Ormskirk Market Day

 Ormskirk Library Family History Helpdesk - dates 2024

The helpdesk is available between 10.30-11.30 the first Monday of each month (except Bank Holidays).

No booking necessary.

Monday 1st July 2024

Monday 5th August 2024

Monday 2nd September 2024

Monday 7th October 2024

Monday 4th November 2024

Monday 2nd October 2024


Forthcoming Outside Events

Ormskirk and District Family History Society are planning to attend the following events in 2024:


Saturday 22 June 2024

The Family History Show, Knavesmire Exhibition Centre, The Racecourse, York, YO23 1EX

10a.m. to 4p.m.

ODFHS will be one of the attending family history societies, alongside suppliers, and specialists in various subjects. One-to-one “Ask the Experts” sessions can be booked. Free talks by guest speakers. Accessible venue, with an all-day cafe. Free parking on-site.

Tickets can be booked via the show’s website; early bird discounts are available.


Sunday 14th July 2024
Ormskirk Gingerbread Festival
The ODFHS stall will be in Church Street

Previous Events


Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May 2024

Ormskirk Mediaeval Festival, Coronation Park, Ormskirk



A recreation of mediaeval life by the Historia Normannis re-enactment group; in previous years, cooking displays, archery practice, a fashion display have all featured. Pitched battles staged throughout the day. Further information will be added as we receive it.


Saturday 30/Sunday 31 March 2024

Images of Burscough Exhibition, Main Hall of the Stanley Club, Burscough

Exhibition of over 700 old local photographs, memorabilia and film footage, hosted by Michael Dawson and Lawrence Critchley. Gifts and books available to buy. Display of model aircraft built by Alan Birch. Other displays by ODFHS, Lathom and Burscough Military Heritage Society, The Stanley Cinema Project, and Alan Barrow's "Airmen of West Lancashire". Free Admission, parking on-site. 


Ormskirk Medieval Festival Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May 2023


 ODFHS Committee Members, Sally Dean and Norma Gregson looking after the ODFHS staff at last year's Medieval Festival in Coronation Park, Ormskirk.  Come and see us at this year's event.


Ormskirk and District Family History Society invite you to our...

Virtual Family History Chats via Zoom
Thursday 12th May 2023 at 2 p.m.
Thursday 8th June 2023 at 11 a.m.
Thursday 13th July 2023 at 2 p.m.
If this is something that you’d be interested in, please contact Kate Hurst (ODFHS Chair) at chairman[at]odfhs.email to request a link to the meeting. [Please replace [at] with @ ]

ODFHSOpenLibraryMarch2023 1

 Research Library Open Day

Saturday 11 March 2023 . 11am to 3pm
1st Ormskirk Scout Headquarters,
Wigan Road, Ormskirk, L39 2AP

Discover our unique family and local history collections
Parish Registers . Artefacts . Photographs . ODFHS Publications . Digital Library
ODFHS Boat Families Database . Local History Books . Research Donated by our Members

New Projects for 2023 . Help and advice for Beginners

Find out more about joining Ormskirk and District Family History Society
Free admission. Close to local car parks, bus stops and railway station.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or search for
ODFHS Research Library Open Day 2023 on Facebook for more details
Edge Hill University: Research Catalyst Event - a series of sessions focusing on research developed by Library and Learning Services and academics in various departments at Edge Hill University. 

Thursday 9 March 2023, 4.30pm - 8.00pm

Virtual Family History Chat: Thursday 8 December 2022 at 11a.m. (GMT)
These sessions are held via Zoom; we also plan to host them on the following dates -
Thursday 12 January 2023 at 2p.m.
Thursday 9 February 2023 at 11a.m. 
Thursday 9 March 2023 at 2p.m.


