Find your ancestors in Burntwood Family History Group

Burntwood Family History Group

Burntwood Family History Group was founded in 1986 by a group of local enthusiasts, many of whom have remained involved to this day. We draw much of our current membership from a wide area in and around southern Staffordshire. This includes the Burntwood area itself, the three spired cathedral city of Lichfield, the villages of Cannock Chase, and the northern parts of the Black Country (most of which was originally part of Staffordshire!). However, the Group’s membership is very broad, with members dotted all across the UK; we even have members in Canada and Australia. Burntwood Family History Group is a member of the Family History Federation and our membership is open to anyone with an interest in local and family history. Details of how to join can be found on the “How to Join” page on our website.

The famous Staffordshire Hoard was discovered in a field less than three miles from our current meeting place. Evidence of the area’s mining past abounds, in the memorials to the miners and in the names of public houses. The controversial M6 Toll Road now provides a fast route through the area, a modern alternative to the Roman Watling Street (A5). A canal restoration project is well underway linking past and present. The population of the area has expanded significantly in the last few decades and the family history interests of BFHG members reflect the changes in that population. We may be locals, we may be incomers, but we are all keen to discover, research and share the rich history of this area and the families that have lived here!

Monthly Meetings

In common with many groups, BFHG was forced to adapt to the restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic. Through meetings held on Zoom, we uncovered a hidden benefit as distant members were able to join with local members for the first time. We now hold hybrid meetings, with the physical proceedings being streamed live to members who cannot attend in person. A major upgrade to our website in 2018 has allowed edited versions of many of our Zoom talks to be posted on our website, normally for a limited time period, and we are grateful to our speakers for their generosity in allowing us to make their talks available to as wide an audience of our members as possible.

Our meetings are held between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Chase Terrace Academy, Bridge Cross Road, BURNTWOOD, Staffordshire, WS7 2DB. The second Monday in the month sees a formal meeting, usually with a guest speaker. We also hold a Drop-In Surgery/Research Evening on the fourth Monday of the month, where members and non-members alike can obtain help and support with their research. They can also use the computer facilities at our venue and this allows access to the Group’s subscriptions to Ancestry and Findmypast.

Maps showing how to reach our meetings at Chase Terrace Academy are provided on the page “Where and When We Meet” on our website. A warm welcome awaits any visitor to Burntwood Family History Group and, should you live further afield, please do contact us through our website.

Burntwood Family History Group Website

There is an enormous amount of material freely available on our website. This includes information and a large number of photographs of Burntwood and the towns and villages of the surrounding area, their landmarks and their war memorials.

Burntwood Memorial Project

The 25th anniversary of the Group’s formation saw the launch of the Burntwood Memorial Project, the Group’s way of marking the centenary of the First World War. Group members researched surnames that appear on local war memorials, or in local newspapers and documents of the time. Commemorative biographies were written about the soldiers who served and – in most cases – gave their lives for their country. These biographies can be found on the “Servicemen” page of our website. The project, which was supported by a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, also includes some biographies for servicemen who served in subsequent conflicts.

Burntwood Family History Group Journal

The Burntwood Family History Group Journal is published quarterly and is available free of charge to group members. The Editor is always pleased to receive items for the Journal. If you have articles or photographs, stories or artwork that you would like us to include in the Journal, please contact the group using the link on the “Contact Us” page on our website and we will arrange for the item(s) to be forwarded to our Journal Editor.

Help and Support

If you are researching your ancestors from the towns and villages in our area, you are welcome to contact us for help and advice. We are only too glad to get you started and to provide our local knowledge. We are generally able to offer a limited amount of voluntary research. To contact us, please use the proforma on the “Contact Us” page on our website.

Burntwood Family History Group Transcriptions

The Group has transcribed many of the local Parish Records and Non-Conformist Registers from the surrounding area. Originally released on CD, these are now being made available to members and non-members on USB memory sticks. Once again, specific details can be found on our website. These records are also available now through the National Burial Index and as part of the Plus and Pro subscriptions to Findmypast.