Family History Societies




The original and main society for the Merseyside area.  Founded by Joyce and Harry Culling and others in May 1976.The Liverpool & South West Lancashire Family History Society (L&SWLFHS) was originally founded as the Liverpool Family History Society. The inaugural meeting held in the Liverpool Central Library was attended by 30 people with common interests in tracing their own ancestry through personal research and exchange of information. Liaison with the Record Office was established to seek advice on the locality and use of local archives.   As the membership of the Society grew, other branches were set up by members residing outside Liverpool, but within the Liverpool Diocese and the historic area of the West Derby Hundred. These were St. Helens, Southport, Skelmersdale, Leigh, Warrington and Widnes and a special interest group for those with Anglo-Irish ancestry.  The Society changed it's name to accommodate the groups, first to Liverpool and District F.H.S. then to it's present name, to reflect the area within the Hundred.   In 1981 it was realized that members based in and around Liverpool itself, were the only group unrepresented in the Society and the Liverpool branch was set up with it's own local committee.  They continue to meet each month, with several founder members still attending regularly. Half of the regulars travel from the Wirral, North Wales and all parts of Lancashire and they frequently welcome overseas members to the meetings or visitors who have arrived via the weekly Help Desk. The Society aims to encourage the study of Family History and Genealogy in the area and to provide a forum for those interested, to meet and help each other. To provide educational facilities for the study of Family History within the area.

Member’s benefits:  Regular journal, lecture programme at monthly meetings, visits and other activities connected with subjects of interest to the Society.  To provide members with a link with other societies of a similar nature, through membership of the Federation of Family History Societies.  

Projects: constant and ongoing – transcribing and indexing records and whenever possible publish material relevant to the interests of the Society.   

Meetings: Friends Meeting House 22 School Lane Liverpool L1 3BT Open 6.15pm Meetings start at 7pm, open to non-members. Nearest Merseyrail stations: Central Station (Bold St) Buses: Gyratory (Walk to Church Street across to School Lane turn left Meeting House RH side) Car Parking There is some parking in the area and streets nearby all free after 6pm. 

Membership: Application form and fees available online


Meetings are on the 4th Tuesday of the Month except Dec, July & Aug at the Hall Green Community Centre, Up Holland at 7.30pm [Project work may well carry on in July and August but not in the meeting room]

Meetings Programme Beginners and more experienced family historians are always very welcome.
For further details contact our Secretary :- Sue Hesketh Tel: no 01942 212940 



Aims: to copy, transcribe and index any record that will help those people researching their family trees. They also provide speakers every month on a variety of subjects and trips out twice a year to record offices..

Meetings: on the last Wednesday of the month at Our Lady’s Church Hall, Mayfield Avenue, off Royal Avenue, Ditton, Widnes for 7.00 pm.

Programme information:  online or contact John Humphreys on 07979 616795.

Secretary: John Cosgrove, 130 Alder Ave, Widnes, WA8 6QS

Help line:  operated by Steve Holt - email



Contact: e-mail address:-

Meetings: 7.30pm in the Derby Room at Leigh Library on the third Tuesday of each month except June and July. The winter session starts in August and usually takes the form of a Beginners’ Evening when members and newcomers are able to use the Group’s microfiche viewers and library facilities to carry out their own research.  Other meetings usually have a family history related speaker but members are always able to browse and borrow books from the Group’s library.

Projects: Members have been involved in many projects over the years.  The first project was a compilation of the whereabouts for all church records for the whole of the area covered by Leigh & District and surrounding areas. Monumental Inscriptions recording is carried out regularly by members and the following churchyards and cemeteries have been recorded:  Abram St. John’s,  Golborne St. Thomas’s, Westleigh St. Paul’s, Lowton St. Mary’s, Ashton-in-Makerfield St. Thomas’s, Heath Road (Non-conformist), Leigh Cemetery.



Membership:  Current fees and application form available on the web site

Contact:  email -

Meetings: Monthly meetings are held at St Helens Town Hall, 6.45 for a 7.15 start. Non members welcome.

Workshops:  ‘help and workshop’  evenings are held on the second Monday of each month at the
Local History & Archive Library, 1st Floor, Central Library, Victoria Square, St Helens (5.30pm - 8pm).



Projects  The group have carried out several research projects in the past including an index of memorial inscriptions of St Cuthbert's Church, Halsall, and are currently involved in compiling an index of births, marriages and deaths from the Southport Visitor newspaper from its commencement in 1844, a history of the Southport Flower Show, an extended family tree of the Rimmers (a popular local name) of North Meols, Circus biographies especially of Henglers Circus and several other personal indexes.

Activities:  Occasional visits to local record offices and libraries.  Members make occasional visits to the Public Records Office at Kew and are very happy to help beginners in their research. They also maintain a Group and Society library where members have access for their research purposes.
Meetings: are held at Birkdale Library, Liverpool Road, Birkdale, Southport, at 7.30 pm on the second Friday of each month except where noted. Lecture programme on the website.

New members and visitors are welcome.

