Our Featured Meetings

Our meetings are usually held on the 1st Wednesday of the month. Whilst these meetings have been arranged, it may be that Covid-19 regulations could change at any time. Please check here before travelling to find out about times and safety requirements for the meeting.

Finding Aunt Sarah

27 April 2022 - Zoom

Dr Alan Crosby - Freelance local and regional historian, writer, editor and lecturer, working mainly in North West England. I have taught and lectured for many universities during the past 30 years, including Oxford, Liverpool, Manchester, Central Lancashire and Keele, but have always maintained a strong connection with the wider world of local and family history. I'm currently a Council member of the Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire and of the Chetham Society and have been an honorary research fellow at the universities of Lancaster and Liverpool. 

This is a repeat of the talk presented recently, as Zoom attendees were unable to watch the original presentation. We are very pleased to be able to welcome back Dr Alan Crosby, with his talk "Finding Aunt Sarah", which is basically reconstructing the family history and background of his grandma’s best friend

Taking Care of the Past: Packaging and Handling Archives

4 May 2022 - Hybrid

Mark O'Neil - is an Archive Conservator (Preventive) at Lancashire Archives and is a qualified Preventive Conservator and has worked at local government archives since 2019, . Mark is also Joint Training Officer for the ARA Preservation & Conservation Group.

I plan to bring some sample archive materials to demonstrate some aspects of handling whilst I am talking, and give a short introduction about me, the archive, and Conservation in general, and then a presentation on document handling. There should be plenty of time for Q&A's and a discussion.

  • Date: 4th May 2022
  • Wednesday 7.30pm
  • Bolton Golf Club & Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Mark O'Neil
  • Booking: To Follow

Researching House History

1 June 2022 - Hybrid

Jackie Depelle - Specialist Family History tutor, guiding and motivating family history research for just over twenty years. A regular virtual speaker at shows and to groups across the country, Jackie supports voluntary Family & Local History and the Guild of One Name Studies through membership and via her former role as Chairman of the Yorkshire Group of Family History Societies. She now also runs many online courses mainly for the WEA and other education providers. 

Discovering the history of houses especially those with aristocratic connections has always been popular and many people link studying a property to their Family Tree. Recent television programmes have stimulated renewed interest in discovering who lived in a house and what happened within its walls. Taking over a family built property prompted Jackie to research and record people, place and contents. This talk will draw on an extensive collection of sources, both online and awaiting discovery in archives. Join us to see what can be found and where.

  • Date: 1st June 2022
  • Wednesday 7.30pm
  • Bolton Golf Club & Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Jackie Depelle
  • Booking: To Follow

How can the Guild of One-Name Studies help me?

6 July 2022 - Hybrid

Margaret Southgate - joined the Guild of One-Name Studies in 2008, researching the surname CLOSE and variants, and is currently the Guild's representative for South and West Wales.  Although she has lived in South Wales for many years, she maintains a keen interest in the Bolton area where she was born and grew up.

The session will include:

  • How to use the Guild's public web pages
  • Additional benefits for members
  • Advantages of a surname study
  • Selecting a suitable surname to study
  • Some Lancashire surnames
  • Answering your questions

  • Date: 6th July 2022
  • Wednesday 7.30pm
  • Bolton Golf Club & Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Margaret Southgate
  • Booking: To Follow

Was my grandfather a professional footballer? Sources of information for Family Historians at the National Football Museum

3 Aug 2022 - Hybrid

Peter Holme - is the Curator in the Research Centre of the National Football Museum in the Urbis Building at the Cathedral Gardens in Manchester

In the past I have done talks about the early history of football and the role of Lancashire in the development of professional football. However, on this occasion I hope to talk about sources of information and how to trace an ancestor who was a footballer. At the National Football Museum, we receive quite a few requests from family historians for information from our extensive library & archive, (housed at the Preston site). These enquiries are very interesting, and we have members of staff, volunteers and national contacts with a varied expertise who can help answer the questions posed.
It will be a Powerpoint presentation which will focus on Football & Family history with some case studies of typical enquiries we receive.

  • Date: 3rd Aug 2022
  • Wednesday 7.30pm
  • Bolton Golf Club & Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Peter Holme
  • Booking: To Follow

A Grandmothers Legacy: my family history

7 Sep 2022 - Online

Jenny Mallin - is a 'Berkshire-based award-winning author and public speaker', Best In World cookbook award winner for 2017 by the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Society for her book "A Grandmother's Legacy"

A fascinating insight into five generations of her family who lived during the days of the British Raj in India. Seen through the eyes of their granddaughter, Jenny captures a period of British history through her Powerpoint presentations with extensive collection of family sepia photographs, and manages to bring her stories to life: her grandmothers' lives as memsahibs and the "legacy" that Jenny has been given, a 170 year old cookbook penned by Jenny's great 4 x grandmother in 1844 when she was aged just 15 and a newly-wed bride, married to an English schoolmaster. Jenny also describes her grandfathers, uncles and relatives who served in the British Army as early as 1798, The Royal Indian Navy, the Railways in Madras, a co-founder of an English Medium School in India in the early 18th century and a great uncle who rose up through the ranks of the ICS to become Postmaster General in the telegraph industry.

