All the latest news

More FHF Really Useful Show Speakers

More FHF Really Useful Show Speakers

The names of the next set of speakers at the FHF REALLY USEFUL Family History Show [14th November 2020] have been released and they are:


Dr Judy Hill - Almshouses originated in early medieval England as places that provided care for the sick poor, usually attached to a monastery. Hospitality a Christian duty. The original focus on travellers and monks was extended in the 12th and 13th centuries to include lay people who were sick or feeble usually housed in separate establishments administered by monks and lay brothers. Church authorities encouraged these foundations and bishops were urged to see there were enough of them to cater for the need. This illustrated talk will look at the history of the British Almshouse which includes the difficult times during the Reformation to the continued vitality of the almshouse movement today. Judy's talk is called -  British Almshouses
Alan Rushton The Gentleman's Magazine was the first monthly journal to appear in Britain. It ran from 1731 until 1922. However, it's only of use to the family historian up to 1868, after which it became a literary magazine. Edward Cave, its originator, invented the obituary as we know it and these have been fully indexed. It was written for the country gentry with their interests in mind, so there is much local history. It's a must for some family historians, but not the place to look for agricultural labourers unless they lived to a great age or murdered people. The talk will show how it can be approached by the family historian, giving examples of the riches it contains in so many areas and is entitled - Gentleman's Magazines as an Aid to Family Historians
Dr Penny Walters - This session will explain how to merge established paper trails with DNA results. The biology and jargon of DNA can be overwhelming and people have had to learn this new branch of genealogy quickly. Through DNA testing, people receive ethnicity estimates, a heritage map, a list of people that DNA ‘matches’ (overlaps) with, and the opportunity to contact them and collaborate if both parties want to. Many people don’t know what to do with all that information, and just focus on their ethnicity result. The advantages and disadvantages of different DNA tests will be explored; a consanguinity chart will be provided; useful information for adopted people will be given; uploading to GEDmatch and utilising the MRCA (most recent common ancestor) information, and triangulation will be explained. Attendees will be shown how to add ‘useful’ DNA matches to their tree to inform a re-structured paper trail. A variety of ethical dilemmas will be outlined during this talk, which is called - Mixing DNA and the Paper Trail
Chris Paton Whilst many of our ancestors fought, and in some cases, died during the First World War, there was another group of people deeply affected by the conflict on the civilian front. Thousands of British and British Empire civilians, present in Europe when war was declared against Germany, were rounded up and interned at a hastily converted racecourse on the outskirts of Berlin from 1914-1918. This talk will look at the fascinating story of those 5500 POWs, including over a thousand merchant seamen, whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The talk is called - British Civilian POWS in World War One
So Don't Delay - Book your £5 EARLY BIRD TICKET NOW at
With MANY more speakers and exhibitors being announced all the time keep checking back here or to the FHF Really Useful website for more updates.
FYI - the main FHF website can be accessed at the link below -

The National Archives Annual Digital Lecture

The National Archives Annual Digital Lecture
~ Diary Note ~
The National Archives Annual Digital Lecture
This FREE event will take place online: 

Wed, 4 November 2020

16:00 – 17:00 GMT


In her lecture ‘The death of anonymity in the age of identity’ speaker Carly Kind [Director of the Ada Lovelace Institute] will discuss what the loss of anonymity in our digitised age means for our future.
To read more and book tickets for this FREE online event click on the following link -                                                                                       

Great News for Nantwich Museum

Great News for Nantwich Museum
Congratulations to Nantwich Museum from all at FHSC
The Museum has been picked as one of the 60 diverse organisations participating in 'The Lab' project.
It is part of the Digital Heritage Lab which is providing digital mentoring support helping organisations develop their digital capabilities.
It is a free programme for small to medium sized heritage organisations and is project managed by the Arts Marketing Association (AMA) in partnership with Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, One Further and the Collections Trust.
It is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the Digital Skills for Heritage initiative.

Remembering the Parish

Remembering the Parish

The Royal Historical Society ~ Eighteenth Warwick Symposium on Parish Records

This year takes the form of a webinar

To be held on Saturday 7th November 2020 - 10.00am-6.00pm GMT


This year the theme of remembrance is addressed and very broadly defined.

