Latest Additions:

Farndon Parish History
Farndon is a village in the county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Dee, 8 miles south of Chester, and close to the border with Wales. John Speed (1542-1629), the famous cartographer was born in Farndon, and King Edward the Elder died here in 924. There are several buildings of historical interest, including the Grade I listed medieval bridge and at least sixteen Grade II structures.

Halewood Parish History
Halewood lies to the south east of Liverpool and was once a township in the large parish of Childwall. Various aspects of Halewood's history is covered, including articles, documents, photographs, maps etc., with many more pages in preparation.
WWI History
WW1 websites fully updated and relaunched
To commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Halewood War Memorial
The aim of this project is to trace the men of the Halewood War Memorial and to research a brief biography of each man. The battlefields of Belgium and France are also visited regularly to discover more about where the men fought and where they are now remembered. There is also a focus on how the war affected Halewood highlighting the hardships and experiences of those enduring life on the home front. . Fully revised and relaunched in the centenary year.

Ellesmere Port War Memorial Project
An ongoing project attempting to piece together a little more background about the men recorded on the War Memorial. It also ties in with tours of the Battlefields where we are trying to visit the graves or memorials of as many soldiers recorded on the Ellesmere Port War Memorial as we can. Also an example of how other War Memorials could be recorded. Fully revised and relaunched in the centenary year.
Farndon During the First World War
War had a devastating effect on the small population of Farndon, and the First World War took the lives of many well known young men of the neighbourhood. There were no government provisions laid down on how to commemorate those who were lost, but in Farndon there was equal support for a war memorial and some form of community hall. As a preference could not be agreed, it was decided to have both. This site is about Farndon during the war years, the men of the memorial, and of the surrounding villages in the parish.
World War One Battlefields visit

A tour of Flanders Fields in Belgium and the Somme in France

Did Hitler ever visit Liverpool?
As featured on Radio 4's Making History and Radio Merseyside's Norman Thomas Show.
Everton Pages

Lewis Royden is the Everton mascot presenting awards at the Gwladys Street Hall of Fame!
Royden Family History Pages

- a family history site for the Royden name or family. History pages, the full tree, coat of arms, name meaning, guestbook, bulletin board and feedback form for those who are, or think they may be related.

Liverpool & SW Lancs FHS

Family History Society
of Cheshire

British Association for Local History The Local Historian and Local History News encourage and assist the study of Local History as an academic discipline and as a rewarding leisure pursuit for both individuals and groups. Published in February, May, August and November.

Local History Magazine

Local History Magazine was established in 1984 and is published six times a year, available by postal subscription only. Every issue contains a mixture of news, articles, book and periodical reviews, readers' notices and information.

Mike Royden

Local History of Liverpool and its Hinterland

Liverpool c.1680

The earliest surviving view of the Liverpool waterfront - known as the 'Peters' painting of 1682 (The original may be seen in the Merseyside Maritime Museum)

I have been researching and writing about various aspects of the local history of the Liverpool, Merseyside, S.W.Lancs, Cheshire area for over 30 years. Several works have been published (see links) but there are several papers which remain unseen. Some of this surfaces from time to time as material in local history evening classes which I run at the University of Liverpool Centre for Continuing Education.

However, this site makes the material immediately accessible. You are welcome to download, but please credit this source if you should use it. Thanks! I have always welcomed email correspondence in the past and I do try and reply where can, but the volume has become overwhelming, and I do not wish to offend when I cannot reply. For family tree enquires please see Family Tree Detective below.

Tales from the 'Pool
- A Collection of Liverpool Stories

by Mike Royden    


Click here to order signed copies

From the most detailed study of Liverpool Castle yet to appear in print, to the most up to date account of the Liverpool Hitlers, Mike Royden has produced a fascinating collection of stories about the Merseyside area, including grim accounts of the workhouse and two stories of gruesome murders. Two chapters look at aspects of Liverpool’s role in the First World War, while the story of Titanic survivor Ruth Bowker, unknown until now, appears for the first time. Fully illustrated with over 90 images, this fantastic collection will delight those interested in delving into detailed historical accounts of Merseyside heritage.

Signed copies available if ordered through eBay (link above).

Blackie the War Horse - Grave receives Grade II Listed Status

In December 2017, the grave of 'Blackie' the war horse at Halewood Horse's Rest was granted Grade II Listed Status to protect the site. This came after a local campaign and application to Historic England after fears it may have been removed by developers. This is the only site of its kind in the country with such status. Read about how Blackie came to be in Halewood and the story of his master Lieutenant Leonard Comer Wall.


If you have always wanted to find out more about your ancestry and to bring to life your own personal 'Who Do You Think You Are?' record, we offer a professional, comprehensive and friendly service.

