All the latest news

The Lancashire Antiquarian Society's latest program

Walk round Warburton with Mike Nevell 1.00 pm Sunday 31 July 2022. A chance to tour the late medieval and post-medieval landscape of the historic village of Warburton. Hear about 30 years of archaeological research on the village's historic timber-framed church, open fields, deer park, cross, and vernacular buildings. This is part of the CBA Festival of Archaeology Meet at 1pm by the lychgate to St Werburgh’s Church on Wigsey Lane, WA13 9SS
We also have a programme for the rest of the year which is below -

Morris Garratt Memorial Lecture (Zoom) Thursday 8 September  7.00pm Alan Crosby  will speak on - 

The darkest of times? Life and death in the Manchester area in the mid-1790s
In Lancashire and north Cheshire the mid-1790s were long-remembered as a time of darkness and despair. The war with France was raging, there were desperate shortages of food, price inflation was out of control, civil and social unrest was endemic, political agitation spilled over into violence, and the authorities resorted to draconian measures in order to try to control what they feared was an ungovernable populace. This talk focuses especially on the year 1795, looking at such events as the shootings in Rochdale market place that August, and using contemporary sources to explore what life was like in the region during those troubled and frightening times.
Walk Round Park Bridge, Ashton-Lyne  with Mike Nevell at 2.00 pm Sunday 11 September 2022 looking at the former industrial hamlet. Now a picturesque village in the Medlock Valley it was once home to the busy ironworks of Hannah Lees and Co and served by a canal and railway. It is said that rivets made there were used in the building of the Eiffel Tower. The walk is part of the Heritage Open Days events and is in conjunction with Tameside Local History Forum. Meet at the Heritage Centre car park (OL6 8AQ).
Castles conference 15 October at Chester’s Grosvenor Museum. A full day’s programme of speakers on castles in the North West is being arranged - details to follow.
Zoom lecture  Wednesday 2 November at 2.00pm 
'"She seems to have lost the power of looking after her husband and family and her home": family poverty and the welfare state in Cheshire, 1945-74'.
Michael Lambert of the University of Birmingham will use this quote, taken from a social work report on a mother from Sale in the 1950s, as a route into exploring the topic of family poverty in Cheshire. 
Zoom lecture Wednesday 7 December at 2.00pm
Old photographs of Manchester and the Wirral

Dr Ian Mitchell, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton, Centre for Historical Research, will speak on his grandfather’s photographs of Manchester and the Wirral taken in the 1890s and 1900s. Ian inherited 7 albums of photographs by this keen amateur photographer. 

Please let me know if you would like to book a place on any of the talks - you can just turn up for the walks.. Contact Alice Lock:  and quote where you heard about these events

Book Offer

An ideal Christmas present.

A book with A 10% discount offer Until the end of 2021

Hoddlesden and its Satellite Villages’, describes the experiences of upland rural communities during the 18 and 19C



Domestic industry, Small-scale farming, Extractive industries, Other employment, migration, Early industrial urbanisation, Early mechanised industrialisation, Workers housing and characteristics of the people.

Book properties

The book is attractively presented in hardback with stitched binding and has 240 high quality pages containing around 170 illustrations mostly in colour. Included is an extensive bibliography and all sources are referenced, some little known.

The author, Roy Parker, has compiled the book from his PhD research, which explored over 60 rural communities and was identified by the British Library as ‘of high scholarly value’, although with a ‘highly readable style’.

Order details

Direct from author (Retail price £14.99). OFFER £13.50 + £3.50 p&p or two copies for £24 and postage free. Further details: Email: or Tel: 01204 64424 (only 5 digits). Order by post: Ash House, 11 Ashbank Ave, Bolton. BL3 4PX

Signed copies available at no extra charge.


Although specifically about Hoddleston and surronding area this book wil have themes in common with most Lancashire and Cheshire cotton towns.

Membership Year Changing for New Members

Membership Year Changing for New Members

To make things much fairer for members joining at any time during the year, from now on everyone joining will receive a full year's membership, so if you join on say September 13th you membership will not renew until 12th September the following year.

Also if you chose to pay via PayPal you can now join/renew with a recurring payment without having to remember each year.  You will, of course, get plenty of warning in case you wish to cancel your membership.

But, we will be running an exciting series of Seminars, totally free to members from the Autumn so your member benefits will become even more valuable so it is unlikely that you will want to.

Keep  coming back to this website for more news and offers.

