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 research into their family history.
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 lived. We hope to do this by offering members an opportunity to meet like-minded people locally and to share their interests, resources and experience.
The aims of the group have changed over the years with the increased access to records via technology. When the group began, many records could only be found by visiting local archives. Now researchers are able to access these with ease from their own homes. We are happy to introduce new members to these research methods and welcome visitors to our drop in sessions for this purpose.
We also have many visitors from other parts of the country and several from aboard, who are researching families that originated in this area. We may have some sources of local information within the archives that is pertinent to their research and we also enjoy the opportunity to introduce these visitors to the Upper Calder Valley and show them the particular paces where their families came from.
We are hoping to build up a database of local families and welcome any contributions to this. The Upper Calder Valley is renowned for the origin of many surnames and we have many requests from far and wide for information about local families. We use the opportunities of the group meetings to research particular local families of interest and these projects will be added to our data- base.
There are two meetings each month at the Birchcliffe centre on (usually) the first Saturday and the third Thursday. Over the years 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 the Ancestry web site.
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 £3. 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.
The group runs a popular programme of workshops and drop-in sessions at the Birchcliffe Centre
Upper Calderdale's suitability for the preservation of local cultural tradition is nowhere shown as strongly as in its wealth of folk tales about places, many of which are still being passed on by word of mouth.
For some years now a small group of friends has been exploring the evidence for prehistoric activity in the South Pennines.