Contact: Hilary Ambrose, 2 Chelsea Court, 12 Lulworth Road, Southport, PR8 2AT,  Tel 01704 562792

The Southport Family History Group is a, Registered Charity No. 512906



Membership:  Current fees and application form available on the Liverpool web site

Meetings: see website for current monthly lecture programme. Non members welcome.

Projects:  transcription work has included  Burials for St Pauls, Bewsey St, Warrington 1832-1856

Warrington Cemeteries Records.



Coverage:  The Society covers the ancient parishes and townships of western Lancashire including:

Aughton, Bickerstaffe, Burscough, Downholland, Halsall, Hesketh with Becconsall, Lathom, Lydiate, Maghull, Melling, Ormskirk, Rufford, Scarisbrick, Simonswood, Skelmersdale and Tarleton .

Meetings: on the fourth Wednesday of each month (excluding December when there is no meeting) at the Guide HQ, Moorgate, Ormskirk at 8 pm with various speakers and topics (see the meetings page on the website). Non members can attend for a fee of £1.

Research Library: located at the Scout Hall, Wigan Road, Ormskirk

Membership:  application information on the website. Three journals published per year.

Contact: email  on



A non-profit making concern established in 1980 to provide education services to the furtherance of research into genealogy and family history and to support the work of the regions societies, libraries  and record offices.




The Family History Society of Cheshire (FHSC) was founded in 1969 to advance the study of family history and genealogy, and they now have around 3000 members worldwide. As well as helping people with ancestors in Cheshire, they also assist members living locally whose ancestors originated elsewhere. 

Local Groups:  West Kirkby, Birkenhead, Wallasey, Bebington, Chester

Members’ benefits:  There are now seventeen groups based throughout the county. Each group arranges its own programme of meetings and activities, and members of the Society are welcome to attend the meetings of any group. Open days are held  for all members at various venues throughout Cheshire.
Computer Club offers help to members with all levels of experience in family history and computing.
Members have use of the Research Centre, based at Alderley Edge, near Macclesfield, where members may use a range of research materials, including extensive books collection, microfiche libraries, and computer facilities.  The main Library is housed at Alderley Edge, and contains over a thousand books and exchange journals from other societies. A selection of books is often available at society conferences and general meetings, and most of the groups have smaller libraries of their own, which often contain books relating to their own areas. Some items from the Microfiche Library may be loaned to members by post.
They produce a large number of publications relating to Cheshire family history, including marriage census indexes, monumental inscriptions and parish register transcripts.  A quarterly Journal, the Cheshire Ancestor, includes articles of general genealogical interest, as well as articles relevant to Cheshire genealogy. Society notices, new members' interests, news of forthcoming events, group reports and programmes complete the contents.  Members' Interests can be submitted for publication in the Cheshire Ancestor, and in the annual register which is published on microfiche every summer.  Members are also invited to participate in the society's numerous projects, which include indexing of parish registers, transcribing gravestone inscriptions and inputting data for publication.

Membership:  on-line membership form available on the web site.  Members may choose to affiliate themselves to one of the local groups, or remain unattached. Although society members are free to attend any of the group meetings throughout Cheshire, most of the groups operate additional activities and facilities just for their own members.

Affiliation Member of Federation of Family History Societies  


Contact Mr M H C Craig, 10 Dunns Lane, Ashton Hayes, Chester, CH3 8BU



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more commonly known as the Mormons) operate over 4,000 Family History Centres worldwide including over 80 centres spread across England and Wales. All family historians of whatever belief are welcome to use these centres.  These local centres are effectively branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. As such they provide access to most of the microfilms and microfiche held at this extensive genealogical library, with copies being loaned out on request to your local centre. Although the volunteer staff at these centres cannot do any research for you, you will find them very helpful in answering any general queries you might have and in ordering microfilm/fiche copies from the central Family History Library in Utah.  To find out where the Family History Centre nearest to you is located and what its opening hours are, simply go onto the Latter-day Saints web site and use their Family History Centre search facility.

The Liverpool Centre is at 4 Mill Bank, West Derby, Merseyside, England
Phone: 0151-252 0614  Hours: Tue 9am-4pm, 7pm-9pm; Wed, Thu 10am-4pm.   


  • Microfiche copy of the complete Family History Library catalogue
  • Computer access to the International Genealogical Index (IGI) Access to microfilm copies of the source documents (e.g. parish registers, etc.) on which the International Genealogical Index is based - the relevant microfilm is ordered from Utah for viewing at your local centre for a modest fee
  • Computer access to the British Isles Vital Records Index
  • Microfiche copies of the General Register Office master indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths in England and Wales since 1837
  • Computer access to the 1881 Census Index
  • Access to microfilm/fiche copies of all census records from 1841 to 1901 - following an online catalogue search for its reference number, the relevant microfilm reel can be ordered and subsequently viewed at your local centre for a modest fee
  • Microfiche copies of the National Probate Indexes from 1858 to 1957
  • Microfilmed copies of the Death Duties Registers from 1796 to 1857

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