2021 EVENTS; 

Saturday 21st August 2921, Society of Genealogists, 10.30-11.30.  Silken Threads; the history of silk production in England covering Huguenots, industrial espionage and the start of the textile factory system as we know it.  Via Zoom.   Book here

Saturday 9th October, 2021, Society of Genealogists, 10.30-11.30. My Ancestors were Tailors, Seamstresses and Needlewomen. In the 1851 census, there were 267,791 dressmaker/milliners, 152,672 tailors and 73,068 seamstress/shirtmakers. What were their working conditions and how did they live?  Most people have one of these occupations in their family history. Find out more about their lives. Via Zoom.   Book here.

Monday 6 December 2021. Heaton Chapel Literary & Philosophical Society. Wash Day Blues.

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Saturday 8 May 2021, Society of Genealogists 10.30-11.30  My Ancestor Made Hats. This online talk will cover the manufacture (both cottage and factory system) felted, silk and straw hats plus working conditions.  Did you know that in 1851 there were 36,062  straw plait manufacturers and 21,902 straw hat and bonnet makers? You do now.  Learn about their lives via Zoom.  Book here.

Thursday 11 March, 2021 Society of Genealogists, 2-3pm.  Washday Blues; the lives of charwomen and washerwomen plus social history of doing the laundry.  The life of the laundress/ washerwoman was one step from the workhouse.  Via Zoom.  Book here

Thursday 28 January 2021 Macclesfield Textile Industry.  Will concentrate on Macclesfield’s silk industry.   University of the 3 Age. Via Zoom

Saturday 30 January 2021 Society of Genealogists.  10.30-11.30. Why a Suffragist is not a Suffragette.  Via Zoom

24th November 2020, East Cheshire Family History Society,  Silken Threads, Unravelling Macclesfield’s Textile Industry. Will include some genealogy.   Via Zoom

Saturday 10 October 10.30am. SoG. Turning on the Light, a social history of lighting the home; how it affected ancestors’ daily lives and a literary shorthand for wealth or poverty! I even discuss whale versus turnip power! Rescheduled from May.  Via Zoom.  Book hereThursday 31 July 2020 2pm.   My Ancestors Worked in Textile Mills.  SoG via Zoom.  Book here.

Thursday 21 May 2020. Society of Genealogists. Turning on  the Light: Social History of the Home (12 noon) and My Ancestors Worked in Textile Mills (14.00).    This event will not take place due to Covid 19.  It may be rescheduled.  In the meantime, please keep safe.

Saturday 25 April 2020. Cleveland Family History Society.  The Economics of Marriage.  This lecture, via examples, explores the lot of the married woman from why it was preferable to spinsterhood and ignominy of the ‘maiden aunt,’ through to dowries, pre-nuptial agreements, marriage settlements, divorce and Property Acts.   The organisers hope it will be rescheduled for 2021.

Wednesday 13 November 2019.  Stockport Central Library.   2pm. Why I’m a suffragist not a suffragette. Covered the difference between suffragists (e.g. Millicent Fawcett) and suffragettes (e.g. Emmeline Pankhurst) with a short exploration of the struggle for female enfranchisement and anecdotes about the local struggle in Stockport. Audience members have the opportunity to ask about researching your female ancestors and purchase some of my books at a discount.

Saturday 21st September 2019.  6th Peak District Family History Conference, University of the 3rd Age, Palace Hotel, Buxton,  Reachers, beamers, carders and throstlers? What on earth did your mill worker ancestors actually do?  

Saturday 15th June 2019.   Yorkshire Family History  Society, London Branch.  Textile workers; focus on Yorkshire wool trades.

Wednesday 13th February 2019, 2pm,  Society of Genealogists.   Washday Blues; a social history of washerwomen, laundrywomen and charwomen.  Rough,  red and chapped hands at the ready, how on earth did woman manage to survive?   For a review go to

Society of Genealogists, Wednesday 11th July 2018 2pm;  Tracing your Cotton and Wool Mill Ancestors.   In the nineteenth century, the textile industry was the biggest employer in the UK and hundreds of thousands of people, mainly women, worked in mills spinning or weaving. Some job titles are obscure; what did a big or little piecer do? How about a tenter?  Were these good jobs? Well paid, secure?

Society of Genealogists on  Saturday 11th February 2017 – afternoon session on making money  by writing.

Who do You Think You Are Live at the NEC in Birmingham on Friday 7th April 2017. Lectures on writing about genealogy; Laundresses and Charwomen, ‘Wash Day Blues.’

Other topics include  hatmaking, seamstress and tailors, button makers and other trades and crafts.   I can adapt my expertise to your requirements.  Please contact me for availability.