Under normal circumstances the U3A Family History Group meets on the first Friday of the month in the Community Room at Alsager Fire Station. We are a friendly group of around 20, all keen and eager to find out more about our families that went before us.
We have a wonderful volunteer Guide and Mentor in Irene, along with her friend Ann – what they don't know about family history, and the general history of our country that goes along with it, isn't worth knowing. They are both so kind, helpful and knowledgeable and go to so much trouble to impart their knowledge and help us as we struggle to find Gt Gt Grandfather Joshua from the acres of paperwork stored in the Archives.
January 2020 saw a thriving group with lots of new faces, all keen to learn and pass on their interesting tales too. It was a bit of a crush but we managed, and the group appeared to be going from strength to strength.
Then came Lockdown.
Quite soon we decided to set up a WhatsApp group, just to keep in touch, never initially thinking it could be months and months before we met again. The WhatsApp group provided contact and a few laughs, and kept our spirits up. Then someone suggested a Zoom meeting. With the wonders of technology we can (usually) see each other, for better or worse. After a couple of fortnightly chats on Zoom, Irene and Ann decided we had to take the group in hand and get organised, and from then on we've had planned fortnightly meetings covering really interesting topics. Last week we covered Parish Registers. I think everyone who takes part really enjoys these meetings, we learn something and enjoy the friendship of the group. So, if you want to spend hours and hours digging through Births, Deaths and Marriages, learning about our history whilst doing so thanks to Irene and Ann, look to join the group. Although I have to warn you, we are growing out of our physical premises; there are barely enough chairs to go round. But get your names on the waiting list and let's all hope that one day we will meet again.
Lynne, Family History Group Leader