Search for descendants of the Peterloo Massacre

Date published: 15 February 2019

A project bringing together the history of the Peterloo Massacre is looking to Oldham to find descendants of those who were there on that fateful day.

60,000 people assembled in Manchester on the 16th August 1819 seeking rights and equality, the day would end with the death of 18 and around 700 injured.

200 years later 'Peterloo 2019' are looking for the descendants and believe the potential number 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. 

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). 

The search for Peterloo Descendants will draw upon the expertise of Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society and Michala Hulme, a leading oral historian and genealogist based at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Peterloo massacre plaque in central Manchester

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.

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