The Airedale & Wharfedale Family History Society met 6 February in Burley for a talk by our President Stan Merridew on ‘How to get the best from our Website’.
The Wharfedale & Keighley family history groups which recently merged into our current society both had fairly run-of-mill family history websites which had operated since the 1990s. Like many other family history websites these were mainly used for membership subscriptions and sales of publications. Following the merger our webmaster Steve Miller created a much-improved new website containing a wealth of useful information for family historians. However due to technical difficulties a second website has since been created (thanks to a great deal of hard work by Steve and Stan) which can be accessed at AWFHS.org. Members can log into the website using their membership number and will then be allocated a password.
Using the Menu facility users can access a wide range of information including: details of meetings at our three locations in Burley, Keighley and Threshfield; places covered by our area; members interests; exchange journals from other societies; Wharfedale pictures; research notes, war memorials; school and sports information; the Delves collection of photographs and publications (still in progress). There are also useful links to archives, museums, on-line resources and local history societies.
Sales of publications have fallen drastically for many family history groups due to the increasingly wide availability of resources on the internet, rendering the traditional family history website out-dated. Whilst local groups are in no position to compete with the main family history websites such as Ancestry and Findmypast we are able to offer more bespoke information for family historians by making available information about the local area which is NOT available on the main sites. Thanks to Stan there is a huge database of local war memorials on our site and we are currently compiling additional local information for all the places covered by our area such as school log books and many photographs. These can be accessed by clicking on the place name in ‘Places’ on the website or by using the search facility.
Our next meeting will take place 7.30 pm Thursday 5 March at the Salem Church Hall, Burley when Jackie Depelle will present ‘Bermuda, Berlin & Brill – 2 wars, 2 wives’. Members and visitors all welcome, refreshments provided.