House History Through Time

House History Through Time

David Olusaga's New Series Starts Tuesday 26 May on BBC 2 at 21:00


This time the series goes much further back in history to an 18th Century house in Bristol.  Bristol has always been a multicultural/multi ethnic city and these stories have been some of the most interesting so far.

Episode 1 includes

  • A parish register entry for the baptism of a 3 month old child, Martha, who had been abondoned on the steps of our house in 1728, no indication of who the father was, but what hapened next to Martha?
  • A newspaper clipping headed RAN AWAY.  Thomas, probably a black servant ran away from 10 Guinea Street in 1759

For those on Facebook watch FindMyPast Facebook Live on Thursday 28th at 4.00pm when David Olusaga is a guest

Fold 3 Free until Monday

Fold 3 Free until Monday

Free Access. All Records.

To honor Memorial Day and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, we're proud to offer free access* to everything on Fold3® — now through Monday.

Explore more than 550+ million records. Military records can provide incredible details about the heroes in your family. Find the veterans who served our country and uncover unique personal details you won’t discover anywhere else.

Mostly American Military Sources but there are some British Records.  Click on  World War Two to find out which

Search Free

*Access to all records on Fold3® will be free until 25 May 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using a paid Fold3® membership.

HUGE Find My Past Launch for VE Day

HUGE Find My Past Launch for VE Day

e sure to check out Find my Past Friday today as they are marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day with an exciting release of rare wartime photos and a bumper collection of World War 2 records.

75 years on from Victory in Europe Day, two major wartime record collections have joined the site. Here is the link to the details on what's new this week.


A huge photo collection the first 10,000 issued today covering mostly the period of the Second World War.  Lovely clear images taken from Daily Mirror and Manchester Evening News eventually will cover all their images from 1904 - 2020


Also another major relase of WW2 Military records



VE Day Help the BBC with your stories

VE Day Help the BBC with your stories

My name is Rav Dehele and I'm researcher with BBC. We are currently working on some programming in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. 


As a part of this programming we are currently working on making a short film that involves family members of veterans sending in a short video message to say thank you, and to say how proud they are of their family members' contribution and sacrifice during the Second World War. 


I was wondering if you would be able to share the official BBC flyer (see attached) with your members, or on your social media channels? We would love to try and as many video messages as possible.


The flyer directs people to an email address. Once they have sent an email to that address, they will receive instructions on what we would like to them film, how they need to film it - and will also provide a link for them to upload their videos.


Whether their family member was a solider, a Wren, an engineer, a pilot etc. - we think this short film would be the perfect way to honour and preserve their legacy. 


If you need any more information please do let me know - I am reachable by phone/email at any time.

Alternatively, if you have any direct contacts of those who served during the war - even in munitions factories etc - we would absolutely love to get in touch :)


Kind Regards,


Rav Dehele

Researcher - BBC VE Day 75

mob: 07931 475 028

The National Archives - Free Access to Online Records

Free access to digital records


We are making digital records available on our website free of charge for as long as our Kew site is closed to visitors.

Registered users will be able to order and download up to 10 items at no cost, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days. The limits are there to try and help manage the demand for content and ensure the availability of our digital services for everyone.

To access the service and download for free, users will be required to:

  • Register/sign in to their Discovery account before adding items to their basket (maximum ten items per basket)
  • Abide by the terms of our fair use policy
  • Complete the order process to receive a download link, which will remain active for 30 days. (The link will also be saved in ‘Your orders’ in your account for 30 days)

Our usual terms of use still apply – digital copies can be downloaded for non-commercial private use and educational purposes only, and bulk downloads and web crawlers are not permitted.

How can I download documents for free?

You will be required to register for a free account on our website and be logged in to be able to download documents.

To find records that are available to download for free, filter your search results in Discovery to include records that are ‘available for download only’.

What sort of documents can I download?

