Welcome to The Alderson Family History Society


The Alderson Family History Society (AFHS) was formed in 1983. It 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. Here the name was common in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and where many families remain today.


We’d love to hear about your ALDERSON’s and see where they fit into the ones we know about.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t know much about them, we’ll be happy to help you find out more.
Have a look here to see more details about our records.


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.

Recent News


Currently we have about 230 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 an active and  friendly society with a lot to offer both from the information and research point of view and also socially.

This year, 2024, is a special year as it is the Society’s 40th Anniversary.

We have plans in place to make it a year of celebration and would love for as many members to join us as possible so are releasing the dates/details of our meetings earlier than normal.

Spring Meeting 2024 – Ravenstonedale in Cumbria, 17 & 18 April

Autumn Meeting and AGM 2024 – Walworth Castle, near Darlington, County Durham, 7 & 8 September

If you’d like more details/information about the Autumn Meeting the please email chair@afhs.org

Benefits of Membership:

  • Alderson Roots magazine delivered to your door three times per year
  • Twice yearly meetings
  • Access to the P-tree database
  • Help and advice on family history
  • Zoom meetings, showcasing our Alderson related speakers at our physical meetings, with chat sessions


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.

Alderson name spellings


A family history would be ill-served without some account of the line’s intersection with the great moments of the modern era. Most families were touched profoundly by the events of the First and Second World Wars⁠—ours is no exception. A separate entry is included here for each Alderson⁠—soldier or civilian⁠—whose death is owed to these conflicts. This catalogue is not exhaustive, so please contact us if you know of others not indexed here. If in this list you recognise any relation(s) of yours, we would be delighted to hear about it. We are proud to remember our fallen heroes. You can download the roll of honour below:


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.