Society Meetings

Our Quarterly and Beginners Meetings

Meetings during the Pandemic

Our meetings are held online via Zoom at present. We look forward to seeing you at our Beginners sessions, quarterly meetings and our AGM and to welcoming our visitors and members who from across the world who are finding Zoom a lot easier than travelling! When restrictions are eased we will review our planned meetings - check on this page for the latest information.

Our planned Society meetings for 2021


How Newspapers can help you with your Research, by Denise Bates

Our March meeting will interest all researchers, as Denise Bates explains how newspapers can help us with your research, shows us how to make the best use of newspapers and how to avoid some drawbacks of using newspapers for research. Also, sure to be of great value, Denise will show us how to track your research and record and cite the information in a useful way.

This meeting will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 6th March 2021
  • Saturday, 2.00pm
  • Venue: online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Denise Bates
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost: Free of charge

Looking at and Using Census Records, by Michael Couper

Designed for beginners and with something for everyone, Michael Coupler looks at the reasons for and method of taking census together with the varied information each census gives. Also discussed will be methods of finding your ancestor when errors of transcription have occurred.These talks are aimed at people new to family history research or those who simply wish to refresh their knowledge.

This meeting will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 27th March 2021
  • Saturday, 2.00pm
  • Venue: online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Michael Couper
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost: Free of charge

Manchester Streets, by Ray Hoerty, and AGM

Which streets will Ray Hoerty discuss when he tells us the history of Manchester through its street names? Ray will highlight some of the many individuals who gave their names to the City’s streets and the stories and histories behind those name. Ray usually includes in his talks the areas around Manchester such as Angel Meadow, The Northern Quarter, Piccadilly and Deansgate, and discusses their development, their original names and possible reasons for change. This talk promises to be full of interest and a few suprises, and full of the kind of detail that brings the history of Manchester to life in unexpected ways. The meeting will be followed immediately by the society's AGM.

Ray Hoerty is a Registered Blue Badge Tour Guide for North West England and is now sharing his knowledge, built up during his 24 years as a Blue Badge TourGuide, with us online, via Zoom.

This meeting will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 21st April 2021
  • Wednesday, 10.30am
  • Venue: online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Ray Hoerty
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost: Free of charge

To The Manor Born, by John Marsden

 

John Marsden talks about Manorial Records and how they can help historians today. 

The history of the English manor dates from before the Norman Conquest up to the present day. John Marsden explains what the manor was, how it was managed and the records it created which can be of help to family historians today. 

This meeting will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 24th April 2021
  • Saturday, 2.00pm
  • Venue: online via Zoom
  • Speaker: John Marsden
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost: Free of charge

The Flour Dealer: travel and politics in Georgian England, by Hilary Hartigan

There is nothing more interesting, says Hilary, than delving into the life of an ancestor and uncovering a story that is intrinsically bound up with the most important innovations and social circumstances of the times. This is the story of one inhabitant of Manchester whose personal history reveals the story and reality of travel and politics in Georgian England. Carriages and barges, poverty and petitions, grains and grievances, just an ordinary trader in Manchester?

This meeting will be held online via Zoom.

  • Date: 1st May 2021
  • Saturday, 2.00pm
  • Venue: online via Zoom
  • Speaker: Hilary Hartigan
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost: Free of charge

Our Calendar of Events at Manchester Central Library

"Booking on Eventbrite will be essential for these meetings"

Booking on Eventbrite will be essential for these meetings (please see the calendar page) so please follow us on this page, on our social media accounts and on Eventbrite to check when booking opens. Meetings are online at present but will return to Manchester Central Library and will of course be in line with any government guidelines that might be in force at the time. 

All meetings are free of charge to members and, in a normal year, it’s quite possible for a member of the MLFHS to attend 62 meetings a year (admittedly you would have to attend beginners’ courses three times – but why not?) for an annual subscription of £15. Meanwhile, web editors will be busy updating the site and adding new content to enhance your subscription further; project managers and volunteers will continue to save, transcribe and make available important records and the office volunteers will keep the membership and the post running smoothly.

Meetings and Venues

Ond day we will be back at the Manchester Central Library! This is something to look forward to and meeting in person will be so good. Please enjoy our Zoom meetings until then, and let us know at the meetings if your joining us from afar - we are enjoying meeting members from all over the world and we want to keep in touch, online, in the future. These are busy times!

Our Meeting Rooms

Our meetings are held in the Performance Space on the ground floor of Manchester Central Library. The rooms are airy and light, with plenty of space for social distancing if that will be required when our meetings are resumed.

Our Venue

Manchester Central Library, convenient for all forms of public transport, is a modernised, comfortable building, designed to offer visitors ease of access, refreshments, a local history library and meeting rooms, all on the ground floor.

Important Things to Know

Our Meetings

The MLFHS usually holds meetings once a quarter; on the 2nd or 3rd Wednesday of the month (but other local events and the availability of speakers sometimes make a change of date more reasonable). We try to find the best speakers to help us discover more about our Manchester heritage.

Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything. In the interests of everyone’s safety and wellbeing, and slightly ahead of the Government’s restrictions, all of the society’s public-facing activity ceased in March. We look forward to a time when mass gatherings will be possible again.

