendants of the Vicar.  Of course there has been fair residential mobility in the period since 1860, so Eatons may have thinned out considerably in this Cheshire micro-area.  In any event, we are interested in interchanges with any males who have reason to believe they may be from this line.

We would be glad to hear from such Eatons.  Ultimately, we would want to have a DNA sample drawn from any contestants, as the final proof positive.  (The sample is simple and painless: our lab would mail a "kit" containing a couple of sponge swabs to be wiped on the inner cheeks, rewrapped and sent back to Houston, Texas.)  The sample is, however, pricey: US$ 149.  We would be glad to review paper trails presented, and if we felt they were truly strong, we would pay for the test.  If we are reduced to somewhat weaker paper trails, we would consider another arrangement, such as sharing the costs equally.

We would be glad to receive paper trails at 

Macclesfield Christmas Social December 2013

Christmas Social Evening and Quiz

At this year's Christmas Social the 4 Teams had their memories challenged by a round of Talk Bingo, a Video Round, an Audio Round and two rounds of questions covering Occupations and Places.




Whilst our quizzers tucked into the refreshments during the breaks, our Group Leader Rosie put her organisational skills to the test and provided the tea and coffee refreshments.

Macclesfield Group AGM 2013

The Annual General Meeting of the Macclesfield Group was held on Wednesday 25 September 2013, at St John's Church Macclesfield.

The following were elected onto the new Committee:
Group Leader - Rosie Rowley
Computer Club Leader - Howard Rowley
Secretary - Howard Rowley
Treasurer - Babs Johnson

The Role of the Committee is to ‘Steer the ship’
•    Ensure the Group is running smoothly
•    Ensure the Group is run within FHSC guidelines
•    Ensure Volunteers receive the support they need
•    Reduce costs where possible
•    Increase income where possible
•    Ensure Meeting Programmes deliver what our members are looking for
The Committe will be supported by a Volunteer Team comprising:

•    Membership Secretary:
     Maintain Macclesfield Group membership lists, send welcome letters to new members.
     Check FHSC communications for membership changes. Mike Fidgett

•    Bookings Secretary:
     Find/book speakers and premises. Confirm bookings, pay speakers, send thank-you letters.  Chris Gosling

•    Refreshments Organiser:
     Organise the serving and clearing away. Julie Skirvin

•    Sales Organiser:
     Pack and post orders for Group Publications.
     Organise sale of Publications at meetings/events.  Margaret Heathcote

•    Projects Co-ordinator:
     Oversee all Macclesfield Group projects. Prepare project descriptions.
     Volunteer to be confirmed when Projects are identified.

•    Help Requests Secretary:
     Respond to help request letters/emails. Ask Group members for help. Maintain a list of useful contacts.
     Pat Craig (Supported by Bob Nixon and John Yates)

L&NWR Crewe Engineering Works Staff Registers

The L&NWR -Crewe Engineering Works Staff Registers  are now available to view on microfilm in the Family History Unit at Crewe. 

These records chart the employment history of each employee including any disciplinary action taken, as well as first date of employment and date of birth.  Some record the previous employer and rates of pay. In addition there are 2 films relating to staff employed in Carlisle and Rugby.There are 21 films of available records but there are gaps as some books are missing.  

We are grateful for the support of members who have helped us to raise over £1,000 towards the cost of these films. If you are travelling to view these films then please make an appointment to book a viewer.

Baptised in Crewe Volume 1

CD for sale,  helping you to trace your ancestors baptised in CREWE:

43,000 transcribed entries from various churches within the town.  Also included are images and potted histories of the churches.

The CD costs £10  plus postage and packaging. For further details please dowload and copy of our flyer and application form.

flyer    application form

Computer Resources at Mobberley Research Centre

I am pleased to announce that we have subscribed to a Worldwide membership for This is available to search for free at the Research Centre on one computer.

As a result of this Find my past will only be available to view on three computers .

Membership for The Genealogist Diamond edition has been renewed for another year.

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.

 We are able to offer a free DNA test to any Bracey chap who can demonstrate or believes he is related to a branch of the Cheshire family and I wondered if you might have any members of your Society with Bracey interests who may be able to help us in locating such a DNA donor?

 Kind regards
 John Clement 
 Bracey Y-DNA Project Administrator

Crewe Group Volunteer

Due to the retirement of one of our volunteers we have a vacancy for a lead person to work in our research room in the south of the county.
Saturday 9.00 - 13.00 hrs at present (but could be Wednesday, Thursday or Friday to suit)
Vacancy can be filled by existing volunteer willing to take on extra responsibility or a new volunteer who could be trained. Opening and closing the unit within the library as well as assisting visitors with their research.
Thank you for considering this vacancy.
Please contact the unit any Monday or Tuesday for further information, alternatively email Margaret Spate  

Cheshire Ancestor WWI Edition

I am planning to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War by devoting the whole of the September 2014 issue of Cheshire Ancestor to material relating to that time.  However, I will need your help.  Do you have any letters, postcards, diaries, photographs etc. of the period which could be included?   I would also like to include details of books and websites that will be of help to people researching that time, particularly those with Cheshire connections.  I know many local history societies are researching various aspects of the First World War; do you know of any doing such research? It might be invaluable to fellow members.  Please contact me if you have any documents or information or if you can help in any way.

Click on the read more button for details of a special Members' competition.

To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, the FHSC is also launching a special members’ competition. Members are invited to commemorate, in words and pictures, the life of an ancestor or relative – male or female. The subject does not have to have seen active service. Explain how the First World War changed their lives and describe the part they played in it and why they mean so much to you. The rules of the competition are below.  The prize winning article will be published in the September 2014 Cheshire Ancestor and the winner will receive £50 to spend on books or CDs from the bookstall.  The second and third places will receive £25 to spend on books or CDs from the bookstall and also have their articles published in Cheshire Ancestor.

FHSC Members’ Competition 2014

To Commemorate the Centenary of the First World War.

The competition is open only to those who are current members of FHSC.  The subject of your biography or article should be a person from your family tree but not necessarily a direct ancestor.  If preferred, you may wish to feature a family group rather than one individual.

• The completed article should be no fewer than 2,000 and no more than 5,000 words in length.  It should not have been previously published.  The copyright will remain with the author.

• There does not need to be a Cheshire connection.

• Illustrations would be helpful and are encouraged.

• Sources should be given at the end of your work but not included in the overall word count. 

• Members may submit more than one entry – but if so, successive items should not refer to the same individuals/family group.

• Your name, email, postal address, and membership number should all be shown at the beginning of your submission.

• The judges will be looking for a well-researched biography/article that includes research from a variety of sources.

• The judges’ decision will be final.

• The winning entry will appear in the Cheshire Ancestor in September 2014 with further entries appearing as space allows.

• Entries should be submitted by email or on a CD/DVD, preferably in Word or RTF format with any illustrations presented as TIFF or JPEG files.  Alternatively, entries may be submitted as typed text, with quality copies (not originals) of illustrations.

• Entries should be sent to    or The Editor, Cheshire Ancestor, 47 Sycamore Crescent, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 8LW

• Entries must be received before 1st April 2014.  Results will be announced in the Cheshire Ancestor and on the website.

Tameside WW1 Project

Joint Project to research the names on the Ashton Grammar School War Memorial and to create a drama based on this research. This will be performed by the current students of Ashton Sixth Form College and will be filmed and shown at Portland Basin Museum.

This project has been pinned on the WDYTYA Magazine: Britain Remembers World War One Project Map: