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  ( also by OSSETT HISTORY (

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:


9th October 2017


Updated 12th January 2018




WAKEFIELD & DIST. FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY. ( Outwood Memorial Hall from 9.30am. 


Sept 2nd.  The Great War at Home: Tim Lynch

Oct 7th. My Mormon Pioneer: Wilsden to Salt Lake City; Gaynor Halliday

Nov 4th. Life in a Victorian Workhouse: Ian Dewhirst

Dec 2nd. The Topping Tooters of the Town : Doncaster Waites



Feb 3rd. WW1 Internment in Lofthouse & Ruhleban



8 November 2017 Wednesday Chantry Chapel The people of the Manor of Wakefield, 1781-82                          David Scriven, editor of The Court Roll of the Manor of Wakefield, 1781-1782
13 December 2017 Wednesday Please note change of venue: Elizabethan Gallery Brook Street  Oh Susannah! A performance about a black Victorian circus proprietor Pablo Fanque and his wife Susannah who set up Circus Royal in Wood Street in 1841 Joe Williams, Heritage Corner, and Deborah Sanderson. Urban Angels
10 January2018 Wednesday Please note change of venue: Elizabethan Gallery Brook Street The Ingenious Mr Elwick and the Wakefield Furniture Trade                   Andrew Cox-Whitaker furniture restorer and Regional Furniture Society researcher                                              This is the joint meeting with the Civic Society
14 February 2018 Wednesday Chantry Chapel Nationalised Wakefield Collieries and a brief history of the Mines Rescue Service                                             Eddie Downes, author ofYorkshire Collieries   1947-1994’
14 March 2018 Wednesday Chantry Chapel AGM and Members’ Evening An opportunity to have a say in the running of the Society, and then to hear what some of our members have been researching.
11 April 2018 Wednesday Chantry Chapel Object Voices: Interpreting all our stories at the Mental Health Museum, Fieldhead, Wakefield Cara Sutherland, Museum Curator


Whilst the Owner always uses her best endeavours to ensure the information on this website is accurate and complete, errors may from time to time occur. The Owner will not be held responsible for the consequence of such errors but will make efforts, where possible, to make corrections. Wherever possible it is advisable to consult the source material. E & O E.

I am very grateful to the staff of the West Yorkshire Archives and Registry of Deeds in Wakefield for their help over the past 20 years. I have quoted Reference Numbers of Deeds and Articles, on Maps and other material, that I have included on this website..