We have several fixed price packages where you will be able to select one to fit your needs. For example, you may wish to have a single one name family line traced, or two or more of your grandparents lines reearched - whatever your requirements, we aim to provide you with a record to treasure as a family heirloom.

Do you have a particular ancestor who took part in the First World War that you have always wanted to discover more about? We have the expertise to provide you with a record of your relative's war experience.

If your ancestors are from near to our base in the Merseyside / West Cheshire area, we can also offer guided tours where you can visit the former homes, sites and locations frequented by your family members. Please visit the website for full details.

'In years to come, Liverpool genealogists will be saying: if it isn't in Royden, it isn't worth knowing about'!

Family History Monthly (June 2010)

Tracing Your Liverpool Ancestors:
A Guide For Family Historians

by Mike Royden    

Fully revised second edition - OUT NOW

Click here to order signed copies

According to Pen & Sword;
Tracing Your Liverpool Ancestors provides a fascinating insight into everyday life in the Liverpool area over the past four centuries. Mike Royden introduces readers to the wealth of material available on the city’s history and it’s people.

In a series of informative chapters he describes Liverpool’s history through shipping, manufacturing and trade from the original fishing village to the present cosmopolitan metropolis of today. In each chapter he provides the history of a subject including relevant case studies and any further research he has. He then tells the reader the best places to visit to find information for themselves.

The subjects that Mike covers in the chapters include the living conditions of people, including poverty and the labouring poor, health and the ravages of disease, the influence of religion and migration, education and the traumatic experience of war. He also shows how the lives of Liverpudlians changed over the centuries and how this is reflected in the records that have survived.

Village at War
The Cheshire Village of Farndon During the First World War

by Mike Royden    

Foreword by the Duke of Westminster

Click here to order signed copies

With a foreword by the late Duke of Westminster, Village at War gives a fascinating insight into everyday life during the First World War. Mike Royden's highly readable account introduces readers to the both the national context and the local picture as the effects of the war began to take hold. In a series of short, information-packed chapters he describes, in vivid detail, what it was like for those living through those increasingly dark years of the war; the call for duty, the hardship of families left at home, attitudes towards 'aliens', rationing, the Defence of the Realm Act, conscientious objectors, prisoners of war, and, surprisingly, air raids. Throughout, he concentrates on the lives of the local people - on their experience as the war dragged on over four years. 

The second half of the book details the individual stories of all the men who lost their lives from the local communities in the Farndon area of West Cheshire. This book is a useful tool for anyone researching the effects of the First World War on local communities at home, as well as the stories of the men who left them to fight abroad. 

Mike Royden has taught History for over 30 years, and has also lectured on numerous courses in local history in the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Liverpool. He has written several books, and has made regular appearances on radio and television including Radio 4's Making History and BBC TV's Who Do You Think You Are? and Heirhunters.

See eBay link for discounted price.
Books can be signed with personalised message if required.  Request when purchasing.

Liverpool Then and Now

by Mike Royden    

According to publishers Batsford Books;

Liverpool Then and Now takes the reader on a journey through a city once considered the 'second city of empire'. So great was the volume of commerce flowing through the port of Liverpool in the nineteenth century that it sometimes eclipsed London. This wealth produced many fine buildings, giving rise to a second Bank of England building, the classical architecture of St George's Hall- today the Walker Art Gallery-and Liverpool's 'three graces'; the Liver, the Cunard and the Port of Liverpool buildings. Some 70 historic photographs of Liverpool's past are paired with specially commissioned contemporary views taken from the same vantage point. You can see the same streets and buildings as they were 'then' and as they are 'now'. It includes Lord Street, Albert Dock, Speke Airport, Goodison, Aintree, Lime Street Station, the Mersey Tunnel, plus the ferry across the Mersey and the place where it was famously celebrated in song, The Cavern.

There are also some of Liverpool's closest neighbours, Birkenhead, New Brighton, Port Sunlight and the glorious Victorian promenades of Southport. Part of the bestselling 'Then and Now' series, this charming contrast of old and new photographs highlights the stunning changes - and the equally amazing similarities - of one of the most loved cities in Britain, its well-known places but also some of its hidden gems.

Click here to order a signed copy.

Who Do You Think You are? Series 12 - featuring Gareth Malone

Choirmaster Gareth Malone's search for his threatrical roots brought him to Liverpool where Mike Royden revealed to him his ancestor was also a singer as well as running a music hall, before a stab at local politics in the late nineteenth century. click here for more information and photographs.

Meet the Researcher - Interview for Who Do You Think You Are? website

In an amazing Who Do You Think You Are? episode, BAFTA-winning choirmaster Gareth Malone discovered the story of his 4x great grandfather Dan Lowery, assisted by historian Mike Royden. We spoke to Mike about his experiences of starring in the programme, which revealed how Lowery went from dyer to publican, singer, election candidate and – eventually – theatre owner.

