Welcome to Chartist Ancestors

Chartism, Chartists and the People’s Charter explored and explained

Millions signed the three great Chartist petitions of 1839 to 1848. Thousands were active in those years and beyond in the campaign to win the vote, secret ballots, and other democratic rights that we now take for granted.

Regrettably, this site has been hacked and much of the content deleted or replaced by junk text. I am working to rebuild it, but this will take time. Thanks for your patience.

Chartist Ancestors lists many of those who risked their freedom, and sometimes their lives, because of their participation in the Chartist cause. The names included on the site are drawn from newspapers, court records and books of the time, from later histories and other sources.

If you have reached this page and want to get a general idea of what Chartism was all about, I suggest you start with:

If you are looking for someone or something in particular, there is a search box at the top right of the screen. But if you prefer to browse, then the Contents Page is a good starting point.

Many historians, researchers and the descendants of individuals associated with Chartism have helped me in putting together Chartist Ancestors. They have provided names – sometimes substantial databases of names – information, advice and moral support. I should like to thank them all for their kindness.

Good luck in finding what you want. I hope you enjoy your visit.

Mark Crail

Now available: Download the full Chartist Ancestors Databank, with data on 10,000 individuals drawn from across the site.

Chartist Ancestors top photo: Chartist pikes

Chartists' pikes in possession of the Failsworth Liberal Club. Mr Joseph Taylor and Councillor George Whitehead. Source: Chartist Ancestors.

“Chartists’ pikes in possession of the Failsworth Liberal Club. Mr Joseph Taylor and Councillor George Whitehead.” From “Landmarks of Local Liberalism: Oldham Liberal Bazaar Souvenir” by A Marcroft (1913). This picture was probably taken some 40 or 50 years after the Chartist era.

What did your family do in the revolution?