Whitchurch is a market town in north-east Shropshire whose immediate hinterland includes parts of Cheshire and Wales. Consequently the documentary records of the ordinary people living in Whitchurch during the 18th and early 19th century are more dispersed than for most towns.
A combination of the above plus the difficulty of locating information on people prior to census information who were neither large landowners nor employers has made historical research off-putting for other than the dedicated academic.
This project therefore focuses on locating information and presenting it in a coherent and easily searchable format entitled ‘The Whitchurch Story Name Index’.
Of the buildings in Whitchurch that date from this period the ones which still serve the same purpose and have changed the least externally are the inns, pubs, churches, and chapels. So a short history will be written on each building and a town trail created. This will provide a context for the indexed information.
This project will enable the present community to access historical records relating to past communities. It will hopefully be possible to establish whose ancestors were living in Whitchurch and identify some of the places they would have seen and probably visited.
The main outcome of the project will be the creation of a searchable indexed database. This database will contain the names of ordinary people who were living in Whitchurch between 1700 and 1850. Completed Names Index
The information will also be used to produce:
- a display in Whitchurch Heritage Centre – Completed Display Heritage Centre
- a town trail featuring churches,chapels – Completed Chapel Trail
- a town trail featuring pubs & inns – Completed Pub Trail
- an outdoor display board – Display Board Launch
- a travelling exhibition – Completed Touring Display
- a dedicated website to the project – Completed www.allourstories.whitchurch-heritage.co.uk
This valuable resource will allow the local community to learn about their family history, the occupants of their house and to gain an insight into the lives of ordinary Whitchurch people between 1700 and 1850.