In five panels dedicated to ‘Buildings’, ‘Communities’, ‘Records’, ‘Revolution’ and ‘Environments’, speakers from four countries explore aspects of material culture and natural settings, local commemorative cultures, various types of primary evidence and the long-term repercussions of moments of change from the Middle Ages to the present.


Keynote address:  Nicola Whyte (Exeter), ‘Remembering the Parish Landscape’


Confirmed contributions:

  • Ian Atherton (Keele), ‘Remembering the English Civil Wars in parish registers’
  • Mary Carrick (Independent), ‘A very peculiar parish: Wawne, also Waghen in Holderness, East Yorkshire’
  • John Craig (Simon Fraser), ‘Record keeping and remembrance in early modern London parishes’
  • Lydia Fisher (Exeter), ‘Removed and rearranged: Recovering medieval stained glass from 19thC accounts’
  • Alexander Hutton (King’s, London), ‘Remembering and forgetting the English historic county since 1945’
  • Fiona McCall (Portsmouth), ‘The wickedly wicked times: loyalist memories of the interregnum parish’
  • Imogen Peck (Warwick), ‘Veterans, commemorations and the politics of the parish in early modern England’
  • Hannah Reeve (Newcastle), ‘Perambulation in Yorkshire: Boundary beating in the long eighteenth century’
  • Michael Roth (Heidelberg), ‘Church foundation stones as time capsules in early modern European perspective’
  • Michael Sewell (Essex), ‘Use of siege ruins in Colchester in the long nineteenth century’
  • Hàìghlèàgh Winslade (Winchester), ‘Parish churches in the downland and their connections to the landscape’
  • Stanisław Witecki (Kraków), ‘Recollections of 18thC everyday life in egodocuments of Polish-Lithuanian priests’


The Warwick Network for Parish Research warmly invites anyone with an active research interest in parishes to join the event as a discussant.

This virtual gathering will be facilitated by the Blackboard software – all you need is a device with an internet connection. For organizational reasons, however, advance registration is required.

All registered participants will receive access details shortly before the Symposium.

On the day, the hosts will strive to run everything as simply and smoothly as possible but please bear with us in case of any practical issues.



Please send your name, email and a brief description of related research interests to:   – registrations will close on 31 October 2020.

For a full programme and future updates please visit our Symposium homepage at:



The names of the first speakers at the FHF REALLY USEFUL Family History Show [14th November 2020] have been released and they are:
STEVE MANNING: - FHF Chairman, Steve Manning, is an enthusiastic family historian who firmly believes that, wherever possible, the whole family should be part of the ‘research adventure’. His talk is called - Beginning Research
AMELIA BENNETT: - Ameila has been researching her family history for 25 years and has been a trustee of the Society of Genealogists for over five years. Her talk is entitled - Hidden in Plain Sight
GRAHAM HART: - Graham is Co-Founder and and Trustee of Free UK Genealogy. Graham has been involved in genealogy for 35 years and, as well as Free UK Genealogy, is particularly interested in DNA genealogy and tools that can help analyse the matches. In his real life Graham is an IT Director of a company based in London and lives just to the west of London. He will be presenting - Focus on Free BMD
DARRIS WILLIMAS: - Darris is presently the FamilySearch Wiki & Community Trees Manager, freelance genealogist, and family history instructor. A special area of interest has been Welsh family history. Darris's talk is called - Surnames in Genealogy
JACKIE DEPELLE: - Jackie has been teaching Family History since the days of micro-film and fiche and is now fully supporting digital initiatives. A speaker at major events such as WDYTYA-Live and RootsTech London, Jackie has also run workshops and events for Archives, Country Houses, Libraries, Museums and Universities. She will be presenting - Ideas for Researching Non-Conformist Ancestors
SUE GIBBONS: - Sue was the Librarian of the Society of Genealogists for almost 20 years. During this time she was responsible for managing a major Lottery funded project to convert the old card catalogue into computer form and make it available on the Internet. Sue's [presentation is entitled - Tracing Immigrant Ancestors up to World War II
CHRIS FLEET:- Chris has worked at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the National Library of Wales before joining the National Library of Scotland in 1994. His main responsibilities at NLS relate to modern and historical digital mapping, and he has overseen the development of the Library's maps website over the last two decades. Listen to his talk on - The Value of NLS Maps in Family History Research
PAUL CARTER: - Paul is a genealogist specialising in military, Kent and London records and a website developer. As a software developer, web designer and genealogist, he helps family and local historians to support their research through technology. His talk will be all about - Relating a Name to a Place
So Don't Delay - Book your £5 EARLY BIRD TICKET NOW at
With MANY more speakers and exhibitors being announced all the time keep checking back here or to the FHF Really Useful website for more updates.
FYI - the main FHF website can be accessed at the link below -

