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  1. Published on: 22/02/2020 07:31 AMReported by: rogerblaxall
    Report: Kate Hurst

    What do you recall about 1980?

    The Winter Olympics opening in Lake Placid, New York? John Lennon being shot dead? Post-It notes going on sale for the first time? Finding out the answer to that ultimate TV cliffhanger . . . who shot J.R. Ewing?



    Or perhaps you came along to the Guide HQ on Moorgate, Ormskirk, on the night of 27 February, with roughly fifty other people who attended the first meeting of a group that would come to be known as Ormskirk and District Family History Society?


    By that May, ODFHS could boast 46 members . . . when the first AGM was held on 8 April 1981, numbers had increased to 79. Quite an achievement at a time when the chief means of communication was a regular newsletter, and e-mail addresses and the first commercial e-mail programme - Microsoft Mail - wasn’t released (for Apple computers, would you believe?) until 1988.


    The last forty years has seen ODFHS go from strength to strength - volunteers have transcribed local gravestone inscriptions that (with advancing technology) were published first on CD-ROM and now on memory sticks. A dedicated Research Library, containing all sorts of rare and specialist books has been established at the Scout HQ on Wigan Road, Ormskirk. A chance discovery by a Society member that a couple of boatmen who worked on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal evolved into a database of 3,000 connected individuals when it went live on 24 March 2010 . . . as of 1 February 2020, it documents family links between an astonishing 46,809 people!


    There’s no doubt about it - Ormskirk and District Family History Society have been very busy these past forty years. Our “ruby anniversary” falls just a day after our February 2020 meeting, so it seems like the perfect time to theme our monthly gathering around the stories behind those relatives in the old family photos that almost everyone will have somewhere at home.


    We’d like to invite anyone who is interested to join us on Wednesday 26th February 2020, at the Guide HQ on Moorgate, Ormskirk, for a special meeting themed around Family History Case Studies, when half a dozen of our members will give short presentations on all sorts of aspects of family history, from DNA testing and army records to relatives who travelled the world and others with links to the nobility.


    As usual, all are welcome; £1 donation requested from non-members, and refreshments will be available. A link to the Facebook listing for the meeting can be found at:www.facebook.com/events/466365007597380/
     

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