Welcome to the Family History Group
This is a sub-group of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society and was formed in 2008 because of the growing number of members who are undertaking their own research.
At about the same time, Calderdale Family History Society suggested the possibility of an upper valley group and they have been involved in our initial formation.
The aim of the group is to promote and assist the study of genealogy and family history, the prime interest being the study of people and where they live. We hope to do this by offering members an opportunity to meet like-minded people locally and to share their interests, resources and experience.
There are two meetings each month at the Birchcliffe centre on (usually) the first Saturday and the third Thursday. This year we have welcomed several new members, some beginning their research and others looking for local information about their families, alongside a small group of seasoned genealogists who come to help others and discuss their own research. We have access to computers and have access to Ancestry and Find My Past web sites.
We are happy to deal with genealogical queries and ask for a £5 donation for this service.
Membership is included in the History Society Membership, which is currently £12 a year.
More experienced members are always needed to help at these sessions.
These are held in the History Society Archive Room at the Birchcliffe Centre, which is housed in the Birchcliffe Church. (Please come to the side door on Saturdays.) We have access to computers and the internet. The workshop opening timetable is below but I remind members that they may also use the facilities during the Archive opening times as well (Wednesdays and Saturdays monthly) There is a visitors charge of £2. We suggest you contact Barbara Atack before coming in case there have been any changes to the scheduled opening times.
Calderdale Family History Society has a research room which is presently at Brighouse Library. Membership of that society is needed to use the room.
As family historians we recognise the usefulness of information to be found on gravestones. Many of our local churchyards are becoming neglected, overgrown and sometimes quite unsafe. We need to make transcriptions of the graves whilst we are able.
The Group has taken on the task of finishing the transcription of the graves in the churchyard at Heptonstall which the Society began several years ago. Like many, this was very overgrown, but thanks to two volunteers, it was cleared so we could access all the graves. This is now nearing completion but it is our intention to begin soon at some of the many graveyards in the area which are at risk of becoming inaccessible.
If you would be interested in helping with this task, we are always looking for more volunteers.
We are hoping in the near future to begin a project centred on surnames that originated in the upper Calder Valley. If you have researched a local family and are agreeable to sharing this information, we would welcome the chance to have these records in our archives. This could be in digital format or on paper.
We look forward to meeting you at some of our events. If you would like any information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The afternoon sessions are now open for anyone so you are welcome to pop in with a query, for research or just for a chat. We are there on Saturday and Thursday afternoons from 2 pm to 5 pm.