Who Do You Think You Are? returns to our screens in October

Who Do You Think You Are? returns to our screens in October
The eagerly awaited 17th series of the popular genealogy/family history programme will air in October
Only 4 episodes were completed before the coronavirus lockdown began. 
Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker, comedian and author David Walliams, Gavin & Stacey’s Ruth Jones and Silent Witness actor Liz Carr will take turns uncovering the unexpected, fascinating and sometimes tragic tales in their family trees.
For more details click on the following link  -

2nd Family History Show Online

2nd Family History Show Online
The 2nd Family History Show Online
26th September 
10am - 4:30pm 
Tickets cost £6 for the day ~ but there is also a lot of free content.
The online events have all the features of the physical shows, from the comfort of your own home!                                                                    Put your research questions to an expert, watch a free talk, speak to a local society, archive or genealogical supplier.

~ Ask the Experts ~

Submit your questions to the panel of experts before the show.

Either book a free 1-to-1 session or watch the live stream question panel at 15:30 where you can ask your questions live!

The Experts cover a wide range of topics, including Military, DNA, House Histories, Social History, Brick Walls and General Research.

There will also be Society of Genealogists' Census Detectives on hand to answer your questions.


~ Societies & Archives ~ 

Visit exhibitors, societies, archives and companies in our virtual exhibition hall.                                                                                                                                   

There will be the oppotuntiy to talk to some of the stallholders [including little old me representing the FHSC]  by text, audio or video, all from your own sofa! 


All details can be found at the link below -

A DAMNABLE and SINISTER REGIME: Vale Royal Abbey 1260~1538

A DAMNABLE and SINISTER REGIME: Vale Royal Abbey 1260~1538
New local history book by local historian tells the story of the medieval abbey of Vale Royal
Vale Royal Abbey 1260~1538
by Tony Bostock, an accomplished local historian and the author of a number of books and many articles on various aspects of Cheshire history, contributing regularly to the annual journal, Cheshire History. Much of his work is published on his web-site: He is a regular speaker to local history and family history societies and other organisations throughout the county.
Thiis new illustrated paperback book is available now from AMAZON BOOKS UK ( priced £14.99/Kindle £5.99 or contact the author direct:
VALE ROYAL ABBEY is a former medieval abbey and later country house at Whitegate. The original building was founded c.1265 by the Lord Edward, later King Edward I, for Cistercian monks. Edward intended the structure to be on a grand scale. Had it been completed it would have been the largest Cistercian monastery in Europe - but his ambitions were frustrated by recurring financial difficulties and the Welsh wars added to which what was eventually what was built fell down in a storm!
When work resumed in the late fourteenth century, the building was considerably smaller than originally planned. Throughout its history the abbey was mismanaged and poor relations with the local population sparked riots. These included the murder of an abbot, rape and robbery. There was internal disorder too. The abbey was described in the early sixteenth century as a ‘damnable and sinister regime', hence the title of the book. Vale Royal was closed in 1538 by Henry VIII during his Dissolution of the Monasteries. Overall a 'failed enterprise' - a failure in the monastic ideal and in never becoming the grandiose building intended.
This story of Vale Royal is written in a way as to appeal to the general reader, those who have an interest in medieval monasticism, and of course those who enjoy learning about Cheshire’s past. In addition to relating the history of the abbey there is a final chapter on the man responsible for the abbey’s destruction, Sir Thomas Holcroft, who established a home among the mediaeval cloistral buildings. Sir Thomas is an intriguing character who served three monarchs as a courtier, soldier, diplomat and spy master

Birmingham Heritage Week

Birmingham Heritage Week

Birmingham Heritage Week [10-20 September - bit of a long week!] 