Virtual Really Useful Family History Show - Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November 2022 
ODFHS volunteers will attend Family History Federation’s Virtual Really Useful Show. This is a ticket-only online event, and further details about the show, planned talks, attending societies and how to book tickets can be found at https://www.fhf-reallyuseful.com/
And some past events... 
Virtual Really Useful Family History Show - Friday 12 and Saturday 13 November 2021 
ODFHS volunteers attended the Family History Federation’s Virtual Really Useful Show, which proved to be a good opportunity to find out what other family societies have been doing in recent months, and also allowed us to discover a few new family history resources and projects that were mentioned in Issue 86 of our Magazine.
During the summer of 2021, we have been trialling a Virtual Family History Chat via Zoom. Knowing that we have members and supporters all over the world, from November 2021, we will be alternating between 11.00am and 2p.m. (UK) time, in the hope that it will allow both UK-based and overseas supporters to join in.
For reference, 11.00a.m. (Greenwich Mean Time) is:
3a.m. Seattle
5a.m. Chicago
6a.m. New York/Ottawa
9p.m. West coast Australia (Perth)
11p.m. East coast Australia (Brisbane/Melbourne/Sydney)
Midnight. New Zealand
2.00p.m. (Greenwich Mean Time) is:
6a.m. Seattle
8a.m. Chicago
9a.m. New York/Ottawa
Midnight. West coast Australia (Perth)
2a.m. East coast Australia (Brisbane/Melbourne/Sydney)
3a.m. New Zealand

ZOOM Virtual Family History Chat: Thursday 10 February 2022 - 11:00am (UK)

Members talked about whether school history lessons had influenced their enthusiasm for family history, and the benefits of studying subjects. One member sought advice on finding IDDON ancestors in the Croston area. The screen-share facility offered a great way for all to see the results of a search using the Lancashire Online Parish Clerks website, where the rich possibilities for finding revealing notes in the parish registers became clear.

ZOOM Virtual Family History Chat: Thursday 13 January 2022 - 2:00p.m. (GMT).
One member described their experience of searching the 1921 census, noting differences to the 1911 data, and the pay-per-view system for access via FindMyPast. The discussion moved on to digitising family photographs and sharing them, stories about ancestors, different ways of organising research and the various types of memorabilia that our members have collected in the process of researching their families.

ZOOM Virtual Family History Chat: Thursday 9 December 2021 - 11:00am (UK)

Reminiscences about school history lessons in the UK and New Zealand over the decades were followed by a note that the temperature had reached 41°C in Australia, prompting a brief chat about the weather! Members shared information gleaned about the soon-to-be-released 1921 census, leading to further discussion on how the attitudes about censoring documents can vary from country to country.
ZOOM Virtual Family History Chat: Thursday 11 November 2021 - 2:00p.m. (GMT).
The subject of Irish migrants settling in West Lancashire in the nineteenth century led some members to reflect on their Mayo ancestors, who came to the area seeking work. Our New Zealand members drew comparisons with those left the UK to emigrate there, noting the risk of contracting illness on the sea voyage. Women’s suffrage in New Zealand, and the reality that WWI soldiers from that country were away from home for five years were also discussed.

ZOOM Virtual Family History Chat: Thursday 14 October 2021 - 11:00am (UK)

Sanitation, public health and hygiene were prominent topics, with everything from drowning and the practical benefits of draining West Lancashire’s waterlogged soil, to night soil, cholera and epidemics being mentioned. The ongoing pandemic prompted reflections on the “Spanish flu” of 1918-19, quarantine practices and management of infectious diseases, before a discussion on ancestors’ wills and how they can assist research followed.

ZOOM Virtual Family History Chat: Thursday 16 September 2021 - 11:00am (UK)

Boatmen who were missing from the 1939 register, famous ancestors, the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are?, records for local schools and a hospital for tuberculosis patients in Rufford were some of the topics under discussion during a virtual meeting attended by members from France, New Zealand, Australia, and three different areas of England. Details about the Western Australian Military Digital Library were also shared.

