Joan's Photo for website

Joan P Smith – Family & Local Historian 


I was born in Horbury Bridge and spent my childhood (including the war years) there. My elder brother Arthur WORTH was killed in North Africa in 1943, aged just 20yrs and probably as a result of this my family moved to South Ossett 3yrs later. I lived there for 12 years before moving away and lived in various part of England with my former husband, a Prison Officer. We returned to live in Wakefield in 1971 but I did not return to live in Ossett until 2000. Whilst living in Wakefield I became a Founder Member of Wakefield & District Family History Society. Since then I have served in many roles in the Society and on 7th June 2014, the 17th birthday of the Society became PRESIDENT until July 2016. Over the years I have acquired a great deal of information, some of which has been used by WDFHS  (

I would like to make this information available to as many people as possible! Also if you have any suitable material you would like me to include please contact me at:


I suspect that many researchers find my website difficult to understand. When I began my own research, I wanted to know all about the history, (land, people etc.) in date order. I was a complete novice about websites but my Grandson Will set up a basic site for me and I learned as I went along!!This is what I have tried to do on the website. Obviously, when you are looking for just one particular item it is not easy.

I write things as they happened from the Deeds, Maps, Legal records etc. Unlike a book there isn’t room for a full index! So, if you are looking for a particular place and have a rough idea of the time/area you are researching e.g. Sowood Avenue you will need to scroll down to a date that it was likely to have been built, in this case 1925. However, the Deeds I used for these houses were dated. The building of them obviously took many weeks. So, the entries for each plot/property are in date order and the text on the website includes other events between them!  Also, the plot numbers are not necessarily the house number. However, if you actually know a number, the images for each event they give you a good idea!

The names I have given to each Webpage may possibly be misleading too, e.g  HEALEY RD TO DENTON . This is a huge area from Healey Rd., across Storrs Hill area, Storrs Hill Rd., (including Houses, Mills, Ossett Grammar School, St Ignatius Church etc. ending at the Old Tramsheds at Sowood Bend on Horbury Rd. (which used to be called Denton Lane!) It is divided into 2 Parts – 1790 to 1910 and 1910 to 1960. This also applies to the SOWOOD TRIANGLE and the other Pages. I hope this helps in finding the information you are looking for (and any that you didn’t know about!!)

I owe a great deal to 3 people for my ‘success?’ in Family and Local History to 3 persons – Steve WILSON for showing me how to do the Graphics: Alan HOWE for providing material I had never heard of – Tithe Awards and Land Award Maps and last but not least to Nev ASHBY for ‘picking me up’ in Ossett Library when he saw me talking to the Librarian about the Publications I had produced for Wakefield & Dist. Family History Society, and arranging a meeting with Steve and Alan. !!!!!!!

I hope you find what you are looking for !!!!