Slightly out of Cheshire I know - BUT interesting for FHSC members all the same, who may have family connections 


Eleven days of varied and fascinating events, from displays, walks and talks to open days. This year yoiu are invited, for the first time, to explore Birmingham’s heritage through virtual events as well as in person visits. You can test your Birmingham knowledge with our Brummie Quiz and take the post box challenge; what do you know about your local postbox?

Enjoy discovering Birmingham’s history and heritage, in person or from the comfort of your home.


For more details follow the link below:



FamilySearch Announces RootsTech Connect 2021: A Free Global Virtual Event

FamilySearch Announces RootsTech Connect 2021: A Free Global Virtual Event

FamilySearch has announced that the RootsTech 2021 conference previously planned for February 3–6, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah - will now be held on February 25–27, 2021, as a free, virtual event online 


.RootsTech Connect 2021 will enable attendees to participate from around the world and will feature inspiring keynote speakers, dozens of classes in multiple languages, and a virtual marketplace.

Reserve your place today at


“The pandemic is giving us the opportunity to bring RootsTech to a broader audience worldwide,” said Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch International CEO. “A virtual event also allows us to expand our planning to truly make this a global celebration of family and connection.” 

RootsTech Connect 2021 will be global in scope while offering many experiences that attendees have come to know and love from RootsTech events—including inspirational keynote speakers, dozens of classes to choose from, and an expo hall.  

Throughout the three-day online event, attendees will have the ability to interact with presenters, exhibitors, and other attendees through live chat and question and answer sessions. 

“Classes will be taught in many languages, and presenters will teach from a number of international locations,” said Rockwood. “We will celebrate cultures and traditions from around the world, with activities that the audience can participate in from home—such as homeland cooking demonstrations, storytelling, and music performances. This is one virtual event you won’t want to miss.” 

RootsTech Connect 2021 will offer a combination of both livestream and on-demand content to accommodate differences in time zone for participants. In addition, sessions will be available to view on-demand after the event concludes. 

Rockwood says that FamilySearch is looking forward to the opportunity to deliver the signature RootsTech experience and helping tens of thousands of participants worldwide to discover, gather, and connect their family story.  

RootsTech hopes to gather in-person again in the future but anticipates the RootsTech Connect virtual opportunity will become a regular addition to the event. 

Register for free at 

Scottish Indexes Online Conference ~ 30 August

Scottish Indexes Online Conference ~  30 August
Final Reminder  -  DON'T FORGET the SCOTTISH INDEXES conference on Sunday 30 August
Once again it's free to attend - all the registration instructions are below or simply click on
Registration Instructions:
Facebook: This is the option that most people use, simply join the Facebook group at  and you can watch the family history conference streamed live. You can ask questions of the presenters and chat online with other attendees. Click on following linknto join the Scottish Indexes Facebook Group - 
Zoom: You can also join for free on Zoom, simply click on the link and follow the instructions -

