Calderdale fam­ily his­tory goes dig­i­tal

Halifax Courier - - News Special - By Cassie Irv­ing

Re­search­ing your fam­ily tree could now be a lot eas­ier af­ter Calderdale Li­braries’ vol­un­teers com­pleted their work on the in­dex of births, mar­riages and deaths from the old Hal­i­fax Guardian news­pa­per. Al­most six years af­ter the first vol­un­teer switched on a mi­cro­film reader and started work on the first edi­tion of the Hal­i­fax Guardian, dated De­cem­ber 1 1832, Calderdale Li­braries’ in­dex to births, mar­riages and deaths is now com­plete, to the end of the news­pa­per’s life in 1921.

The in­dex can be ac­cessed at www.calderdale.gov.uk, by en­ter­ing ‘Guardian in­dex’ in the search box. It’s de­signed to di­rect peo­ple search­ing for a par­tic­u­lar name, in the Calderdale area, to the right date and page in the news­pa­per.

This can be fol­lowed up with a visit to the Cen­tral Li­brary in Hal­i­fax to look at the mi­cro­filmed orig­i­nal or by con­tact­ing staff in the Ref­er­ence and Lo­cal Stud­ies sec­tion.

Calderdale Coun­cil’s cab­i­net mem­ber for com­mu­ni­ties, Coun Steve Sweeney, said: “The task of in­dex­ing from mi­cro­film been a mam­moth one, and we’re very grate­ful to all the vol­un­teers who have spent a great deal of time log­ging all the data to en­able peo­ple to more eas­ily re­search their fam­ily his­tory.” - The in­dex re­veals all man­ner of fas­ci­nat­ing in­for­ma­tion. -There are 7224 in­stances of the pre­dictably pop­u­lar sur­name Smith, this to­tal is sur­passed by the pop­u­lar Green­wood, with 9713 en­tries, and al­most equalled by Sut­cliffe, com­ing in at 7078. - Lo­cals in the 19th cen­tury chose names of fa­mous peo­ple for their chil­dren in­clud­ing Han­del Ar­mitage and B Disraeli Simp­son. - Among the more un­usual names were Feather Earn­shaw, Cham­pion Mur­ga­troyd and the sea­son­ally named Christ­mas Staff.

A vol­un­teer or­gan­is­ing the in­dex.

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