Ormskirk Market Day

Bill Huyton:    14 February 1947 - 29 January 2021

It is with enormous sadness that we announce the death of Bill Huyton, our Chairman Emeritus, aged 73, at Aintree Hospital, on 29 January 2021. A stalwart member of ODFHS for twenty years, Bill went on to enjoy the distinction of being our longest-serving Chairman. Described by one of our members as “one of the leading lights at ODFHS”, a fellow member of the North-West Group of Family Societies also praised him as a “thoughtful and passionate family historian, member and leader”

Whether attending NWGFHS meetings or helping at public events (from Westhead Carnival and Ormskirk Mediaeval Weekend, to Who Do You Think You Are? Live and the recent Virtual Really Useful Family History Show), Bill was keenly interested in the way our ancestors lived. He was a member of the West Lancashire Heritage Association, and became actively involved with the West Lancashire World War One Anniversary group. When a chance to meet distant cousins from New Zealand came up in 2011, Bill relished the opportunity to further their mutual research.

A study of local census records led Bill to develop a talk on Enumerators’ Walks, and his enduring interest in our ever-growing boat families database inspired another presentation, to showcase its potential to help family, local and social historians alike. Keen to move with the times, he introduced the option to buy our publications in USB format, and as digital downloads. Although ill health influenced his decision to resign as Chairman after exactly 13 years on 25 May 2018, he remained very involved with the Society, becoming a highly organised sales manager. His suggestions for virtual meetings inspired our YouTube talks on Complementary Resources and Dining With Our Ancestors.

Bill devoted much time to his garden in Maghull, nurturing seedling carrots and leeks, and once getting cherry tomatoes to ripen in December! Equally at home in the water, he joined Xaverian Diving Club (later renamed Liverpool Scuba Diving Club) at Woolton in November 1996, training many others to a very high standard; one diving associate remembered him as “a great mentor and teacher”. He will be sadly missed by all of his friends at ODFHS, and everyone who knew him in the local history community.

After discussion, the ODFHS Executive Committee would like to request that any charitable donations given in Bill’s memory are directed to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Check the Gallery Page for some pictures of Bill.

rootsposterThis amazingly successful one-day event took place on 5th October 2019. Before memories fade and pass into folklore, and for the benefit of those who could not be there on the day, Kate Hurst has produced a nice video summary at:



Previous details...

Ormskirk and District Family History Society are preparing to host Dig Up Your Roots In West Lancashire, a one-day family history and heritage event organised with the support of the North-West Group of Family History Societies (of which we, and several other exhibitors at Dig Up Your Roots, are members).

Dig Up Your Roots In West Lancashire will take place at the Langham Hall, Emmanuel Methodist United Reformed Church, Derby Street, Ormskirk between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 5 October 2019.

It’s a free event will bring together a variety of groups and organisations with a passion for the past, and everyone with an interest in history and heritage is very welcome to call in. Whether you’re a newcomer to family and local history or a more seasoned researcher hoping to get some tips on very specific subjects, there is sure to be something to interest you.

We hope it will be the perfect way to begin the celebrations for their 40th anniversary in February 2020, and to help the public find out about the work done by the many different local heritage groups and societies that have formed since the last Dig Up Your Roots in 2012, as well as longer-established ones.

Organisations hoping to attend are:

  • Bob Dobson Rare and Pre-Owned Lancashire Books
  • Catholic Family History Society
  • Cumbria Family History Society
  • The Family History Partnership (new family history publications)
  • Friends of Lydiate Abbey
  • Lancashire Archives
  • Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society
  • Lathom Park Trust
  • Maghull and Lydiate U3A Family History Group
  • Maghull and Lydiate Local History Society
  • North Meols (Southport) Family History Society
  • Ormskirk Historical Society
  • Paul Smith’s Ormskirk Museum
  • Richard Houghton (World War One Records)
  • Skelmersdale and Upholland Family History Society
  • Walton History Group
  • Wigan Family and Local History Sociey

A dedicated Facebook link for the event has been set up at https://www.facebook.com/events/302098893838496/

We have also created a promotional YouTube video, which can be seen at

Ormskirk Church
Ormskirk Parish

Ormskirk railwaymen 1908
Ormskirk Station

Scarisbrick Hall 1815
Scarisbrick Hall

Skelmersdale Station

Moor Street market
Moor Street