Welcome To The AFHS

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.

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.

Origins of the Alderson name

Our research so far has not led us back to an original Alderson although the amateur Victorian genealogist Plantagenate Harrison has suggested the family line flows from Aldoue de Bolton who was a vassal of William de Vescy, Sheriff of Lancaster, in the time of King Henry II (1154-1189). His son William Aldouesson had two sons Richard and William 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.

What else do we do ?


Our research information is mostly stored on computer. It includes extracts of UK Alderson entries from the Index of the Registrar General of births, marriages and deaths from 1837, parish register entries, census returns (1841 - 1891), wills and probate records, manorial records, tithe maps and records, poll books and electoral registers, monumental inscriptions and many other official sources as well as personal family details and photographs supplied by members.


The AFHS has an ongoing programme of research that members are invited to assist with. Individual research projects are also encouraged and all members are asked to give details of their own lines from their family tree to assist us in linking fragments of trees and individuals together.

Family Groups

We have devised a numbering system that enables us to identify every family unit with the help of a P (for Pedigree number) sheet. Our computer software allows us to link P sheets into family lines and print off information from the database on each family unit. Members can be supplied with details of their own family’s P sheets on joining and updates will be available to them as appropriate.


We hold two meetings each year where members have the opportunity of getting together. Each September we hold a records weekend and AGM at Muker in Swaledale. Our spring meeting is held at a different venue each year, usually at a place with an Alderson connection.