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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: “The 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 ‘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 ‘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

Brexit Implications

FHSC has had to embrace the change in taxation rules brought about by Brexit.

This only impacts those who live in the European Union:

- if you are a member then tax will be added to your membership fees paid from the 1 January 2021 onwards. These are automatically calculated if you pay by card or PayPal via the website. Other payment methods for EU or ROW memberships have been removed.

- if you purchase products from the shop then tax appropriate to your country of residence will be added to the costs if you live in the EU

FHSC will have to forward this tax to the EU on a quarterly basis


We apologise  for the increase in costs for those of you still in the EU. This was deemed preferable to the alternative which was to prevent EU based members and prevent shop sales into the EU.


Alan Bennett


British History Online makes all research content free to individual users until 30 April 2021

British History Online makes all research content free to individual users until 30 April 2021

British History Online [BHO] offers enhanced access to online material 

BHO is a digital collection of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a special focus on the period 1300 to 1800.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the BHO decided to make all transcribed content freely available to individual users

They have now added 200 volumes of the Premium Content from 2020. This material will remain available until 30 April 2021 in the first instance.


The link to the blog post below [first published for the 2020 offer and now updated] describes what’s included in this latest move.

New 'Surnames' Innovation on the website

New 'Surnames' Innovation on the website
Until now the members interests/Cheshire surnames has only been available to members or registered users of the site
From today [24th December 2020] a read only view is available via the top menu of the webpage.
This enables surname interests to be shared to a wider audience - as anyone can now browse the list [& even add their own surnames interests, after registering with the site]
Hopefully this will stimulate more activity on the website under this particular section, as members can now be contacted by those from outside the Society.
Those wanting to follow-up on a particular surname will contact the relevant member directly through the website, with no access to specific contact details - it is then up the relevant society member whether to respond or not.
Please let the Committee know if you receive any contact at all, it would be intersting to know how popular and beneifical this new innovation proves in the future

Cheshire's Charms: Ancient Villages & Hamlets

Cheshire's Charms: Ancient Villages & Hamlets

Cheshire's Charms: Ancient Villages & Hamlets - a new book by Tony Bostock 


The old county of Cheshire is rich in treasures from the past and has a fascinating history. The county owes much to its geographical position, its natural features - rocks and rivers - and its people, the occupants of the villages, who made and shaped her history. The largely unspoilt rural landscape is dotted with quaint towns and villages, all of which have a story to tell and each has its own unique charm - landscape; architectural gems in the form of churches, houses and cottages; legends and historic curiosities. In this book the author considers over fifty villages explaining the origin of their place-names, their early history and interesting and unique aspects. For those who just wish to learn something of Cheshire's villages and their character, or those who want to get out and explore some of those places which lie off the beaten track, this book will provide much needed information.

120 pages; 177 colour photos, Paperback (6”x9”) coloured,

AVAILABLE NOW from AMAZON BOOKS UK ( or contact the author at

Price £12.99 E-book (Kindle), price £4.99 


TONY BOSTOCK is 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. As well as being a member of a number of academic societies in the region, he has been an active member of the Executive Committee of Cheshire Local History Association since its formation in 1998: he was chairman for several years. He has also chaired the Northwich Heritage Society and is a member of the Winsford Local History Society, of which he was also chairman for many years. Having retired from a professional life in public service, Tony applies himself to the research and study of local history, heraldry and genealogy





Free Access to Find My Past Military Records

Free Access to Find My Past Military Records
From 5th until 12th November Find My Past are offering free access to all of their military records
You will need to sign up for a free account in order to take advantage of this offer 
You can use any of Findmypast's sites worldwide, but please bear in mind that the start and end times are based on London time (GMT).

Free access to some Ancestry records

Free access to some Ancestry records

Ancestry is offering free access to UK wartime records for Remembrance Sunday, offer closes at midnight on Sunday 8th November

To access the records, you need to register for a free account.
Offer includes 1939 Register, First World War service records will be free to search. This consists of the surviving service records of non-commissioned officers and other ranks who served in the British Army.

It includes attestation forms, which were completed by the individual when they enlisted; medical history forms; casualty forms; disability statements; regimental conduct sheets; awards; and proceedings on discharge.

Other free record collections include Civil Gallantry Awards, which were awarded to members of the Civil Defence Volunteers for bravery; the First World War Medal Rolls Index; and lists of First World War prisoners of war.



More News from the Family History Federation November Online Event

More News from the Family History Federation November Online Event

More speaker and information on the Family History Federation: Really Useful Family History Show on 14th November:


Ask the Experts Announced

FHF are pleased to be able to offer expert advice at the show from a wide range of family history disciplines. A

At the FHF REALLY USEFUL Family History Show advice will be provided by professional genealogists who are members and associates of AGRA (Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives) plus information and assistance from specialist family history society members.

They are available to help with questions you may have about resolving research challenges and general assistance on a wide range of family history topics.

