Welcome to Calderdale FHS

Last updated on September 25th, 2020 at 09:07 pm

Coronavirus Update – Friday, 25 September

As the Societies Committee decided that we should try and update the members monthly as to what is happening as regards Covid-19 and our society here is my first update as chairman. Things seem to be changing daily at the moment and not always in a clear manner, but here goes.

The schedule of meetings has been updated on the web site and you can follow the drop-down menu above from ‘About Us – Monthly Meetings’. As the rest of the society’s year is organised then this will be updated.

Our Projects teams had a get together on the 14th September and all our present projects are going along fine with the results being published as they are available. Some are waiting the access to the original sources which are still in lockdown. We thank all those involved in this important work on behalf of the society.

We will have to wait and see if the local lockdown which the PM announced will last for six months has an impact on our decision to try to hold our monthly meetings at the Maurice Jagger Centre and the re-opening of the Research Room from January will now be able to take place. Both decisions are not completely within our hands. It is our intension still to include an internet presence at these monthly meetings going forward but the testing of these may need to be postponed.

We have just received news that the phase 2 of Calderdale Central Library opening will commence on Tuesday (29th September) which means that the Local Studies department will be open again. To use the Local Studies resources, you will need to book a timed 2 hour slot between 10am to 4pm, also to use the 2 computers these are bookable for 1 hour slots. To book an appointment you can e-mail: reference.library@calderdale.gov.uk or tel: 01422 392631 (the phone number will not be available until Tuesday). A detailed facts sheet is available here.

Coronavirus Update – Saturday, 15 August

The Society’s Committee have decided that the remaining monthly meetings for 2020 will all be exclusively on-line. Details for each meeting, which will continue to be held on the 4th Thursday of each month, will be shown on the Home Page scroll bar (above) as soon as we have them.

In addition, the Research Room will not reopen until at least January 2021, due to the continuing restrictions imposed by Calderdale MBC on the Libraries.   The Archives in Halifax remain closed, but the Central Library is now open to collect & return library books, although browsing & use of the meeting rooms and local history areas are still prohibited.

Coronavirus Update – Monday 20th July

The Maurice Jagger Centre, where we have our monthly meetings, will not be re-opening until October 2020 at the earliest. At that time, there will be restrictions which may make holding our meetings there untenable, until there is further slackening of the Government regulations.

Our first on-line meeting was held on Zoom on Thursday 23rd July, with the scheduled speaker Mr. Chris Helme. This was attended by over 30 members some from Australia and America who were able to take part for the first time.

Information about the August & September meetings will be announced shortly.

The Research Room at Brighouse Library will not be re-opening until at least September. The Local Studies Library & the West Yorkshire Archives are still currently closed, and unlikely to open before the Autumn, at which time it will be a phased opening.

Your Committee continue to meet at scheduled times, via Zoom, to carry on the business of the Society.

The National Archive has opened up its digital archive for free during the lockdown for up to 50 items per user, for full details follow the link below:


During the period of the “Lockdown” Calderdale Library have negotiated an arrangement with both Ancestry and FindMyPast so that anyone with a Calderdale Library card can use their websites, free of charge, by following some simple instructions.

We will be using some images from John Hargreaves’ book of ‘Halifax in Old Picture Postcards‘ for our home page images, each picture will have a number in the top right hand corner so that you can try and guess where the picture is in Halifax. For information on John’s new book ‘A History of Halifax from pre-historic times to the present day‘ follow this link.

West Yorkshire Archive Services have closed their offices in all 5 areas, including Halifax. For more information on this, go to their website https://www.wyjs.org.uk/archive-service/

Society Coronavirus – General Policy

Following discussions amongst the Society officers, we have decided on the policy that our Society will adopt, concerning the Coronavirus.

A full statement of the policy is given on a separate page, which can be reached by clicking on this link.

In summary, we will follow the following steps :-

  • The General Meetings at The Maurice Jagger Centre will be cancelled until further notice. On-Line meetings are to be investigated.
  • The Research Room will be closed from Monday 23rd March.
  • The annual lunch which was to have followed the AGM on April 23rd was also cancelled. Those members who have paid for their meal will be reimbursed.
  • The AGM for 2020 will be conducted remotely.
  • All services that operate electronically or by post, will continue as usual. This means that use of the Transcription Index, the publication of the Scrivener & newsletters & all other electronic communication will continue to be available to members.

We hope that this crisis is a short-lived event, although we believe that it may continue for some time. Our policies will be reviewed on a regular basis.

Welcome to Calderdale FHS

Founded in 1985 we are a group of Family Historians who help each other, and the general public, with research into their ancestors. We are dedicated to ancestry, genealogy and family search in Halifax, West Yorkshire and the surrounding area. Full details of everything we offer can be found using the drop-down menu bar above.
However, the most important & well-used facilities are listed below. Click on the title of the sections below to go to use that facility.

Transcription Index – Search the index for over 2m records that have been transcribed over the years the Society – your long, lost, ancestor may be amongst them!

Publications – Look to see what publications we offer to help you – mostly on CD or downloadable files.

Projects – See what projects we are doing which may help you in the near future. New information is becoming available all the time.

Research Room – We have a Research Room in Brighouse Library where you can go to access both Ancestry & FindMyPast as well as all the Society databases. There is always an experienced Society officer there to help you.

Benefits of Membership – Membership of the Society starts from as little as £6 per annum. Benefits include :-

  • The Scrivener – 4 informative family history related Journals every year.
  • Access to other members’ Interests through our “Members Area” on the Society website www.cfhsweb.com.
  • Use of the Research Room.
  • Free searches for the full detail of every item on the Transcription Index.
  • A monthly meeting at the Maurice Jagger Centre in Halifax every 4th Thursday. Click to see the current syllabus.
  • Ability to contribute to the on-line forum.

Click here to apply for details on how to apply for membership.

Map of the Area

Calderdale FHS Area Map