About Manchester

About Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society

What we do

We help our members - and non-members - to become better family historians by finding, preserving and transcribing records, by meeting quarterly and inviting speakers who entertain, inspire and educate, by working with out partners to make records and histories accessible, by holding regular weekday helpdesks and by hosting our online forum.

The Owens Manuscript

When one of our members discovered the Owens Manuscript, a handwritten diary and account of Manchester and events nearly 200 years ago, the Society immediately took steps to secure this valuable document. Volunteers have transcribed and indexed names and we hope to make the document more accessible in the future.


We study and research the past but we use the best of modern technology to do this. Our new website is making it easier than ever to search over 2.7 million records and is opening a new chapter of making more information accessible to members and non-members. Follow our Blog where we will introduce new additions to our collections.


Our partnership with Archives+ at the Manchester Central Library has helped us to scan, transcribe, index and make available more records than ever. We also work with many their organisations to save or open up archives that have previously been difficult to access. Have a look at our current list of Partners and the archives being transcribed.

Help and Advice

At the Manchester Central Library we have exclusive use of a suite of computers each weekday between 10.30am and 3.30am (holidays and pandemics excluded). Our experienced staff are happy to help with all kinds of family and local history questions. Our Virtual Helpdesk is also open to everyone who cannot access the Library.

Private Research

Since 1964 our flagship quarterly journal has recorded and printed members' research and to made it available to other members. The archives are a valuable resource and fully indexed online. Every member of the Society receives a copy of The Manchester Genealogist quarterly, to which every branch of the society contributes.

Branch Announcement: Due to COVID-19 All Events are currently postponed.

Ainsworth, Alyn

[1924-1990], Band Leader, Television Musical Director.

Ashworth, Alan

Professor [born 1960] Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at the Institute of Cancer Research, Co-discoverer of BRCA2 gene with Professor Mike Stratton.

Barlow, Thomas

Sir, KCVO, FRS, FRCP, [1845-1945, born Edgworth] - diagnosed Barlow's Disease, physician to Queen Victoria, Kings Edward VII & George V.

Upcoming Events in Manchester

Manchester’s Lost District – Life before the Arndale

1.30pm 14 Oct 2020 - Manchester Central LIbrary

Manchester’s Lost District: Life before the Arndale


The History of the Ryland & Longford Estates

10.30am 14 Oct 2020 - Manchester Central LIbrary

Richard Bond will talk about the Rylands and The Longford Estate


Quarterly Meeting + AGM

10.30am 22 Apr 2020 - Manchester Central LIbrary

Just taken your test with Ancestry? Speaker : Hilary Hartigan