Peterloo 2019 is hoping to connect the stories of those who were present at the Peterloo Massacre with the stories of today by searching for the Peterloo Descendants. 60,000 people assembled in Manchester on 16 August 1819 seeking rights and equality; confronted by local government forces, the day would end with the death of 18 and the injury of around700. 200 years later the potential number of descendants is vast, as is the geographical area they could live in and the variety of stories that link to this watershed moment in British history. Could you be a Peterloo Descendant?
The search for Peterloo Descendants will draw upon the expertise of Manchester & Lancashire Family History Societyand Michala Hulme, a leading oral historian and genealogist based at Manchester Metropolitan University. This is one of a number of projects that forms Peterloo 2019, which is led by Manchester Histories and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
One of the starting points of the research is a photograph of the Failsworth Veterans of Peterloo, in which 11 men and women are pictured together (see above).
Michala Hulme, genealogist and Lecturer in History at Manchester Metropolitan University says, “We want to trace the story of Peterloo through the generations, to understand the impact of its legacy in the lives of people. We know that in a number of towns Veterans of Peterloo met in the years after the massacre, but records from the time itself are limited in their nature and in what they reveal. So we are also fascinated to hear from anyone who believes they have a family link to Peterloo.”
Karen Shannon, Chief Executive of Manchester Histories, says, “Our approach to the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre is to connect and explore the threads of what happened then to the issues and world of today. Peterloo Descendants seems a fitting way to reflect upon the journey of democratic reform and the point that we are at 200 years later.”
If you think that your family had a presence in the events that unfolded on 16 August 1819 and would like to find out more about Peterloo Descendants and how you might get involved or follow the progress, please email Janine Hague (Project Manager for Peterloo 2019) with the details that you have available at Janine@manchesterhistories.co.uk.
Those interested in starting an exploration into their own family history to see whether they have any Peterloo connections will be able to take part in a Genealogy Open Day that Peterloo 2019 will host during the summer.
Peterloo 2019 will mark the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre with a programme of public events, learning and creative exploration that has been developed through the partnership work of cultural organisations and communities, led by Manchester Histories and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. To find out more about plans for 2019 and the public events that will take place visit: ManchesterHistories.co.uk and Peterloo1819.co.uk.