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Family History

Meeting Details

Meeting Day2nd Thursday
Time10.00 am
LocationCastle Street Centre
Co-ordinator(s)Sue Wakeford, Di Dew (membership) & John Steel (Resources)

What we do


Are you interested in who your ancestors were, or where they lived and what their occupations were? The Family History group is an informal group where we share our experience, knowledge and skills of delving into the past to discover our ancestors and their lives.

We seek help from each other to discover where records exist, how to access them, how to overcome the difficulties, and how to record our information in order to build up a picture of our ancestors for future generations.

We also arrange trips to conferences and to records offices, and have occasional visiting speakers (for which an extra charge applies).

There are comprehensive lists of sources at Cumbria Family History Society and Cyndi's List

New members, whether experienced genealogists or beginners, are welcome.



Latest - 23 March

I was informed today that all Cumbria Libraries will now be closed until 1st May 2020 so unfortunately the visit planned for 30th April is cancelled.  Once we know when the library can open again we will be able to rearrange this visit.

Meanwhile keep safe and good luck with any research you are able to do via the internet.

Best wishes - Sue 


Due to the current circumstances caused by the spread of the corona virus the April and May meetings of the Family History group have been cancelled. This means that we will not be meeting again until Thursday 8 October 2020, (all being well) when we can exchange news about our research and discoveries made over the coming months. It is disappointing that we can't continue but there is now plenty of time to undertake that research or project 'we've always wanted to do'! 

If any of you would like help with your research then please email me on  and if I'm unable to help I will try to pass on the request to someone else. 

At the last meeting in March I asked everyone to think about how they could contribute to the meetings in future. I can only continue as co-ordinator if members help each other, are prepared to talk about their own experiences, research and resources or know of speakers willing to give talks. We will need to discuss the plan for the future at our meeting in October so I hope that you'll come with some good ideas!  

Thank you for all your support during our meetings and I hope that you all keep well in the coming months. With very best wishes


March 2020

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 12th March 2020 at 10.00 a.m. at the Castle Street Centre, Kendal.

Dr. Jean Turnbull will be with us (re-scheduled from our February meeting) to talk about "Oral History and the Family Historian". Dr. Turnbull is the Chair of the Kendal Oral History Group which was founded in 1987. She has researched many aspects of local history including alms houses, the co-operative movement, and turnpike roads, as well as many others thoughout Cumbria. We are privileged that she is able to visit our group to talk about how valuable oral history can be to the family historian and how to record the information.

In addition to our normal charge of £1.50 members are asked to make a £1.50 donation as a contribution to the Kendal Oral History Society.

Febuary 2020

Amended programme March - May 2020

12 March - Dr Jean Turnbull "Oral History and the Family Historian.
NB. Normal £1.50 charge plus £1.50 donation to Kendal Oral History Group.

9 April - Where did they go? How to find missing ancestors.
Leader; Anne Sheppard plus all members

14 May - Where do I come from? Movement and migration.
Leader; Sue Wakeford plus all members.

January 2020

Co-ordinator: Sue Wakeford
Di Dew (membership)      
John Steel(resources)      


Next Meetings

9 Jan - Workshop looking at Ancestry, Findmypast and military websites.
Leader - Ancestry; Andy Carruthers
Leader - FindMyPast; John Steele
Leader - Military websites; Chris Payne
If members want to use this opportunity to ask for help in finding out more about their ancestors, please bring what information you have and the leaders can use the different websites to demonstrate how they work.

13 Feb - Dr Jean Turnbull. “Oral history and the Family Historian”.
NB. Normal £1.50 charge plus an extra £1.50 as a donation to the Kendal Oral History Group.

12 March - Where do I come from? Movement and migration
Leader - Sue Wakeford plus all members.
Please bring examples of where and when your ancestors moved around the country, and beyond.

9 April - Where did they go? How to find missing ancestors?
Leader – to be arranged. Plus all members.

14 May - My Most Interesting Ancestor.
All members to contribute.
While researching our predecessors, we often find someone who has done something unexpected, had an unusual job, or just lived a life that would not happen today. Please bring your stories, pictures or memorabilia to share with the group.

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