Welcome to Calderdale FHS

Last updated on June 28th, 2021 at 02:55 pm

Coronavirus Update – Monday, 28th June 2021

Well it turns out that my last update was not to be the last one as the 21st June did not happen, and so we all now look towards the 19th July for lockdown to be eased or removed. We now have a new Health Secretary who has experience in government and is focused on bringing lockdown to an end.

Here at CFHS we are continuing with our monthly meetings on Zoom, so if you have not joined us give it a go. We will keep you all updated when the normal meetings are to take place at the Maurice Jagger Centre, these will be a hybrid meeting so that all who have joined us from outside Yorkshire over the last period of lockdown can continue to do so.

The work done by the Transcription team has progressed and all the monumental inscriptions have been re-indexed. See projects page for more details.

Well that all for now an hopefully the next update will be the last when we return to a more normal environment. Best wishes to you all.

Coronavirus Update – Tuesday, 27th April 2021

I am hoping this will be the last update before all restrictions are lifted. So I thought I would include the UK (England) road map out of lockdown. We will not be doing face to face monthly meetings until after September when we hope to be able to start a hybrid format for the meeting. More on this later. So as we approach the month of May here is the governments road map.

Step two was completed on 12 April when non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and outdoor attractions reopened, while bars and restaurants were allowed to serve customers outdoors, and groups limited to two households or by the “rule of six”.

Step three – 17 May:

  • Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted, but gatherings of more than 30 will be illegal
  • Indoors, the rule of six or a larger group of up to two households will be allowed
  • Indoor hospitality – pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, concert halls, children play areas, hotels, B&Bs, indoor exercise classes – will be allowed
  • Advice on social distancing between family and friends, including hugging, will be updated no later than 17 May
  • Large indoor performances and sporting events with a capacity of 1,000 people will be allowed
  • Outdoor large performances and sporting events will have a maximum capacity of 4,000 people or must only be half full, whichever is lower
  • Bigger sports stadiums will be allowed 10,000 people or can only be a quarter full, whichever is lower
  • Testing will be used to support these openings
  • Weddings, wedding receptions, wakes, funerals and christenings will be allowed with 30 people
  • Remaining university students to return to campus, with new home testing kits to be provided to increase testing uptake and help limit virus transmission

Step four – 21 June:

  • All legal limits on social contact removed
  • Government hopes to reopen nightclubs and lift restrictions on large events such as festivals
  • Testing could be used as a condition of entry
  • Ministers hope to remove restrictions on weddings

Coronavirus Update – Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Hopefully this will be the penultimate update on the Covid-19 pandemic. As England begins the slow and cautious ease out of lockdown with the schools re-opening for all pupils last Monday and the vaccine rollout continues at a pace it is hoped that this will be the start of returning to a more normal way of life.

Despite the lockdown we in Calderdale Family History Society have not been still, we have made further enhancements to the facilities we offer you as members and have now linked the Transcription Index to the Online Databases. This means that you can find the person you are looking for on the Transcription Index and by clicking on the link choose an option to take you to the full information record on the appropriate Online Database. Please do try this new facility and let us know how useful you find it and any other ways we can help with your family history research. One change I do feel I need to alert you to is a change in the way we handle dates on the system both the Transcription Index and the Online Databases, We now do not include the leading zero on both the day and the month, so please do not try and access date information with the leading zero in the search field as no result will be forthcoming.

Our Transcription teams have been busy on new data to be added to the Transcription Index and Online Databases, some of which require the final checks to be completed when we are able to access to West Yorkshire Archives. I must say thank you to the staff at West Yorkshire Archives and Central Library for there help in resolving some of the problems found in the transcription process.

Hopefully when the next update is written we will be back to this new normal and be able to travel on holiday both in the UK and abroad.

Coronavirus Update – Wednesday, 6 January 2021

As I sit down to write this update once again the UK is in Lockdown for the whole Country, this time including Schools until possibly the middle of February, by which time it is hoped that the vulnerable will have received at least their first injection of the Covid inoculation.

So as we have all been told to stay at home you might like to do some more family history research. The good news is that we in the Calderdale FHS have now completed our project to give all our members access to all the data that we hold on our databases. You can access this via the members area of this web site were you will find all the information on how to retrieve the data and what data is available for you to access and download as a PDF for each entry. Please do try this new facility and give us your comments.

I finish by wishing all our members and those who access our web site A Happy New Year and hope for better news in the future.

Coronavirus Update – Sunday, 1 November

As I was sitting down to write this update Calderdale along with all West Yorkshire were about to enter Tier 3 of the Local Lockdown rules, then everything changed as we had the announcement that a Total Lockdown for the whole Country was to come in effect from Thursday, so Calderdale would stay in Tier 2 until then.

Your Committee had already had to think about what was happening in 2021 as the Maurice Jagger Centre had requested that we make the bookings of the room for 2021 by the end of November. We have decided that we will continue with the virtual meetings for the first quarter of 2021 and also the AGM in April. We will review this at our February Committee meeting as to what we do from May, but hope to start meeting in the Maurice Jagger Centre from then.

During this period the Transcription team continue to do their work and as you will see from the newsletter we continue to update the Transcription Index. There has been added the new facility for members to obtain the data we hold on our Databases. So do try this out in the Members Area.

We will let you know what is happening with the Calderdale Library facilities as we get to know, but it seems that they will have to close again according to the information that is available for the Lockdown. As the review is scheduled for the beginning of December for when and if we come out of Lockdown I will update you all when we have more news.

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. The Local Studies staff have produces a video that is helpful of what to expect, you can find this on YouTube.

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