You will be able to download records digitised by The National Archives and published through Discovery, our online catalogue. These include:

  • First and Second World War records, including medal index cards
  • Military records, including unit war diaries
  • Royal and Merchant Navy records, including Royal Marine service records
  • Wills from the jurisdiction of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
  • Migration records, including aliens’ registration cards and naturalisation case papers
  • 20th century Cabinet Papers and Security Service files
  • Domesday Book

For more details click here:

Scottish Family History Virtual Conference

Scottish Family History Virtual Conference

Free Scottish Family History Virtual Conference - 1 May 2020


The Scottish Indexes Conference will start at 7 am (BST) on Friday 1 May 2020 and finish after 10 pm (BST). The virtual event will be live-streamed to the Scottish Indexes Facebook group ( and will be available on Zoom. The interactive programme will feature the presentations “DNA Testing for Family History” by Michelle Leonard, “Tracing the Irish in Scotland” by Chris Paton, “Sources in Scotland for Tracing Scottish Emigrants” by Kirsty Wilkinson, among others. George MacKenzie, former Keeper of the Records of Scotland, will deliver an intriguing presentation, “...bread & cheese & kisses is not enough…”. There will be opportunities to ask the expert panellists questions throughout the day.

Speaking about the last conference, professional genealogist Cinda Baxter said, “A huge and hearty thanks again to Emma and Graham for providing the virtual conference. What a labor of love (and terrific gift) during these crazy times.”

Attendee Lyn Fogarty said, “Thanks to your guest speakers. Informative, funny and interesting.”

To register simply join the Scottish Indexes group on Facebook (, or to register on Zoom follow the directions on

About is run by husband and wife team Graham and Emma Maxwell, both experienced Scottish genealogists. As well as helping clients with their family history, Graham and Emma also index historical Scottish records and make them available for free on their website. 


We are attaching an image for your use. If you would like to know more about this event, please email Emma Maxwell - 

Migration Talk

Migration Talk


Online talk

What's On-Line is a series of free, pre-recorded online talks delivered by our experts, here at The National Archives.


Using examples of records and case studies relating to both immigrants and emigrants held in our collection, this talk will explain how to search for and interpret records such as passenger lists, passports, registration and naturalisation records.

This talk will be delivered by Roger Kershaw, Migration Records Specialist at The National Archives.


Date And Time

Fri, 24 April 2020

14:00 – 15:00 BST


Register with Eventbrite

Find My Past offer

Find My Past offer

Findmypast announce Easter offer

20% discount on all 12 month subscriptions

·         Limited time offer available until April 15th

·         Open to anyone without an active 12 month sub

·         Findmypast invite new and existing users to join their online community  

Leading family history website, Findmypast, are offering a 20% discount on all 12-month subscriptions in their Easter 2020 sale.

This limited time offer is open to all new and existing customers as well as all active 1, 3 or 6 month subscribers who wish to upgrade, from now until midnight (BST) April 15th.

Simply visit and enter the offer code EEASTER20UK to claim 20% of any of the following subscription options;

·         Starter - All the crucial records for starting a family tree and tracing your roots back five generations. The Starter package also enables you to benefit from the research of other members by matching common ancestors to the names stored in your family tree

·         Plus – Billions of family records that will enable you to take your research further and tell a more detailed story. Search for your ancestors across all birth, marriage, death, census, work, education, military, travel and social history records

·         Pro – Explore everything Findmypast has to offer. Pro covers access to all 13 billion UK, Irish and world records as well as Findmypast’s exclusive newspaper archive spanning more three centuries of British and world history.

Online family history research is the perfect stay-at-home activity and building a family tree on Findmypast is the first step towards exploring your family’s story in vivid detail.

Findmypast’s unrivalled collections to continue to grow by an average of 4 million names a day and cover a wide range of resources, many of which can’t be found anywhere else online.

Findmypast to help isolated users stay connected

With most of us now remaining at home and limiting contact with loved ones, Findmypast is inviting anyone with an interest in family history to join their online community.

Findmypast has been working hard to ensure their online community can provide support to all those who need it and a way of staying connected to others through their popular Facebook page.

To keep members busy and encourage discussion, Findmypast will be running a programme of interactive activities including “Ask Me Anything” sessions with in-house experts, masterclasses on a variety of topics, live discussions, fun research activities and more.

Simply follow Findmypast on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest online events and activaties, chat to other community members, share knowledge, and stay connected.

