The river Tame, a tributary of the Mersey, has formed a natural boundary since prehistoric times. However, during local government reorganisation in 1974 the nine towns between Stockport and Oldham were gathered together to form a hopefully homogeneous whole as Tameside Metropolitan Borough. For family historians this reorganisation has produced many hidden pitfalls, since most if not all research is pre 1974.
Until the 1974 reorganisation towns to the east and south of the Tame came under Cheshire and either Stockport or Mottram in Longdendale Parish and the Macclesfield Hundred. Towns to the north and west of the borough came under Lancashire and either Ashton or Manchester Parish and the Salford Hundred.
Even though Tameside became one of the boroughs within Greater Manchester in 1974 it still does not have its own post codes. Ashton and Mossley have OL for Oldham codes, Droylsden, Denton and Audenshaw have M codes for Manchester. Stalybridge, Hyde, Dukinfield and Mottram in Longdendale have SK codes for Stockport.
The Tameside Local & Family History website provides a wealth of information about the towns of Tameside, including local histories, land tax returns, poor law assessment records, trade directories, 1811 census, prisoner of war lists, surname directories and much more. The website is updated regularly.