All the latest news

Cheshire Archives and Local Studies survey re new History Centres in Crewe & Chester

Cheshire Archives and Local Studies survey re new History Centres in Crewe & Chester

As members may be aware, in 2019 Cheshire Archives and Local Studies received a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop plans to relocate the service to two new β€˜history centres’ in Chester and Crewe.

It is important that the project engages more people with the service and with archives, and the project team is currently speaking to people across Cheshire about what they would most like to see from the new service.

The project would therefore like your views and have written a short survey to help capture these. This will help to define priorities for the future service.

It is expected that a further funding bid will be submitted to the National Lottery Heritage Fund early in 2022. If this is successful, the project will be carried out from mid 2022 until 2025/2026.

The survey is open until Sunday 13th June 2021 and can be found at the following link -

Thank you for your support. For the latest news from the service, please see our newsletter, which can be read by clicking on this link -

May 12th - Mass Observation Day

May 12th - Mass Observation Day

Wednesday 12th May 2021: Would you like to keep a one-day diary for Mass Observation?

On the 12th May 2021, the Mass Observation Archive will be repeating its annual call for day diaries, capturing the everyday lives of people across the UK.

The written diaries will be stored in the Archive at The Keep and be used by a wide range of people for research, teaching and learning.

In 1937 Mass Observation called for people from all parts of the UK to record everything they did from when they woke up in the morning to when they went to sleep at night on 12th May. This was the day of George VI’s Coronation. The resulting diaries provide a wonderful glimpse into the everyday lives of people across Britain and have become an invaluable resource for those researching countless aspects of the era.
If you have taken part in the Mass Observation project in past years, then you, like me, will be doing so again tomorrow.
If you are interested in becoming one of the volunteers to write a diary for the day and submit it as a part of the Archive in order that future generations can understand what life was like for us in 2021, then information on how to do so can be found at the link below

FreeUKGEN Conference 2021: Open, Global Genealogy

FreeUKGEN Conference 2021: Open, Global Genealogy

The theme of the Free Uk Genealogy 2021 conference is: 

Open, Global Genealogy.

Free UK Genealogy was founded on the principle of β€œopenness” with the aim of giving everybody FREE access to all their family history data.

They are now taking a step further to ensure that they are open in every way possible to a truly global audience with this free online conference 


Who can attend? 


The conference has been split into two sessions which are being held at opposite ends of the day (UK time) with the sole intention of enabling as many people as possible to attend part (or all) of the events, wherever in the world they happen to live. 

When is it?

Saturday 22nd May from 4pm-7pm (UK time), and Saturday 29th May from 8am-11am. 

Both sessions will run on Zoom, so attendees will be able to participate and enjoy the proceedings from the comfort of their own homes. 

What will be happening?

A wide and varied agenda is planned which may include presentations on: technology in genealogy; an exploration of the β€˜openness’ of a range of supposedly open archives, databases and records (and any impact caused by lockdown); an overview of file formats for the exchange of genealogical data between applications and data providers; and a look at how DNA and traditional genealogical sources can be combined to create a single family tree.

While the presentations will be recorded, they will be followed by a live question-and-answer session with the speakers who will also participate in panel discussions during the conference.

The event will open with an update from our Executive Director Pat Reynolds and concluded with a summary by Chair of Trustees Richard Light. 

Register to attend at the following link:

Great British Railway Journeys

Great British Railway Journeys

(β—•β€Ώβ—•) #π•Žπ•™π•’π•₯π•€π•†π•Ÿ

Great British Railway Journeys
BBC2 Monday 10th May at 6:30pm

Crewe to Shotton

Michael Portillo is in Crewe, a town steeped in railway history and immortalised in Victorian music hall, to investigate the making of the iconic cinema classic The Night Mail during the 1930s.

Following his Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael takes the train to Chester to discover the interwar origins of Britain’s most popular zoo. Michael learns how the work of Chester Zoo’s enlightened founder continues, and he helps to feed a young greater one-horned rhino.

