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Do you have a Fawcett in your tree?  If so you may be interested in the following item:

The Hebden Bridge Local History Society have asked us to publicise the events commemorating the 200th anniversary of a Yorkshireman’s death, Dr. Rev John Fawcett. (1740 – 1817)

From a disadvantaged childhood in Bradford, he became a Georgian “celebrity” whose fame and influence spread out  from his Baptist ministry in Wainsgate in the Upper Calder Valley to Yorkshire and Lancashire, eventually reaching as far as London and Bristol.  As a preacher, educator, writer, theologian, hymn writer, “poet and divine” he became well-known at a national and then international level .

He gave local people, both rich and poor, hope and aspiration to improve not only their lives but also others. Many became philanthropists giving away wealth they created to their communities.  Some of his descendants and pupils went on to achieve remarkable things. His descendants influenced places such as Glusburn near Keighley, Crosby Garrett in Westmorland,  Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manitoba in Canada.

Friday 7th July and Saturday 8th July 11 am to 4 pm As part of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival Open Gardens, come and visit the site of Fawcett’s canal side garden (black gate opposite 12-16 Machpelah, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8AU) and find out about this Georgian “celebrity”.

Sunday 23rd July 10:30 am  Special service celebrating the life and legacy of John Fawcett, led by Rev. Gaynor Hammond at Hope Chapel, New Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8EW.The chapel will be open to visitors after the service.

Sunday 23rd July 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Songs of Hope – Come and enjoy your favourite hymns in the church garden, including the famous hymn by John Fawcett “Blest be the tie that binds.”

4th September to 2nd October  Exhibition – Fawcett, his life and legacy, locally and world-wide.

Daily from 9am to 5pm at Hebden Bridge Town Hall, St George’s St, Hebden Bridge HX7 7BY

9th and 10th September Heritage Open days

Saturday 11 am at Hope Chapel,  New Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8EW    For further details contact:


The following three items are all from the Federation of Family History Societies:

Message from Stephen T Benson – Chairman

“We were sorry to hear that after some ten years the arrangements for Immediate Media and The Society of Genealogists to run the WDYTYA? Live Family History Fair together, based on the successful BBC TV series – which is to continue, has now come to an end.

This Family History Fair has been one of the main highlights in the British genealogical calendar for the past decade and has showcased society and trade developments throughout that time as well as providing a one-stop shop where family historians could get advice from local and national family history societies and the main online website operators, listen to interesting lectures, purchase a wide variety of genealogical products and services and have the opportunity to meet up with friends to catch up with the latest developments in family history, genealogical computing and archives.

 The Federation of Family History Societies has approached the Society of Genealogists to see if we could work together with them and with our member societies to organise an alternative genealogical show to fill the void left by WDYTYA no longer taking place.

We shall keep member societies updated as further information becomes available.

We have received an email from Dianne Byrne who is the Curator of the Original Materials Collection at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane Australia.

Dianne will be visiting the UK in the summer to try to locate 19th and 20th Century Manuscripts, correspondence, diaries and photographs with a Queensland association for the State’s Library Collection.

She is anxious to make contact with private individuals who may have family material relating to Queensland for donation or purchase.  

If you wish to contact her please email Dianne at 

Nick Barratt, our President, has asked that we circulate the survey below that he believes will be of interest to members.

David Thomas from Northumbria University is conducting some research into the impact which the major commercial online family history sites have had on archives.  As part of his research, he would like to get information about the effect these sites have had on family historians.  He would be grateful if you could complete the attached simple survey  He will also be talking to as many family historians as he can.  The survey is completely anonymous.  David does not know the names of those who have filled in the form, so please feel free to say what you think.

The link to the survey is here:


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