"Growing Up With Foreigners" by Peter Frank

"Growing Up With Foreigners" by Peter Frank
Newly published book with local interest by ex-Northwich resident Peter Frank 
'Growing Up With Foreigners'
Peter Frank was born in North Wales and grew up in North West England, namely Northwich, Marbury and Greenbank. Educationally Peter describes himself as an under-achiever, who scraped into grammar school, where between the ages of sixteen and eighteen he failed all his A-Levels and, notably, failed his English Language O-Level examination six times. He started work as a bonus clerk and then moved on to become a computer operator. Later, his work involved running acceptance tests on main-frame computers allowing him to travel widely in Britain, Czechoslovakia, and Russia. He then went to Australia for two years, where he began his career in computer sales. Peter ended his career as a Vice President of Software Sales, before moving to Austria for love. He graduated
with 2:1 BA Honours degree in European Studies in 2008.
The story is a mixture of adventure, fact, fear, fiction and fun about a German-Polish-Catholic woman from Upper Silesia and an Austrian-Jewish-Protestant man born in Vienna.
Before arriving in England in 1939, they enjoyed comfortable lives. The man escaped Nazi tyranny and the Holocaust but his parents didn't. The woman came to England to study. Her parents fled before the advancing Russian army to Bavaria in 1945.
They met, married and survived World War II together, living in poverty as stateless people. The man, being classified as an enemy alien, should have been interned on the Isle of Man. Had this happened, the woman would have been left destitute with a newly born daughter.
As we follow the lives of the stoic Pole and the excitable Austrian, their relationship is like Newton's first law of motion where the irresistible force meets the immovable object. It describes their exotic nature and their integration into English society in the 1950s and 1960s, whilst they still wanted to hold on to parts of their early lives that had gone forever.
Price - £7.99
Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie Publishers Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 370012
The book can be ordered from the following: or for individual orders:
Book Depository,
Barnes & Noble,
WH Smiths
Alternatively take the details to your local bookstore and get them to order it for you.

Nation Archives: Meet the Author Series

Nation Archives: Meet the Author Series
The National Archives launch their first ever online Meet the Author series
This brand new programme of free online talks with high-profile authors will take place between 9 September-23 November 2020
From raising a queen to cracking the Enigma code, Cold War espionage to real life murder cases, the discussions will reflect the expansive collection held by The National Archives.
Events will usually be chaired by a specialist historian and will be followed by a live Q&A, giving attendees the opportunity to join the conversation by submitting questions.
The Timetable of talks is detailed below- 
  • On 9 September, Dermot Turing will discuss his book The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park with Mark Dunton, Principal Records Specialist at The National Archives. The book retells the history of Bletchley Park and explores the work of its most famous alumnus Alan Turing, Dermot Turing’s Uncle.


  • On 16 September, Wendy Holden will talk about her book The Governess with Jessamy Carlson, Family and Local History Engagement Lead at The National Archives. Exploring the extraordinary experiences of Marion Crawford, who became governess to young Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret in 1933, Wendy Holden’s new fiction is based on historical sources and first-hand accounts.


  • On 7 October, Trevor Barnes will be in conversation with MI5 historian Professor Christopher Andrew, talking about his new book Dead Doubles. The book explores the Portland Spy Ring, one of the most infamous espionage cases from the Cold War, and is heavily based on government documents at The National Archives.


  • On 18 November, Rebecca Gowers will discuss her book The Scoundrel Harry Larkyns with Katherine Howells, Visual Collections Researcher at The National Archives. The book uncovers the astonishing true story of the mysterious nineteenth-century figure and his murder at the hands of photographer Eadweard Muybridge, a founding father of cinema.


  • On 23 November, Roger Dalrymple give a talk on his book Crippen: A Crime Sensation in Memory and Modernity. The book explores the case of Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen, who was hanged in London in November 1910 for the murder and mutilation of his wife. The talk will take place on the 110th anniversary of Crippen’s execution.


Talks will start at 7:30pm and last around 45 minutes, followed by a 15 minute Q&A session.

Once registered, attendees will have the opportunity to buy a signed book from The National Archives Shop.

Click on link below for tickets and more information.

Advanced Notice of Family History Fair

Advanced Notice of Family History Fair
The Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society Family History Fair
Provisonal details for this event are - 
Date: Saturday 27 March 2021
Time: 10am -40m
Venue: Manchester Central Library [Covid19 restrictions allowing]
This event is still very much in the planning stage and more details will be provided as soon as they are available - watch this space and save the date! 

Fancy getting involved in Census 2021?