Blitz Cities - Liverpool - Presented by Ricky Tomlinson

To mark the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Blitz, various celebrities explored the Blitz history of their home cities, which included Norwich, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Birmingham and Liverpool. Ricky Tomlinson talked to survivors, family members and old friends before Mike Royden took him to a couple of sites on the docks to get a more detailed understanding of what happened to the port during that week in May here for more information and photographs.

Ellesmere Port War Memorial Project

If you have an interest in the History of the First World War, this website, fully upgraded and revised for the centenary, is well worth a visit. Dedicated to the memory of Ellesmere Port men who have given their lives during confict, this site is an ongoing project attempting to piece together a little more background about the men who fought and died. It also ties in with tours of the Battlefields where we are trying to visit the graves or memorials of as many soldiers recorded on the Ellesmere Port War Memorial as we can. This website reports the results of those efforts and shows where future researches may lie. Downloads are also available about the Home Front, and useful illustrated guide for those thinking of visiting the battlefields.

Mike Royden on Who Do You Think You are? Series 7 - featuring Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall, star of Sex in the City, is in the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? trying to trace her Toxteth roots. Mike Royden guides her through a few difficult and painful revelations about her Liverpool ancestors. Filmed in the Liverpool Athenaeum under tight security, click here for more information and photographs.

Mike Royden on BBC's Heir Hunters

This is a BBC series dedicated to finding the heirs of people who have died without leaving a will. In this programme Celtic Research looked into the case of Ivy Sherry who died in April 2009. She was born in Liverpool and research revealed a surprising link with Bessie Braddock, the famous Liverpool M.P.

Book Reviews

Excellent new book out - Liverpool: Forgotten Landscapes, Forgotten Lives by John Hussey. The author takes us through a vivid description of the early growth of the town in the eighteenth century, before revealing a wonderful plethora of forgotten tales and histories of the city, including ninteenth century poverty, ship wrecks, local notables, parklands, orphanages and much more, all described in fascinating detail. Click here for a review and how to purchase a copy.

New local publisher

Formerley of Countyvise, Suzanne Lau has struck out on her own and formed Creative Dreams offering a service for local authors to see their work into print. Click here for more details.

Great British Cities: Liverpool (1840 -1947)
(Historical Notes on the Historical Map of Liverpool 1850-51 by Mike Royden)

Map makers Cassini have produced an excellent boxed set of Liverpool historical maps covering; Old Series (1840-43), Revised New Series (1902-03), Popular Edition (1923-24), New Popular Edition (1947) and the County Series 1:10,000 (1850-51). I acted as consultant on the coverage and selection of the maps and wrote the historical notes for the County Series 1:10,000 (1850-51). This map covers Liverpool from Bootle Castle in the north to Otterspool in the south, detailed enough to have all street names recorded throughout. Cassini Historical Maps are created from Ordnance Survey’s definitive mapping series, surveyed and printed from the early 19th century onwards, which they have enhanced and enlarged to bring them into line with modern scales and print standards.
Click here for the Cassini Maps web site.

Downloads resources for historians

New section - from this page you can access various downloads such as publications and documents. This will be added to gradually to help provide a free resource for historians. It may save a visit to the local record office - and help to preserve the original. You will need Adobe Reader (free) installed on your computer to read the pdf files (link on the page).


The story of Otterspool was featured in a lecture given by Mike Royden at The Big History Show at St.Georges Hall in September 2007 as part of the 800th Anniversary celebrations. Click here for a copy of the article and illustrations.

Hitler in Liverpool?

Is there any truth in the story that Hitler visited Liverpool c.1912/13 or is it just an urban myth?
What is certain is that his nephew, William Hitler, was born in Upper Stanhope Street, Toxteth!
This feature appeared firstly on Making History in December, followed by a commission to provide a web article for the new BBC Local Legacies web site. It was also a feature of Norman Thomas' Show on Sunday 18th January 2004. Mike also appeared in a Dutch TV Documentary which covered the story in 2005, and in the final part of Stuart McConie's 'TV Towns' which featured Liverpool in Autumn 2007.
Click the link for the full article by Mike Royden.

Mike Royden's Local History Pages in the Media

Full Listings - Some of the articles within this site have been featured on Radio 4's Making History presented by Sue Cook, while others have been covered on local radio on Radio Merseyside's Norman Thomas Show on Sundays at 1.30pm.

University of Liverpool

Local History Classes
in the Centre for Continuing Education

Charles Royden R.F.A. (1881-1918)

Charles Royden was in the Royal Field Artillery in the First World War and was killed in 1918. It has taken many years of research to compile enough material for this modest biography. To ensure that even this was not forgotten visit these pages for a more detailed account of Charles Royden at the Somme and his war record.

Visit the Royden History Index Page listing web sites designed and maintained by Mike Royden
No pages may be reproduced without permission
copyright Mike Royden
All rights reserved