Across the border in north Wales, Michael reaches the village of Gresford, the scene of one of Britain’s worst mining disasters, where 266 men lost their lives in 1934. Michael hears how it happened and how it is remembered in the community today. The Ifton Colliery Band plays Gresford - The Miners’ Hymn.

Over the River Dee, at Tata Steel in Shotton, Michael discovers a wartime boost to steel production on the site, where John Summers & Sons manufactured up to 50,000 Andersen shelters a week. The steel shelters and others designed by the company for people’s back gardens protected families from aerial bombardment by German planes.

Beginning Your Family History - Free course by the FHF

Beginning Your Family History - Free course by the FHF
πŸ“’πŸ“’Free Course KlaxonπŸ“’πŸ“’
Make a note in your diaries for this one from the Family History Federation
β€˜π‘©π’†π’ˆπ’Šπ’π’π’Šπ’π’ˆ 𝒀𝒐𝒖𝒓 π‘­π’‚π’Žπ’Šπ’π’š π‘―π’Šπ’”π’•π’π’“π’šβ€™
A four-week INTERACTIVE COURSE - held via Zoom
Tuesday evenings 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm.
September 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th 2021
Pre-booking essential

Free Access to Birth Records at My Heritage

Free Access to Birth Records at My Heritage
Starting TODAY [April 18th 2021] MyHeritage are offering FREE access to birth records for a whole week 
MyHeritage’s collection of birth records includes 115 collections containing a total of 1,144,541,613 individual records from all over the world.
Some of the collections contain indexes which help you find out where the birth record is located, while others contain the actual image of the record.
Normally, birth records are free to search, but to view the full record or add it to your tree, you need a Data or Complete plan on MyHeritage.
This week, however, you’ll have full access to all these records absolutely free.
Read more at the link below, you will need to register/create a free account if you don't already have one

FHF Really Useful Show

FHF Really Useful Show
Don't forget the FHF Really Useful Show is on this coming Saturday 10th April.
It's a brand new set up for this iteration of the show, with lots of new features.
As usual FHSC will have a presence with our Treasurer David Smetham and Social Media Officer Margaret Roberts manning the virtual stall to chat with people about their Cheshire related ancestry
The direct link to the FHSC 'stall' is below
To find out more about the wealth of speakers and workshops and how to buy tickets click on the following link

Are You an Online Jigsaw Addict?

Are You an Online Jigsaw Addict?



During lockdown online jigsaws have become quite popular and so I have decided that I will create a series of jigsaws related to Cheshire


I will be posting a new jigsaw on the FHSC social media pages everyday, so please pop along & follow the Facebook or Twitter feeds [links below] and join in the fun!


There is also a lot more to see on the Society Social Media pages so it's worth following for updates on various blogs, news of free online talks & lectures, what's new on the major genealogy websites with my FridayRoundup and Archive of the Week on a Saturday & lots lots more 


Facebook - 

Twitter - @FHSofCheshire 





𝐅𝐇𝐅 π‘π„π€π‹π‹π˜ 𝐔𝐒𝐄𝐅𝐔𝐋 π…πšπ¦π’π₯𝐲 𝐇𝐒𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐒𝐑𝐨𝐰

𝐅𝐇𝐅 π‘π„π€π‹π‹π˜ 𝐔𝐒𝐄𝐅𝐔𝐋 π…πšπ¦π’π₯𝐲 𝐇𝐒𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐒𝐑𝐨𝐰
𝐅𝐇𝐅 π‘π„π€π‹π‹π˜ 𝐔𝐒𝐄𝐅𝐔𝐋 π…πšπ¦π’π₯𝐲 𝐇𝐒𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐒𝐑𝐨𝐰
Takes place online on Saturday 10th April 2021
Please see link below for joining/registration/ticket details as well as an updated list of speakers 

The Story of Kelsall

The Story of Kelsall

~The Story of Kelsall by Elspeth Thomas~

[with thanks to our friends at the Kelsall Family History Group for news of this]


Local historian and Kelsall resident Mrs Elspeth Thomas for many years researched the history of Kelsall.

