How to find cheese-makers in your family history

On Made in Great Britain, the team discover Wensleydale's history of cheese-making. Nell Darby picks the best online resources to find your cheese-maker ancestors


On BBC Two’s Made in Great Britain, the team of craftworkers get cheesy as they head to Wensleydale in Yorkshire.


There, they discover the surprising history of one of Britain’s most beloved cheeses.

Cheese may come from the Latin word ‘caseus’, which gives an idea of its long history.

It was first produced industrially in 1815.

In 1851, a New York dairy farmer started producing it in an assembly line.

Many of our ancestors may have been involved in its production – from sheep farmers to those packaging it to sell.

Here are three online resources that will help you explore the topic further:

Spitalfields Life

Spitalfields life

A useful webpage detailing all known potters in the Stoke area, including their pottery marks and the factories they worked in.

The National Archives

The National Archives

The National Archives holds various cheese-related records, including files relating to the Stilton Cheese Makers Association from 1937 to 1980 (JV 5/216) and the wills of 18th and 19th century cheesemongers.

Georgian Newspaper Project

Bath Record Office

Newspapers can be a great resource to locate a cheesemonger ancestor – and the Bath Archives’ Georgian Newspaper Project includes mentions of local cheesemongers taken from the Bath Chronicle via a searchable online database.