About The Family History Section

The Yorkshire Archaeological and Historical Society (YAS) was founded in 1863, to preserve and conserve the history and archaeology of the historic county of Yorkshire. It has several SPECIALIST SECTIONS, the largest being the Family History Section, which may be joined separately or in addition to the main Society. You can find out more about the YAS and its Sections by going to http://www.yahs.org.uk

The Section

The Family History Section of the Society was founded in 1973 and has several hundred members world wide. Family history has been a fast growing subject for over three decades, with interest ranging from who our ancestors were, where they lived and worked, and the social history of the period. The aim of the Section is to promote these interests and assist members in their research. Although we are unable to undertake any individual research, we do aim to help our members with advice on tracing ancestors and the sources available to take researches forward


A programme of lectures takes place throughout the year, normally at monthly intervals. These are held on Saturdays at the Swarthmore Education Centre, Woodhouse Square, Leeds. Typically there will be a guest speaker talking on a family history or social history related subject.


The YAHS various specialist Sections hold large and comprehensive collections of historical materials on the ancient county of Yorkshire, including printed parish registers etc. that are available for public access and are now sited at the Leeds University Library with more frequently consulted materials at the Leeds Central Library.

Members' Interests

On joining the Section, members receive a form to submit their interests. These are printed in the journal and subsequently in our Members' Interests Publications (currently on microfiche). Members can request a search of the databases.

Link Scheme

Under this scheme, if you need information from a distant Library, Record Office or Archive to which you are unable to travel, we have contact with a number volunteers who may be able visit these sources on your behalf to look at specified items.  Such visits will be by private arrangements as to expenses etc.


Members receive a copy of our three times per year journal The Yorkshire Family Historian which has articles of general genealogical interest, "New Members' list", "Members' Interests" and news of forthcoming events.

Exchange Journals

The Section also has access to Magazines and Journals published by other Family History societies.  An increasing number of these are now in electronic formats only.

Welcome Pack

New members receive a welcome pack which includes information about the Section and a Members' Interests form.