*Urgent Coronavirus Up-date Please Read*

Covid 19 up-date
Following Government advice, our research centres are closed at present and all group meetings have been cancelled, we hope to still keep in touch by sending out more regular newsletters and you will still be notified when the latest copy of the Ancestor goes online. While we are all social isolating/distancing this is a  perfect opportunity to catch up on some research.  You can visit our website to:
 - register your surname interests in our surnames directory (worldwide locations allowed)

-  post queries in our Research Forum to see if other researchers can assist you (separate forums for non-members and members)

- get access to the Worldwide Exchange Journals collection we holdjust in case there are any useful  snippets 

- download our research guides to help you with your research

- download material from our shop which has a growing collection of Memorial Inscriptions and other useful research material (available to anyone)

Membership Renewals at the end of June
Disruption to public services or being confined to home may make it more difficult for members to renew their subscriptons.  We would, therefore, like to recommend members who normally pay by cheque to use one of the following methods
1)    An instruction to your bank to transfer your subscription directly to the FHSC Santander bank account, Sort Code 72-00-01 Account Number 22835506. Using your membership number as the payment reference.
2)    Set up a Standing Order with your Bank, using the mandate inside the March and June printed copies of Cheshire Ancestor. 
Make certain to include your membership number as ID in the appropriate space on the mandate.
3)    Make a payment using Paypal, quoting your membership number as ID.
4)    Use the FHSC website to renew your membership directly.
Whichever method you decide to use, please remember to clearly identify your membership number  and your Surname.  It can be difficult for us to identify your payment without your membership number.  The easiest way to find your membership number is to log on to our website and scroll down to the last column on the.right under My Membership Status then click Update my details/renew.  You will find it under FHSC Membership.  If you are really having problems logging in please contact: Gay J Oliver:  

We are all hoping that the present sitiaution will abate as soon as possible.  In the meantime, we wish everyone continuing good health and good progress with their family history research, and we look forward to resuming our normal activities as soon as it is safe to do so


Alan Bennett



Mobberley Research Centre closed

Sadly due to coronavirus we are having to close our Research Centre at Mobberley from Monday 23rd March until Further Notice.  Most of our volunteers are 70+ and will have to self isolate and similarly our visitors.

We are very sorry about this, but do hope it wont be too long bofore were are able to open again.  Meanwhile you can use our online Forum to ask questions and hopefully will still be able to get help this way or to help other members.

London Group Reformed

London Group Reformed

I am pleased to advise details of the relaunch of the London Branch.

Cumbria FHS and Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society have been operating a London Branch over a number of years and normally offer six meetings a year on a Saturday afternoon. This Branch helps to provide some additional benefit for some London based or near London based members. Interest from the members of this Branch has been falling so it was decided to  relaunch the London Branch with some additional support from the North West and also inviting Members of other North West FH Societies to join them. Members of the NWGFHS’s gave a positive response and there is some commitment for financial support. Members of FHSC therefore are invited to attend these meetings, giving the opportunity to share your NW Family history research.

The first meeting under the new management committee will take place on Saturday 7th March 2020 at Saint Stephens Church, Gloucester Road, and Southwell Gardens, London SW7 4RL commencing at 2.00pm.

The speaker will be Ian Waller FSG FGRA and his subject will be "What Happened to Lucy?"

Before 1927 and legal adoption what happened to the unwanted child? Even after 1927 children were exploited, although supposedly cared for by institutions and well caring organisations. This talk looks at the plight of adoptees, foundlings, orphans and the Empire children (Child Migrants), essentially through the 19th & 20th centuries.

This is a new venue, St Stephens is easy to find on the junction of Gloucester Road and Southwell Gardens, South Kensington SW7 4RL There is a collection plate for admission, a free drink to lubricate the frank and friendly exchange of information and tips and hear relevant talks by guest speakers or our group members. There is another meeting planned for Saturday 2 May 2020.

Can anyone planning to attend please email to indicate numbers of those intending to come along.

Details can be found on the LFHHS website on the London branch page and it is planned to link to the NWG website

I have put details on the LFHHS website on the London branch page and will be trying to add a late note to our February journal.



All paid subscriptions to the Family History Society of Cheshire run from 1 July to the 30 June the following year.

However, if you join between 1 April and 30 June you will be granted membership until 30 June of the following year. This provides up to 15 months membership for the cost of 12 months.

NEWS - For 2020 ONLY  this offer has been extended so that anyone JOINING (not applicable to renewals) between 1 January and 30 June will be granted membership until 30 June 2021

Click on Membership where you can decide upon a membership plan which entitles you to be notified when our latest Ancestor goes online Normally £13 per annum, or if you would prefer to receive printed copies £18.  This means that if you join now your membership will cost £1 per month or less.  Your membership also entitles you to access surnames our members are researching and around twenty five other digital magazines from Societies across the world.  We are constantly adding to our recources online.

FOR MORE INFORMATION  read the instructions in the blue columns at the bottom of our website.  You can join directly on-line, but there is also a printable application form if you prefer to apply by post.