I am an aspiring family and local researcher with ambitions to pursue both fields professionally. A son of the Spen Valley, in the heart of West Yorkshire, I am greatly inspired by its history. Whether it be the 1841 Plug Riots, the attack on Cartwright’s Mill in 1812 by the Luddites or the presence of the famous Patrick Brontë in the area, the Spen Valley’s history is diverse and indicative of an ever-changing and complex world.
I became a volunteer at the Friends of Liversedge Cemetery in late July 2020, and by Spring 2021, I had begun to work on my One-Place Study of the cemetery. I intend to bring to life the people who once walked in my footsteps in my local area whilst learning more about society after the late Victorian period. My first major project as part of the study was researching and writing biographies of each First World War soldier buried or commemorated at the cemetery. I then compiled all biographies into a book now available for sale, with the first printing taking place in January 2022.
I am a member of various societies and organisations, one being the Huddersfield and District Family History Society alongside the Society for One Place Studies. In addition, I am the Chair of the Friends of Morley Cemetery and, as said before, a Friends of Liversedge Cemetery member.
Despite coming from an ostensibly small one, family means a great deal to me. That is why I believe it is so important to undertake some form of family history research at least once in your life. For me, however, I hope my journey with family history will be lifelong and that with every year, I will learn more about the many great families I descend from and learn more about myself in the process.
My Hall lineage has stayed local, probably residing in and around my local area for 400 years. The ancient parishes of Batley, Birstall, Mirfield and Dewsbury encompass nearly half of my ancestry. I have strong connections to the old West Riding of Yorkshire and elements of the old North and East ridings too. I very proudly have connections to the ancient city of York. Also, I descend from some interesting and inspiring Irish lines that originated from County Louth and moved to Sunderland in the mid-1800s.