Family History



Contact            marian bangs   email:

Contact            sue broad   email:             

Date and Time    1st Tuesday each month, 2:15pm to 4:30pm (EXCLUDING JANUARY & AUGUST)      


We meet in Chesham Town Hall the first Tuesday of the month from 2.15pm to 4.15pm except August and January. New members are always welcome as long as you have an interest in Social History and researching your own Family History.

In May, Colin Oakes a popular local speaker, gave a very interesting talk on the London Matchgirls who worked at the Brian and May factory. The story of the British matchstick girls who in 1888 took strike action against the dominating, patriarchal world of matchstick making isn't well known. But these were the women who worked 14 hours a day in the East End of London and were exposed to deadly phosphorous vapours on a daily basis by working with allotropes of white phosphorus which caused phosphorus necrosis also know as phossy jaw and many developed severe health complications.

Trade Union History Online records that a crowd of disgruntled match girls left the factory and gathered outside the offices of a socialist newspaper called The Link in July 1888. The workers enlisted the help of journalist Annie Besant who wrote an exposé of their working conditions. With Annie's help they organised a strike against poor working conditions, poor pay, excessive hours of work of 14 hours. Eventually the company capitulated and conditions were improved . One of the first recorded strikes.

After our talk we discussed the result of various members DNA results. 'Disappointed' was the general consensus.

If you are just starting out on your research and need help or advice please speak to the Convenors who will introduce you to one of our experienced members who will be more than happy to help, either at the meeting or on a one to one basis. We have a small library and new members information sheets at the meetings.

We usually have speakers at our meetings and occasional members days.

Information Centre   

Our information page has not been updated recently but the information on it is still applicable. A New Members information pack is available to view at our monthly meetings  

click here to access the information centre


Current Programme

4th june Ian Waller will be advising us how to ‘put meat on the bones’
2nd july


6th august No meeting
3rd september

Kirsty Gray, Heir Hunter 

1st october

Ken Van Blerk , My escape from South Africa