About Manchester Ancestors

Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society

Off to a flying start

One evening in February 1964 a group of workers from the Avro aircraft factory in Chadderton got together at the Gardeners Arms in Moston to share their interest in family history. A society emerged from this first meeting, which nearly six decades later has an international membership, and is one of the largest and most active family history societies in the United Kingdom.

pdf Forty Years with Family History (578 KB) was published on our 40th anniversary and tells more about the society's history.

Photo: Avro Lancaster ‘parked’ outside Manchester Town Hall in September 2018 as part of the ‘RAF 100 Appeal’.

We're Here to Help Family Historians!

We help both members and non-members to become better family historians. We help members by providing access to a wealth of online information and our Member Forum enables members to share their knowledge and experience. We have specialist knowledge of resources for the Greater Manchester area but do our best to provide support wherever a member's research takes them.

Non-members benefit from our Helpdesk at Manchester Central Library. This is a free drop-in service with a team of experts available every weekday to answer family history questions.

We Open Up Local Records

Not every helpful resource is available on public or commercial web sites. Throughout our history we have transcribed and indexed local records and made these available to our members. A good example is our database of over 600,000 names which appear on more than 160,000 graveyard memorials (many now long since disappeared) in and around Manchester. We have indexed admission records for important institutions including the Prestwich Asylum, Henshaw's Asylum for the Blind and The Royal Manchester Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. But these are just highlights of over 200 data sets which can be found in our member only area. And the work goes on! There are always projects in progress and more data for members as a result.

We Want You to Get Involved
Everything we do is done by volunteers. If you live in the Manchester area, there are frequently opportunities to assist in our office at Manchester Central Library or with running our meetings. If you have a good knowledge of family history then there may be a place for you as part of our Helpdesk team. But, even if you live some distance away, perhaps even on another continent, there is a regular need for home workers to transcribe and index records. In an increasingly online world, there may be more activities which do not require a physical presence, so there is probably something you can do for the society.
The Boring Stuff

MLFHS is a charity, registered under UK charity legislation (Number 515599). We operate under a published constitution, which invests the management of the Society in an Executive Committee of Trustees elected from the Society membership. The Trustees meet six times each year to agree strategy and policy. The Society is funded by subscriptions from its members and through commercial activities such as the sale of publications, charges for courses etc. All of the income is applied towards the operation of the society and achieving its aims. There are no paid employees.

Our VAT number is 508 5873 22