Fancy getting involved in Census 2021?
The Office for National Statistics in conjunction with Adecco are now starting the recruitment process for people to become latter day Enumerators for the 2021 Census 
There are a range of fixed-term jobs, from managers and supervisors who co-ordinate activities, to officers who help the public complete questionnaires. A variety of full-time and part-time opportunities are available. All roles require the flexibility to work evenings and weekends.
If you have previously worked or volunteered in community engagement or outreach projects or speak English and a language fluently and confidently, including: Bengali, Akan, Shona, Swahili, Tigrinya, Yoruba, Mandarin, Cantonese, Gujarati, Panjab, Nepali, Panjabi, Urdu or Somali - then there are many Community Advisor roles to be applied for as well.
If you feel you might have an interest in a particular role, then your first step is to read all the information at the link below and click the appropriate box to register.
We would be interested to know how any FHSC members who apply get on with either the recruitment process or the role if successful, it would be great to share with everyone.

Import News re AncestryDNA records

Import News re AncestryDNA records
AncestryDNA is about to delete your potentially relevant small-segment DNA matches.
If you want to know how to Keep AncestryDNA's Small-Segment Matches, then read on.....
From 'late' August 2020, AncestryDNA will start deleting DNA matches who share less than 8 cM with you - unless you have added a note about them, added them to a custom group, or messaged them.
It's an opportunity for Ancestry users to investigate and/or save their smallest matches by adding notes, sending messages, or adding them to a group. Of course, a significant proportion will be spurious matches (which is one of the reasons Ancestry plans to remove them), and there will be many that don't have tress, or have very small trees that are of little practical use.
At the link below there is a strategy to prevent those people from disappearing from accredited researcher & family historian Julie Webster.
Julie also include links to more detailed advice from others with expertise in the matter

Family History Federation News

Family History Federation News
The Family History Federation [FHF] have today launched the FHF Really Useful Family History Show
The show will take place on Saturday 14th November 2020 featuring member societies and much, much more.
In announcing the Show, FHF Chairman, Steve Manning, said: “Irrespective of whether you’re an uncertain ‘newbie’ or seasoned enthusiast, this is the one 2020 happening you must not miss!
Why?  -  Because the FHF is totally focussed on delivering a ‘Really Useful Family History Show’ to ALL our visitors!”
The event is supported by [in alphabetical order]:
  • Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA)
  • FamilySearch
  • Family Tree magazine
  • Who Do You Think You Are magazine
This national – even international – virtual show will provide
  •  Expert presentations
  •  Discussion panels
  •  Access to all shops on Parish Chest plus those of commercial participants
  •  Opportunity to meet and talk to exhibitors live in the virtual exhibition hall
  •  UK “attendees” will receive goody bag posted to them (providing they book early!)
  •  And much more...
The event’s website will be regularly updated with details of exhibitors and speakers. It will also provide access to the online ticket booking system. Please bookmark the show’s own website at:
Further news will follow, keep tuned in!

Cheshire Archives & Local Studies Centre News

Cheshire Archives & Local Studies Centre News

£13 Million Scheme to Create New History Centres


Progress is continuing on a Cheshire Archives plan to create two new bespoke history centres, one in Chester and one in Crewe

Cheshire Archives and Local Studies is a shared service between CWAC and CEC. The £13 million scheme would see each authority contribute £4.2m with the remainder sought via a bid for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. 

Chester's new history centre is earmarked for the site of the former Cheshire Enterprise Centre off Hoole Road which burnt down in December 2010. Crewe's history centre would be located at the 'Old Library' in the town centre. The current Cheshire Record Office off Duke Street in Chester is said to be 'no longer fit for purpose'. 

Both councils recently placed an advert seeking a quantity surveyor to implement this Local Archives project in a £90,000 contract. This follows news that National Heritage Lottery Fund gave permission to start the archives project in March 2020 with initial round one funding of £544,900.  This current development phase of the project runs for 18 months and includes:

  • Developing activities to engage new audiences with archives across the county
  • Drawing up detailed plans for the proposed new centres in Chester and Crewe
  • Writing a delivery phase funding bid for 2021

Detailed proposals will then be considered by the Lottery Heritage Fund with a view to securing full second round funding of £4,455,100.

The centres would be climate-controlled environments to house collections, better display them and make them more interactive. Chester's would house the majority of the collections. It is described as 'a natural, logical home for the service' given the city's long history as the seat of county government.