Looking Forward

Today we are showing, below, a picture from our 2019 Peterloo event, a taste of the meetings and activities that can take place in the library's Performance Space. We will update this with details of new meetings and events as soon as dates, fixed or provisional. can be arranged.

Peterloo event at MCL: Hilary Hartigan

The wonderful Oakenhoof Performers at the Peterloo Celebrations at Manchester Central Library, August 2019, entertaining visitors at lunch time. The Performance Space (PS) meeting rooms are to left of the musicians, and the Helpdesk is at the top right of the picture. We can’t always guarantee such exciting entertainment on our meeting days, but this is the venue! Arrive early, get a coffee, wander around the displays, say ‘hello’ at the Helpdesk and then take your seats in room PS1 and settle in comfortably for an interesting and entertaining talk.

Please follow this page regularly as the speaker secretary will be working hard to get the meetings schedule up and running again, with first class informative and entertaining speakers.

*Non-members pay £3 per meeting. Some meetings, in particular the summer visit to another venue, may incur costs in addition to the normal, any such additional costs are paid by all attendees.

Family History Fair Postponed

Family History Fair, Postponed

Our intentions were good but, as we all stay as safe as we can in December 2020, no-one can guess how the next few months will work out. Our Family History Fair is postponed, and we hope to reschedule for 2022.

The Small Print

The MLFHS usually holds meetings once a quarter; on the 2nd or 3rd Wednesday of the month (but other local events and the availability of speakers sometimes make a change of date more reasonable) and we try to find the best speakers to help us discover more about our Manchester heritage. The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything. In the interests of everyone’s safety and wellbeing, and slightly ahead of the Government’s restrictions, all of the society’s public-facing activity ceased in March. As this beautiful new website was being created other volunteers were making arrangements to cancel meetings, rearrange schedules and planning ahead for the time when mass gatherings will be possible again.

Our Postponed and Archived Meetings

Please note: some of these meetings were arranged before Covid-19 and we hope to reschedule for a safer time or online.

Beginners Session - Starting Your Family Tree

Whether you are a complete novice or just looking for ideas to grow and organise your family tree, there is bound to be a lot to interest you in this new talk. Sheila Goodyear will draw on her substantial experience to ensure that your family tree has firm footings and will branch out beautifully.

 

Manchester's Lost District, by Keith Warrender

Old Manchester, Withy Grove: Hilary Hartigan

Our ‘holding’ picture for this talk is what was left behind after the construction of the Arndale shopping centre swept away so much of Old Manchester. This picture was taken on a rainy day by our photographer sheltering in a café in the Arndale. We leave it to our speaker to tell you all about ‘what was’.

This illustrated talk will feature the many pubs, clubs, shops and other businesses that used to be in this network of streets before the Manchester Arndale was built. The district has a Royal connection, had a pub run by arguably Manchester’s finest entertainer and characters who were immortalised by Charles Dickens. Here also were newspaper offices run by some of Manchester’s outstanding radical figures, as well as some intriguing accounts of everyday life in the ‘Lost District’. The presentation includes many previously unseen photographs taken 50 years ago by the speaker. Keith Warrender is a local publisher and has written books on underground Manchester, curiosities around the region and the Bollin Valley. He is an authority on the events surrounding the 1932 Kinder Scout mass trespass and is a regular speaker at groups in the North West.

  • Date: to be rescheduled
  • Venue: Manchester Central Library
  • Speaker: Keith Warrender
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost: Free to members, £3 to non-members*

The Rylands and Longford Estate. by Richard Bond

John Rylands Library, Deansgate: Hilary Hartigan

We shall have more details of this talk nearer to the time, our ‘holding’ picture is a very wintry image of the John Rylands library on Deansgate, Manchester, rubbing shoulders with the ultra-modern ‘Spinningfields’ on the left, another glass fronted office building on the right and a modern sculpture just creeping into the image in the foreground. The Rylands family were very influential in many different spheres of Manchester and Lancashire life and this is sure to be a talk full of interest.

  • Date: to be rescheduled
  • Venue: Manchester Central Library
  • Speaker: Richard Bond
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost: Free to members, £3 to non-members*

Searching for Samuel, by Chris Tombs

Former Daily Express Building, Ancoats: Hilary Hartigan

Searching for Samuel - and the fortune he never made' by Chris Tombs is about the search for a Manchester businessman, Samuel John Hackney. Samuel was born in 1840 in Ancoats and raised there. As a young man he established a successful lamp making and oil dealing business in Manchester. Samuel had a humble start in life. He grew ambitious and set out to make his fortune, but that dream was to unravel. Sources of information, including The National Archives, will be described, and learning points from the presenter’s “journey of discovery” will be shared. The story is woven around the backdrop of an incredibly vibrant Victorian Manchester, where great wealth could be made…or lost.

The image above shows the former Daily Express building, a more modern image of 'heavy industry' in Ancoats.

  • Date: to be rescheduled
  • Venue: Manchester Central Library
  • Speaker: Chris Tombs
  • Booking: Eventbrite
  • Cost: Free to members; £3.00 to non-members*