Numerous projects are initiated at various times including recording monumental inscriptions in the many burial grounds in our area of interest.

Parish Registers, Censuses etc. are also recorded and the results made into booklets which are available for sale to members.  A list of publications available, and how they may be purchased is provided with your copy of the Journal or on the Publications page of this site.

The Society holds an annual Family History Fair and/or Open Workshops, and is continually involved in various projects which add to the archives and the information we hold.

Assistance in these projects is always welcomed if you can spare some time, even if you are located away from Keighley or even overseas you can assist with transcription and checking.


  • Poor Law Project
  • National Burial Index
  • Updating MI's

Poor Law Project 

The basis of the project by The National Archives (TNA) is to make available to everyone (free, searchable and online) the records of the Poor Law Boards and Workhouses across the country.

Groups in the following areas are also transcribing Poor Laws records: Liverpool, Mansfield, Reeth, Bishops Stortford, Rye, Southampton, Cardiff, Tynemouth, Newport Pagnell, Kidderminster & Bromsgrove, North Staffordshire, Berwick, Thorncombe/Axminster, Llanfyllin, Radstock / Clutton, Mitford and Launditch, Blything, Basford.

Following a progress meeting with the TNA Project Team Leader at Keighley Library on 16th October 2009 the first volume of  the Keighley & Bingley Poor Law Records for a period around 1835-1842 has been quality checked and is currently being prepared for adding to The National Archives Website within the next couple of weeks.

I will arrange for the link and instructions to be added to this page to allow anyone to access the information as it is received.

One of the most exciting pieces of information that is being revealed for family historians is what the circumstances were concerning individuals and how they were treated or why they died.

Many, did in fact, leave the workhouse to be employed elsewhere in other areas, leading to migration to other parts of the country and emigration from other areas into Keighley & Bingley, all funded by the Workhouse System. This is also coincides with the development of the railways, growth in manufacturing, trade union activity and improvements in public health.

There are instances of corruption, abuse, fraud, and many other 'interesting items' coming to light which will occupy researchers for many years.

An example discovered by one of our transcribers concerns a child by the name of "Watson Longbottom".

In various letters and documents about Watson, he was described as "a dull boy", and K&DFHS have him listed in the Bingley Census of 1851 aged 14 at Myrtle Grove Bingley as a Lodger. The transcriber searched other records to find him later living  in Morley near Leeds, married, with a number of children. He can't have been too dull.

Another example is a copy of the employment details of a collector appointed to the workhouse which were sent to London which will be 'gold' to any descendant of him.

A third example is a report containing a list of those inmates who contracted 'scarletina' (Scarlet Fever) in an outbreak in Keighley Workhouse and identifies those who recovered and those who died.  K&DFHS will be able to identify where those who died were buried, as it happened prior to the opening of the Municipal Cemetery at Utley in 1857.

A list of the Board of Guardians together with the wards they represented and the years they served will also be added to the information on the website. This will allow anyone to search for these members of the 'ruling classes'  as their houses were listed in returns made to the Poor Law  Commission in Whitehall.

This is becoming a rich source of information which builds on the limited information contained in the 1841 and 1851 census returns.

An update to the "Poor Law Project" - 30 October 2009
Work is proceeding well with the transcription work and one of the "editor's" working locally has discovered copies of some of the original returns made to the Poor Law Board in London.   These returns identify all the Board of Guardians, the Various officers involved in the Keighley Union, together with their employment details, salaries, and their addresses and range from 1843 to 1917.   These documents are also being transcribed and  the information will be freely available on the K&DFHS website.  

There are documents which identify persons in the area receiving 'relief' but are not actually in the Workhouse.   Clearly the additional information is very interesting, and in many cases, extremely blunt. e.g. "slow of intellect", "dirty habits", "dangerous to others? YES"  

Watch this space.


Malcolm Reeves


National Burial Index

All of this work is now complete and further records for other cemeteries have become available for transcription.

All the municipal cemeteries in the Keighley Area have been completed:-

  • Steeton
  • Silsden (Howden Road)
  • Silsden Non-conformist Burial Ground at St James Church.
  • Oxenhope
  • Stanbury
  • Haworth (Cemetery Road or Penistone Hill)
  • Oakworth Crematorium Cemetery
  • Morton Cemetery
  • Ashlands (Ilkley) – Managed by Utley Staff
  • Utley

I wish to thank all the transcribers for their time and excellent work.

The final results were sent to the NBI in October 2008 for inclusion in the new 3rd edition. These will be made into a new CD set by the NBI and the Society does receive an income from this work.

Transcribers have begun to transcribe the records from the following cemeteries:

  • Bingley Municipal Cemetery
  • Wilsden Municipal Cemetery (Formerly St Matthews Parish Church)
  • Windhill Municipal Cemetery (Formerly Windhill Methodist Church)
  • Nab Wood Municipal Cemetery

The Society also has a database that has allowed the transcription work for the NBI to be coordinated with the Memorial Inscriptions already completed.

This facility is being made available to members and non-members to ask for a search to be made for an ancestor they have difficulty in tracing.

Redirect to the Research Request page

Malcolm Reeves
NBI coordinator


updating Memorial Inscriptions

The committee have agreed to correct, update and expand all its 'Memorial Inscription' Publications in addition to making them available on CD.

As a result we are requesting volunteers to help with transcription and checking of the information.

This can be done via the Internet if you have email & either Microsoft Word or Excel.

The MI's for the following cemeteries are being updated:
  • Slack Lane Baptist Chapel Oakworth
  • Ryecroft Burial Ground Harden
  • St Mary's Parish Church Riddlesden
  • West Lane Methodist Church Haworth
  • St Mary the Virgin Parish Church Oxenhope
The MI's for the following cemeteries have been started:
  • Morton Cemetery Riddlesden
  • St Thomas' Parish Church Sutton-in-Craven
  • Silsden Municipal Cemetery
  • St John The Evangelist, Cullingworth

If you are able to help please contact Malcolm Reeves.