Sadly, she died before it was finished and so members of the Kelsall & District Rural Amenties Society [KADRAS] completed & published it in c1996.


This book can now be viewed online via the Kelsall Village website.


Direct link to the PDF:

Update on National Library of Scotland Map Collections

Update on National Library of Scotland Map Collections

For those members who are particualry interested in maps then you might like to know that the National Library of Scotland Map Collections have added another layer of historical maps to the geo-referenced viewer namely:- 

1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey Great Britain outline layer, published 1945-65.

Link to the site below
Have fun exploring

The Great British Dig: History in Your Back Garden

The Great British Dig: History in Your Back Garden
The Great British Dig: History in Your Back Garden
In The Great British Dig, actor Hugh Dennis is joined by an expert team of archaeologists to excavate back gardens around Britain, in an attempt to uncover the lost history buried beneath our lawns and flower beds – recruiting local people to get digging too.
The series sees the team visit Newcastle in search of a Roman fort, as well attempting to unearth the long-lost Lenton Priory in Nottingham. In North Yorkshire, they must dig deep in the hope of locating a Viking graveyard, and they’re also on the hunt for a secret army base in South Shields.
The experts joining Hugh Dennis on The Great British Dig are Dr Chloe Duckworth, archaeological scientist and lecturer at Newcastle University, archaeologist Richard Taylor and field archaeologist Natasha Billson.
Hugh Dennis said: β€œThe Great British Dig is a fantastic format which combines finding out about the history of where you live and the surprising things that lie under your own back garden. It’s kind of a community archaeology project.”
A pilot episode of The Great British Dig aired on More4 in April 2020, becoming the channel’s most successful one-off programme in 2020. The current series is 4 sixty minute programmes 

Public Health and the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic

Public Health and the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic
Free National Archives Talk - Fri, 19 Feb 2021, 14:00 GMT

One hundred years ago, the 1918 influenza pandemic wrought havoc across the globe. The first wave of the β€˜flu appeared in the spring of 1918, followed by a more virulent second wave in the autumn, and a third wave in the spring of 1919. In total, it is estimated that the epidemic claimed 225,000 lives in Britain. While the end of the First World War has overshadowed the pandemic in history books, and within collective memory, recent scholarship has sought to uncover the impact of the pandemic on a war-torn society.

This talk will dive into the government’s response to the pandemic, at a time when the cause of influenza was unknown and there was no consensus on treatment. Alongside a look at commentary within national newspapers, this talk will take a look at what records can be found within the state archive: from the response of military institutions and the impact on soldiers to the public health response and concern for citizens.

This talk will be delivered by Laura Robson-Mainwaring, Health Records Specialist, lasting approximately 30 minutes followed by a 15 minute Q&A.

This online talk will be presented on Microsoft Teams. You will be emailed an access link 24 hours in advance. 

Please note you do not need a Teams account to join this event. Instead you can select the β€˜Join anonymously’ option if preferred.


Link to register -


Reminder of RootsTech Online Conference

Reminder of RootsTech Online Conference
Explore your family history for free at RootsTech as the family history conference goes online for 2021
Over the past ten years, RootsTech has brought exciting elements of the genealogy and technology worlds together, transforming the genealogy show-going scene, and celebrating new IT based developments that we, the end users, benefit from when doing our family histories at home, online.
Since 2001 RootsTech has been held in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; November 2019 saw the first-ever UK-based RootsTech, and now, in the light of the implications of Covid-19 the RootsTech team have decided to take their event global – providing the whole show online as a free and virtual event for people anywhere on Earth (with an internet connection!) to enjoy.
To find out more and register visit the show page at the link below