ZOOM Virtual Family History Chat: Thursday, 12 August 2021 - 11:00am (UK)

Eager to find new topics to feature on our social media channels, we used this meeting as an opportunity to gather some suggestions from willing volunteers, before the discussion moved onto finding local school records and church records, Martin Mere, our boat families website and geography in West Lancashire. Working together, attendees then tried to solve one member's puzzle over a mysterious ancestor who apparently vanished between the 1861 and 1871 census nights . . . 

ZOOM Virtual Family History Chat: Thursday, 8 July 2021 - 11:00am (UK)

Eight people (including residents of Australia and New Zealand) joined our Zoom meeting for an informal conversation about newspaper archives, Catholic records and the village of Scarisbrick, before one overseas participant shared some family snapshots and a few views of the Ring o'Bells area of Lathom, prompting a brief explanation of the distances between the villages around Ormskirk.

ZOOM Virtual Family History Chat: Thursday, 10 June 2021 - 11:00am (UK)

Ormskirk and District Family History Society held a virtual alternative to the face-to-face Help Desk that we operated at Ormskirk Library before the COVID-19 pandemic.

FHF Virtual Really Useful Exhibition: Saturday 10 April 2021

ODFHS joined more than 40 regional and specialist family history societies from the UK and overseas, and other commercial organisations for a one-day online family history exhibition. We dealt with several virtual queries, and also had a chance to catch up with other like-minded societies, to find out how they had been managing during the lockdown period.

FHF Virtual Really Useful Exhibition: Saturday 14 November 2020

Our only public event of 2020 was also our first experience of a virtual family history show, and proved to be a good opportunity to "meet" visitors and other societies with an interest in family history without having to leave home! A review of the day will be published in Issue 84 of our magazine very shortly.

Westhead Carnival: Saturday 6 July 2019

This year was on the 6th of July 2019 and WE were there! Yet again it was a very well-run event.  A little drizzle at the beginning did not mar the enjoyment of everyone present.

Gingerbread Festival: Sunday 14 July 2019

To celebrate all things Ormskirk there was an event on Sunday 14th July 2019.  This event has become an Ormskirk Institution and the centre of Ormskirk was packed with entertainments and activities.  There were also groups such as ourselves with all our records of Ormskirk.

Church Tower Open Day: Saturday 21 September 2019

Christ Church, Aughton held their Open Day with trips up the Tower (in good weather, views are to North Wales & beyond Blackpool - even to the Lake District) and ODFHS were present on the day.

Dig Up Your Roots: Saturday 5 October 2019

Dig up your roots

For the first time since 2012, Ormskirk and District Family History Society hosted a family and local history fair in Ormskirk. Dig Up Your Roots In West Lancashire took in the Langham Hall, at the Emmanuel Methodist Church, Ormskirk, on Saturday 5 October 2019. 

Supported by a grant from the North-West Group of Family History Societies, ODFHS was supported by a variety of organisations, including the North-West branch of the Catholic Family History Society, Cumbria Family History Society, Lancashire Archives, North Meols (Southport) Family History Society, Ormskirk Historical Society, and Skelmersdale and Upholland Family History Society.

 for a video review of Dig Up Your Roots 2019

...or see here for more.



Images of Burscough Exhibition: Saturday/Sunday 19/20 October 2019

On Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October 2019, ODFHS attended the Images Of Burscough and Surrounding Areas Exhibition at the Stanley Club, Liverpool Road, Burscough.

The free exhibition offered a chance to see more than 650 historic images of Burscough, Ormskirk, Scarisbrick, Parbold and other local villages, including a diverse selection of images of people who lived and worked in West Lancashire during the past. A range of local information sheets were also available.

The ODFHS display included our collection of articles, magazines, local records and gravestone transcriptions on CD and DVD, and postcards for sale, and several visitors came to us with their family history questions.

Images of Burscough website


Ormskirk Church
Ormskirk Parish

Ormskirk railwaymen 1908
Ormskirk Station

Scarisbrick Hall 1815
Scarisbrick Hall

Skelmersdale Station

Moor Street market
Moor Street