Learn more about this service NOW at


More Speakers also announced -

IAN WALLER - The railways were one of the largest employers in the United Kingdom and some of the 900 or so pre 1923 companies have left a legacy of staff records. This talk examines how those records can help piece together the career of a railway worker using a variety of records up to grouping in 1923 and nationalisation in 1948. You may even have railway employees that you did not realise. They also employed merchant seamen, chambermaids and artists! Many of us will have railway navvies amongst our ancestry and these were not employed by the railway companies but by the contractors building the railway network. Part of the talk is devoted to finding their details, Ian's talk is called - On the Right Track – Railway Ancestors

JIM RYAN - This fully illustrated talk will outline Irish Catholic records and the history of their creation and survival. It will detail the format and content of surviving records and where they be accessed. Ireland has historically been a predominantly Catholic country. However, for historical reasons, the earliest Catholic church record is for 1670, and records are sparse until the early 19th century. Nevertheless they are the only evidence of most 18th and 19th century Irish people. It is therefore useful to understand the history of Irish Catholics, and the political and social factors which affected record-keeping. ​The talk will be a comprehensive account of Irish Catholic records and the historical events which affected their creation and survival. It will cover which records survive and what they contain; why the availability of records varies between regions and parishes, and other factors. It also covers where the records may now be accessed; which have been indexed, and other useful background. The talk is titles - Irish Catholic Church Records

EMMA MAXWELL - A look at the sources you will need to begin your Scottish family history research. This presentation will focus on ScotlandsPeople by showing you how to get the best out of the website and how to interpret the records you find. We will also look at some other sources you will need to research your Scottish family tree. This talk is titled -  Beginning Scottish Research 

JEANETTE ROSENBERG - The presentation will cover both UK and overseas resources and will mention specialist Jewish community records and archives and how to find them, Jeanette's talk is called - An introduction to Jewish Genealogy Sources and Resources


Time is running out so why not take advantage of the EARLY BIRD ticket offer.

Don't delay book your ticket today Early Bird ticket Offer valid until midnight (GMT) on 18th October 2020

'A Huge Pack of Witches':

'A Huge Pack of Witches':
Another FREE online talk from the National Archives 
Fri, 23 October 2020
14:00 – 15:00 BST
'A Huge Pack of Witches': A Witch scare in 17th Century Lancashire
This free online talk is presented by Jess Nelson, National Archives, Head of Collections (Medieval, Early Modern, Maps & Legal).
In November 1633, a little boy telling tall tales about witches in his local community in Lancashire sparked a witch hunt so shocking that no lesser body than the Privy Council decided to investigate.
Records of the examinations, of both the accused and the accuser, are held at The National Archives. Using these and other documents, this talk will tell the story of this witch hunt and set it within the context of witchcraft in the Early Modern period.
For more details and instructions on registration see the following link:

History Day 2020

History Day 2020
This event takes place on November 19th
Organised by Senate House Library and the School of Advanced Study
A day of online interactive events for history enthusiasts to explore library, museum, archive & history collections across the UK and beyond.
Over 50 libraries, museums, archives and history organisations across the UK will come together online to take part in talks and share collections and resources.
Come along and join collaborators across the globe to explore new worlds through some of the UK’s most treasured collections and how they are capturing history for the future.
There are three FREE online bookable sessions - see titles and links for each one below, where you can find more details and registration instructions [you can book for all three events or just one from any of the links below, there is a tick box on the form]
10:00 – 11:00:
‘History in the Making: Archiving 2020 for the Future’
14:00 – 15:00:
‘Exploring History in the Digital World’
16:00 – 17:00:
‘New Approaches to Local and Community History: Show and Tell’

Widening Horizons Webinars

Widening Horizons Webinars

Widening Horizons Webinar Series by the Guild of One-Name Studies 

*** this webinar series will launch at 8.00pm [London, UK time] on Wednesday October 7th ***

In place of the planned virtual seminar at Solihull being run jointly by the Guild and the Local Population Studies Society  this will now be a series of weekly ‘tools and techniques’ webinars and features six speakers looking at ways of collecting, analysing and interpreting data collected in the process of one-name or one-place studies, family history or local population analysis.  The data is based mainly on UK records, but records from other countries are cited where appropriate. It will be possible to submit questions for speakers to respond to following each presentation.

The Guild will launch all of these presentations at 8.00pm [London, UK, time] on 6 consecutive Wednesdays starting on October 7th.  You may watch them at any time over the following 14 days (at which time they will be only available to Guild members on the website).

You will need to register to take part in each webinar.  Please go to the seminar webpage - and click on the event you wish to attend to register 

Provisional Programme

20:00 Wednesday Presentations available online
October 7th Mortality and Morbidity: a study of National Registration death certificates for two families 1837 to 2009 – Elizabeth E Green
October 14th One-Place Studies – thinking laterally:  how a one-place study can support surname and population studies – Paul Carter and Pam Smith (Co-founders of ‘Name and Place’)
October 21st Creating a publicly-available common format database of parish register data on baptisms, marriages and burials – Dr Andy Hinde (University of Southampton)
October 28th The Ruby One-Name Collaborative Study: how it worked and what I learned – Dr Nikki Brown
November 4th Looking at single trees and whole orchards: how genealogists and demographers can work together – Dr Eilidh Garrett (University of Cambridge)
November 11th Identifying business proprietors from the census; and using the online Atlas on entrepreneurship – Professor Bob Bennett (University of Cambridge)

After 14 days each presentation  will be only available to Guild members logged into the website.

If you need any further information please email  or telephone the Guild Help Desk on 0800 011 2182.