Alnmouth History Group

We are a small group of local people who share a common interest in the history of Alnmouth and its neighbourhood. Meetings are held about once a month, but at no fixed intervals, rather when it is thought that there are sufficient matters of interest to discuss. There are no visiting speakers, members talk about what they are doing that might be of interest, and also to find out if any other members can assist in some way, or offer intelligent comments. With no membership fees there is no membership list but the pool from which people are drawn is about twelve strong.

In the past some members have entered all the census returns which have been published for Alnmouth on to computer, making them much easier to search for ancestors and the like. In addition, from the census data all the surnames that have ever appeared have been listed and for each the dates when they appeared have been entered.

During the period after the change in the course of the river cut the old Church off from the village, a number of Alnmouth people were buried in Lesbury church yard. Since some of the gravestones were weathering badly, a number of members did a survey of the all the graves at Lesbury. The field work has been completed and currently these records are being entered on to computer.

Some members are beginning to consider entering a number of old shipping records for Alnmouth registered vessels on to computer. For a period in the 18th c there are lists of cargoes, and for later years some crew lists and vessel ownership are available. These will show something of the fluctuations of the economic life of the village, and crew lists give a source of names for comparison with census data.

From time to time the group gets enquiries about ancestors, relations, the age of buildings etc. Often in dealing with these some new facet of the history of the village comes to light.

Although use is made of the computer, it is not necessary to be familiar with computers to do useful work. The main requirements are interest, patience and curiosity; simple clerical skills are also useful.

Usually every autumn the group puts on a public exhibition of some kind with free coffee. The donations that these functions attract provide sufficient funds to pay the few expenses of the group.