About

After 32 years living in the United States, first in Boston and then in San Francisco,  I recently returned to live in England, this time in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire – up North! I’m a Lancashire lass myself, born and raised in the tiny village of Affetside, perched high on the moors above Bolton.

14 Comments

  1. My name is Elizabeth Ann West, nee Wrigley, daughter of George, Willie Wrigley’s eldest son. Would be grateful for contact.

  2. Hi Heather.
    Lovely to meet you this morning. To be honest, I don’t want to know too many grim facts about the place I live, so I may read selectively! Drop me a line though.
    Kate

  3. I’m Ishmael’s great niece. We’ve been trying to find out more about their father James but are struggling – would love to get in contact.

  4. Hello,
    Researching my family history and delighted to find the map of Garden Square (which is now a car park) on your website. Thank you so much for publishing it. My great-great grandparents, William and Catherine Bell lived at number 20 Garden Square in 1861, both fustian cutters.
    Kate

  5. Hi
    My name is Doug Holden.
    I live in Australia but was a child in Hebden Bridge in the early 1950’s – a very much different place than today.
    My family comes also from Heptonstall, Slack etc. Names: Holden, Wadsworth, Uttley, Sutcliffe, Sunderland, Greenwood, Foster etc. All as you know well known names. Maternal side is from the Mytholmroy, Warley, Wainstalls, Mixenden and Ovenden areas: Sheard, Helliwell, Binns etc. I see you are related to some and mention some names in your stories.
    Might I congratulate you on the depths of your research. I’ve also been at it for 36 years. Apart from place connections, we may have direct name ones. We might swap notes? Kind regards, Doug

  6. Two of my ancestors boarded at the Slater Bank school in 1861 so I read your web page with interest. I have not been able to find any pictures of Slater Bank however and wondered if you have access to any? Pictures of the exterior of the masonic hall have also been hard to find. I have located one online but it is not the best. Again would you have access to any photos of the masonic hall?

    • Hello Christine. Contact or research online Pennine Horizons Digital Archives. There are hundreds of photos of the area, and some of Slater Bank appeared on Hebden Bridge Old Photo’s Facebook page recently. You could join it. I can see the house from my cottage window! It’s now divided into two homes, front and back and I know the people now living there.

      • Pauline, many thanks for taking the time to reply. I’ve found the Pennine Horizons Digital Archives website very useful 🙂

  7. Hello Heather,
    I have been researching my husband Christopher Sheard’s tree since his father died last October. For the last two weeks I have been enjoying reading your blogs, have played your music and admired your pictures and art work.
    We have just booked a holiday in Fielden Farm and the owner mentioned that she has spoken with you.
    You and my husband have Joshua Gibson 1808 in common. Your line springs from his son Thomas, whereas my husband’s springs from Thomas’s brother, Stansfield 1838. The latter’s son, Herbert lived and farmed Fielden Farm, according to the 1911 census. Herbert is my husband’s Grandfather’s Cousin’s Father- in Law.
    We are hoping that we might meet you when we come on holiday.- not for a few months! We are hoping to follow some of your walks. My husband is also related to the Tolson family, so we have some other visiting to do in the area.
    I also notice that you have been contacted by Doug Holden who mentions the name Sheard in his list. Could you possibly ask him if he would be happy for me to contact him to see if we share the same Sheard family? I am happy for you to give him our email address.
    I am a recently retired music teacher and my husband is a recently retired geography teacher. The lockdown has at least allowed me to start this fascinating tracing of our trees, but we cannot wait to start visiting all the associated places! Your blogs are truly inspiring and we are both enjoying them immensely!
    Hope to hear from you soon
    Best wishes
    Gill Sheard

  8. Hello Heather,
    I have recently been researching my husband Christopher Sheard’s family and I think that you and he share common ancestry.
    We have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs and together with your pictures you have brought our research to life- thank you!
    I would love to compare notes and to ask you some questions where I am struggling to find information.
    Chris’s line joins yours at Joshua Gibson 1806 and whereas yours goes from his son Thomas, ours goes from his son Stansfield.
    I also wonder if you can put me in touch with Doug Holden as he mentions the name Sheard in his communication with you and we have many ancestors in the area.
    We have a holiday planned in a cottage on Fielden Farm, Littleborough, where Chris’s Grandfather’s Cousin’s father in law, Herbert Gibson, was a tenant farmer according to the 1911 census. I understand from the owner that you have also been in touch with her.
    We are looking forward to following some of your walks and are keen for any advice that you can offer us.
    We look forward to hearing from you.

    • Hi

      I also have some ancestries in common. My great grandfather was Herbert Gibson who lived at Fielden Farm. He is buried in St Barnabas graveyard in Littleborough. Prior to living at Fielden Farm they lived at the Moorcock Inn which is a public house close to Fielden Farm. Gillian if I can help fill in any gaps on the information you are missing for the Gibson Family I would be happy to help.
      Carol

  9. Hi

    My grandmother was born in Breatley House and her father was Gameliel Sutcliffe. We are currently in Yorkshire doing some research and would love any info as we are slightly confused ! Thanks

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