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.
The Airedale & Wharfedale Family History Society met 7 November and Dr Phil Judkins presented his talk ‘Confusions Masterpiece’.
Numerous deceptions were put in place to ensure the success of the Allies’ D Day landings on 6 June 1944. Whilst the enemy anticipated a second front it was imperative that they did not know where or when this would happen. False information was intended to make Germany believe the attack would take place later and further east than actually planned. Scientist Bill Tutt successfully de-coded top-level Nazi communications so that the Allies could discern whether their false information had been taken seriously.
Thursday 3 October 2019 by Susanne Young
The Airedale & Wharfedale Family History Society met 3 October and community historian Robert Schofield presented his talk ‘The Early Methodists of Wharfedale’.
Preacher Benjamin Ingham, from Ossett, came to Wharfedale in 1738 and married Lady Mary Hastings, sister in law of the Countess of Huntingdon. His son founded the Inghamite societies of West Yorks and Lancs. John Nelson, a stone mason from Birstall who was not on good terms with Ingham, developed societies around Bradford, Keighley and Otley and introduced John Wesley to the area. William Darney, a wandering pedlar and shoemaker known as Scotch Will, was a powerful Calvinist preacher who set up societies in Calderdale and Rossendale. He fell out with the Wesleys. John Bennett took over Darney’s societies and founded Methodism in the area. He fell out with John Wesley when he married Wesley’s ‘intended’ Grace Murray. William Grimshaw, Haworth curate and close friend of John Wesley, established the large Keighley Circuit which extended from Elland to the Scottish border. He converted Jonathan Maskow from Burley in Wharfedale who became a preacher. Thomas Colbeck, a grocer from Keighley, was a preacher in the area and married Sarah Flesher of Otley. On 30 April 1748 Bennett and Colbeck were entertained in Ilkley by Ellis Cunliffe and his wife Elizabeth Lister.
Hardy v North. The Yorkshire Jarndyce v Jarndyce?
Speaker: Mary Twentyman
Mary opened the talk explaining the title of her talk is derived from the central plot of ‘Bleak House’, a book by Charles Dickens. The case is a central plot device in the novel and has become a byword for seemingly interminable legal proceedings.
Jarndyce v Jarndyce concerns the fate of a large inheritance. The case has dragged on for many generations before the action of the novel, so that, late in the narrative, legal costs have devoured the whole estate and the case is abandoned.
Chairman Lynda Balmforth welcomed speaker Eric Jackson who presented an excellent illustrated talk ‘Remembrance – War Memorials & the Unknown Warrior’.
War memorials are a common sight throughout Great Britain with the exception of 54 (5 in Yorkshire) Thankful Villages where all the men returned home from the Great War. Prior to WW1 there was little or no commemoration of war dead; monuments such as Nelson’s Column & Wellington Arch celebrated victory but did not include names of the dead. By the end of C19th commemorative memorials began to appear for those who fought & died in the Boer War (one such plaque can be found in Queen’s Hall, Burley). The hitherto unknown enormous loss of life during WW1 prompted widespread commemoration of the dead.
The Airedale & Wharfedale Family History Society met at the Salem Church Hall on Thursday 2 May. Following a brief AGM for the newly formed Society Chairman Lynda Balmforth welcomed popular speaker Jackie Depelle who presented an illustrated talk ‘Which Website and Why?’.
The Airedale & Wharfedale Family History Society met at the Salem Church Hall on Thursday 4 April. Chairman Lynda Balmforth opened the meeting and welcomed speaker Gillian Waters who gave an illustrated talk ‘To New York, Chicago, Wakefield or Otley’.
Gillian is the archivist for the Washburn Heritage Centre at Fewston and her association with the Fewston Assembly was the inspiration for her talk. The Fewston Assembly was a project undertaken to identify and research people whose graves were removed from the Fewston churchyard to make way for the heritage centre. The title of her talk refers to destinations of former Washburn Valley residents.
The Airedale & Wharfedale Family History Society met at the Salem Church Hall on Thursday 7 March. Chairman Lynda Balmforth opened the meeting and welcomed speaker Nigel Grizzard who came to tell us the story of the Jews in Ilkley. Nigel is an expert on local Jewish heritage and leads guided walks around Leeds, Bradford & Ilkley & is co-founder of Heritage Project ‘Making their Mark’ a Bradford Jewish Heritage Trail.
Speaker: Stephen Miller
The Wharfedale Family History Group met at the Salem Church Hall on Thursday 7 February. Chairman Lynda Balmforth opened the meeting and welcomed speaker Stephen Miller our society’s webmaster and co-founder of Leeds Indexers (now Yorkshire Indexers) who presented an entertaining and informative illustrated talk about his Grave Concerns.
Subject: History of Chocolate in York
Speaker: Norman Simpson
The Wharfedale Family History Group met Thursday 1st November and the meeting opened with a short extraordinary general meeting in which members unanimously approved a change to the Airedale & Wharfedale Family History Society incorporating Wharfedale and Keighley family history groups with effect from 1st January 2019. Chairman Lynda Balmforth welcomed our speaker for the evening Norman Simpson who presented an interesting illustrated presentation on the History of Chocolate in York.