Origins of the Branch
North Staffordshire Branch was formed on the 30th April 1979 as a result of an invitation by Andy Ridler of Radio Stoke, extended to Mr Bernard Palmer and Elizabeth Bass, to broadcast an appeal for other Genealogists to come forward and meet in the area.
Mrs Eva Beech and Mrs Diana Grant who were both running family history classes at that time joined them and formed the nucleus of the Branch and from these members the original committee was formed.
Branch meetings were held in the W.E.A.'s Cartwright House Hanley, where the family history courses operated, until 1987 when a move was made to the Wesley Methodist Church Rooms in Epworth Street Stoke. In December 2013 we moved premises again to our venue ~ The St John’s Centre Newcastle Road Trent Vale (see Map for details)
Meetings may be attended by any member or prospective member (Visitor) of the BMSGH.
Visitors are expected to join the Society on their second visit, and all members must give their membership number when signing in at reception.
Most of our branch members live in the North Staffordshire or South Cheshire area. The August meeting takes the form of an annual outing to an interesting venue, usually a parish church or historic house etc. The December meeting usually includes mincepies and a drink.
The Branch Library
All Monday meetings commence at 7.30 pm Most books in the Library may be borrowed by members against their membership No and address being put in the "Library Borrowers" Book. When there is no Talk the meeting takes the format of a Research Evening, when the Library and Fiche Club are available. Internet access will also be available (Unless circumstances outside our control dictate otherwise). Senior members are also available to help with any queries.
As well as books, the library also has a large collection of microfiche of the IGI and M.I.'s (Monumental Inscriptions) of many churches in Staffordshire and a few in Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
There is also a card index of branch members' interests and the 1994 fiche of the big "R" - A register of members interests of the Federation of Family History Societies.
Format of Meetings
The monthly meetings ' Officially ' start at approx 7.45pm with an introduction by the Chairperson and any notices given by the Secretary or other committee members. This is followed, most months, by a talk on a family history subject lasting about half to one hour. This gives time afterwards for questions, discussion with the speaker, advice from the experts or just general socialising.
NB - The Library will only be available on Research Evenings..
Occasionally longer, often illustrated, talks are given by well-known or local experts on specific subjects of general interest to members.
Chairs and tables must be put away and the room vacated by 9.30pm and everyone at the meeting is expected to help with this.
The Social Secretary organises several visits a year to places of interest, usually in place of the August meeting and is usually on a Saturday or Sunday, and all members are welcome to join in Those without transport of their own can be accommodated in other members cars.
We have visited Stately Homes, Museums, and Towns, Villages and Hamlets usually in Staffordshire.
Any suggestions of places of interest worthy of a visit will be welcomed by the Social Secretary - please email me or send comments.
Several members of the Branch have been responsible in the past for the transcribing of the 1881 Census. This has now been surname indexed by the LDS Church and is available on microfiche. A few have done a similar exercise with parts of the 1851 Census and this is being surname indexed and printed by the BMSGH.
One of the Branch's projects was the transcription and indexing of the Wolstanton and Burslem Union Workhouse Records (Chell Workhouse) for the Reference Library in Hanley. These records are now printed by the branch and available in our library.
The Branch has also transcribed the Burial Indexes for the Municipal Cemeteries under the control of the Stoke on Trent City Archives and the Burial Indexes for the Cheadle Town Council's graveyard to the rear of St Giles Parish Church in Cheadle Staffs.
The latest project to be attempted is the transcribing of the Staffordshire Registrars for Births Marrriages and Deaths Indexes. These will be made available on the Web for people to search and request certificates from the relevant Superintendent Registrar.
This is a very large project and the fruits of our labours can be found at the following address ... http://www.staffordshirebmd.org.uk
While every care has been taken in the compilation of this information, The North Staffs Branch of the BMSGH will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any inaccuracy or error within these pages.