TWO Yorkshire family history organisations, Wharfedale Family History Group and Keighley Family History Society, both of which have been in existence since the 1980s are to merge.

From January 1 they will be known as the Airedale and Wharfedale Family History Society. The society will have three branches - Burley in Wharfedale, Keighley and Threshfield.

The two organisations have overlapping areas of interest and the new society will take in Wharfedale, Airedale, the Forest of Bowland and all towns and villages to the borders of Lancashire and Cumbria. Their list of publications which will number close to five hundred encompasses parish registers and memorial inscriptions – valuable aids for anyone in search of their roots.

The society’s aims are:To provide good lively informative monthly meetings at our soon to be three branches; attract new members and offer assistance for those new to the hobby.

Provide new research aids, particularly those less obvious and less likely to be available on the major websites.

Although a lot of family history research can be carried out on the internet, due to the complexities of the records it is very easily to come to a standstill or end up in the wrong tree. Local knowledge of available sources can supply invaluable aid to the researcher at a much lower cost and with more accurate results.

The first meeting of the new society is on Thursday, January 3 at the Salem Hall in Burley in Wharfedale. This will be a research evening, an ideal opportunity for visitors and new members to come and meet the team. It is followed on Monday, January 7 with a talk at Keighley Local Studies Library entitled “The Chapel Community at Scartop (Stanbury)” by Bob Schofield. Both meetings start at 7.30pm. Visitors and new members are always welcome at our meetings. Visit for more details.