  • Date: 7th Sep 2022
  • Wednesday 7.30pm
  • Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Jenny Mallin
  • Booking: To Follow

Exploring Family History, a Beginners guide

5 Oct 2022 - Hybrid

Kate Hurst - is a member of Ormskirk and District FHS, and has been their Chair since 2018. I have had a passion for family history since my late teens, and have spent endless hours tracing my own ancestors at the Lancashire Archives in Preston. In 2011, I finally took my parents’ advice and started doing research for other people, which has taken me in all sorts of directions, including background work for Sir Ian McKellen’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, and assisting with a Yale University project about British bills of exchange from the 1750-1850 period. 

When the archives were closed during the COVID-19 lockdowns, I created a family history YouTube channel, which I use to practice ideas for new projects, including a talk on a 1670s midwife, and looking for clues about family and social history resources in Jane Austen’s work. 

This talk is suitable for newcomers or those who like to research online and has a distinct Lancashire theme. Using family information as a starting point I use my family as a case study to show how researchers can use census records, parish records, and resources at the Lancashire Archives to add colour to their family story. A second case study from one of my research commissions demonstrates how people with connections to the Leeds Liverpool canal boat families can explore their ancestry. After a quick browse through the boat family's website ODFHS Boat Families a number of people on there were born in Bolton, Farnworth, Little Lever etc and at least one had parents from Cheshire and a boating/watermen connection going back 3 generations. Much more to explore.

  • Date: 5th Oct 2022
  • Wednesday 7.30pm
  • Bolton Golf Club & Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Kate Hurst
  • Booking: To Follow

Records and Research Using the CWGC Archives

2 Nov 2022 - Hybrid

James Hutton - has had an interest in both military and political history for many years. He recently retired from the NHS and he is now undertaking volunteer roles with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission both as a speaker and visiting, conducting surveys and simple maintenance of War Graves and memorials.

His main interest focuses on the 1982 Falkland’s Campaign with emphasis on both the naval engagements as well as the diplomatic negotiations.

James keeps busy in his spare time as an instructor with the Army Cadet Force, teaching military and other skills to young adults. He is also trying to keep on top of the rust on his classic Rover from the 1970’s.

The talk “Records and Research Using the CWGC Archives” will cover the history of the CWGC archive and how to access its contents, as well as examples of some of the highlights from over 10,000 documents and personal papers. This is in addition to records of over 1.6 million British and Commonwealth casualties.

  • Date: 2nd Nov 2022
  • Wednesday 7.30pm
  • Bolton Golf Club & Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: James Hutton
  • Booking: To Follow

Christmas Words and Music

7 Dec 2022 - Hybrid

Geoff Scargill - has told us he is a retired headteacher and magistrate. I love music, cricket, politics and history. I am a distant relative of Arthur! I am the chair of the Watkin Society, which aims to make known a forgotten great man of the 19th century, Sir Edward Watkin MP, and have just had a book published about him: “Victoria’s Railway King”.

Geoff gives talks to support a professor, who is a cancer specialist, and led the team that performed an 8-hour op. on our son, Peter. He said it was the most complicated operation he had ever performed. I decided to pay him back literally, by giving talks. 

Geoff comes highly recommended. 

More festive arrangements to be announced nearer the time. 

  • Date: 7th Dec 2022
  • Wednesday 7.30pm
  • Bolton Golf Club & Online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Geoff Scargill
  • Booking: To Follow

Where we meet

Our Meeting Rooms

From April 2022 We intend to hold our meetings at Bolton Golf Club, Chorley New Road, Bolton, BL6 4AJ. There is ample seating and also room for a helpdesk, and a stationery (for sale) table. Coffee and tea is available and the bar is open. The room opens at 7-00pm for the helpdesk and meetings start at 7.30pm.

Our Venue

Bolton Golf Club has ample car parking facilities, access to the first floor is by stairs, and a lift for those with mobility problems. The venue is easy to get to by car and meetings are always popular and well attended.

About Our Meetings

Important Things to Know


At present all our physical meetings are cancelled. We are currently holding all meetings via Zoom, until such time that we can host them safely. We intend to resume physical meetings from April 2022.


We may have to introduce a booking system when meetings resume, partly to ensure social distancing and to accord with any regulations that may be in force in the months to come.

Check first

As bookings are confirmed we shall provided dates for the meetings. Please check these pages and social media before travelling to ensure that the meetings are able to proceed as planned.

Bolton FHS meetings are usually held at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of the month (please check first).

[First Floor],
Bolton Golf Club,
Chorley New Road,
Bolton, BL6 4AJ

The Society is a friendly group who are happy to welcome visitors [entrance fee £3] and ALL members of the MLFHS.  Tea / Coffee [£1] is available from 7.00pm, as are drinks from the bar.

The talk starts at 7.30pm. There is a table of free information/advice leaflets and old genealogy magazines and facilities to purchase stationery and various publications, and we have a Help Desk before and after every talk.