The Alderson Family History Society
Registered Charity, Number 1011898

  • The Society

    The Alderson Family History Society (AFHS) was formed in 1983 and owes much to the research previously carried out by the late Surgeon Captain Basil R Alderson RN and the late William Oswald Alderson.

    Most modern Alderson family lines can be traced back to Swaledale, in North Yorkshire, England, where the name was common in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and where many families remain today.

    The Upper Dales Family History Group aims to support those whose ancestors had their roots in Wensleydale and Swaledale (within the Yorkshire Dales) and membership may be of interest to AFHS members.


    Currently we have about 285 members, mostly in the United Kingdom, but about one third are from overseas, notably the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. See how to join here.

    We are always pleased to welcome new members, whether experienced family historians or those newly interested in discovering their family roots.

    We are a friendly society with a lot to offer both from the information and research point of view and also socially.

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    As a ‘one name’ society our focus is on the ALDERSON name, but if we want to understand the relevance of old records, we cannot be a ‘one spelling’ society. There are more than 60 different name spellings that seem to relate to our ALDERSON ancestors.

  • Research

    Research is ongoing in various ways.

    Members who enjoy researching can add ALDERSON information that they find to our database. This might be researching a particular person or a location that interests them. Members new to doing this can draw on the expertise of existing members.

    The Society has been investigating early ALDERSONs with the help of a professional researcher who has been looking at the de Banco Rolls and the Coram Rege Rolls at the National Archives.

    The earliest record found so far is for a John ALDOUSESONE in the 27th year of the reign of King Edward I [Hilary Term 1298/9] in the County of Lancaster.

    The search continues for early records.

    Manor Court Records for Muker and Healaugh are just some of the records held at the North Yorkshire County Record Office in the UK.

    As part of our public work we have been sponsoring the digitising of these Records so that they are searchable. There are quite a number of books covering the years 1686 to 1936 so this is a big project, which we believe will be very useful to all researchers with an interest in the area of Swaledale.


    We have a large database of ALDERSON events – births, marriages, deaths and census data plus miscellaneous information such as passenger lists, electoral rolls, apprenticeship records and wartime records. Where possible these records are grouped into families and then, by linking the generations, into family lines.

    We have a unique way of displaying our data using a specially written computer program and members have access to this via the internet. Also linked to each family are biographies from our magazine, which members have researched, and photographs.