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The Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society

Since 1863

For everyone interested in Yorkshire's past

About the Family History Section

Our aims and activities

The Family History Section was founded in 1973 and has over two hundred members world wide. Interest in the study of family history has grown rapidly in recent years, ranging from who our ancestors were, where they lived and worked, to the social history of the periods concerned.

The aim of the Section is to promote these interests and assist members in their research. Although we are unable to undertake any individual research, we do aim to help our members with advice on tracing ancestors and the sources available to take researches forward.

The Section is also a Member of The Federation of Family History Societies.


A programme of lectures takes place in September to June, at monthly intervals. These are held ususally on the second Saturday of the month at the Swarthmore Education Centre, Woodhouse Square, Leeds. Typically there will be a guest speaker talking on a family history or social history related topic. (During the COVID restrictions the lectures will be presented using the Zoom meeting facility).


The YAHS and its special interest sections have large and comprehensive collections of historical materials on the ancient county of Yorkshire, including published transcriptions of parish registers. Some of the books and other materials are lodged with the Leeds University Brotherton Library. Other more frequently consulted materials are placed at Leeds City Council's Central Library. 

Link scheme

Under this scheme, if you need information from a distant Library, Record Office or Archive to which you are unable to travel, we can advise you on volunteers who may be able go there on your behalf to look at specified items at the cost of their expenses.


Members receive a copy of the Yorkshire Family Historian (published three times a year) which has articles of general genealogical interest, "New Members' list", "Members' interests" and news of forthcoming events.  The Historian is circulated in paper and electronically in PDF format.

Exchange journals

The section takes part in a scheme whereby magazines and journals published by other Family History societies can be made available to members.

War Memorials project

With the help of many friends and relatives, Margaret Ford has photographed and copied the names from War Memorials within the Leeds post code area and Leeds City Council areas. This extends from Ilkley in the north west, Tadcaster and Sherburn in Elmet in the east, south to Morley and north to Wetherby.

Nowadays, some memorials are in obscure places, having been removed from buildings before they were demolished; or are still in-situ but that the building has had a change of use. For example, one from Calverley, which had been in the Wesleyan Chapel before it was taken down in 1948, was discovered languishing in a warehouse in Leeds. This has been returned, renovated, rededicated, and is now in 'The Church in the Garden', Calverley. Members and non-members are therefore urged to report the locations of memorials in unusual places.

If you have any such information please contact Margaret Ford by email to the  Hon Secretary, Family History Section.

Memorial Inscriptions Saved for Future researchers





There are two categories of membership:

  1. Member of our parent body, the Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society, can join the Family History Section at a special rate.
  2. Member of the Family History Section only

The Society year commences on 1st January and subscriptions are due on or before this date each year. If joining after 1st November, membership will commence on 1st January of the following year.

Details of subscription rates and the Gift Aid can be found on the Membership page.

Members' research interests

New members receive a welcome pack which includes information about the Section, and a form to register their research Interests. These Interests should be the particulars of those people from whom you, or the member of your family being researched, are directly descended.

Section members are invited to submit the details of their interests for publication in the Section's journal The Yorkshire Family Historian and for inclusion in subsequent 'Members' Interests' publications. Each quarterly issue of the journal contains a list of interests submitted by new members. These are in the form of a 'pull out' section.

We must emphasise that this service is only available to members; they can register their interests in any of the following ways

Contact us

All our officers and committee members are volunteers working in their spare time and unfortunately we are unable to deal with correspondence that does not relate directly to the tasks we carry out for the Society.

Chairman: Stephen Bennett  
Hon. Secretary: Acting secretary  
Membership Secretary: Kathryn Cheetham  
Journal Editor: Allan Dawkins  
Lecture Secretary: Sue Chell  
Webmaster: John Korna  

If you are experiencing any problems with these Family History pages, please contact our Webmaster.

General Enquiries:

By  e-mail

By post: for general enquiries or to contact any of the above officers and committee members write to them

c/o Family History Section,
Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society,
Stringer House
34 Lupton Street