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Lostcousins Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 10/04/2022 - 13:00

The latest Lostcousins Newsletter, which is always an excellent and helpful read, mentions our society this month under the heading "Brick Wall Busting" . Don't overlook the opening item either which offers free use of its site until April 23rd.

News TopicResources
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April 2022 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/04/2022 - 0:03

Each month I try to publish a newsletter on the 1st of the month.  April 1st has its own problems with its links to All Fools Day.  I can assure you that whatever I write in this newsletter will be as truthful as I can make it.  What memories do you have of April Fool Jokes?  Were you taken in by any?  Did you create any yourself?  Read more about April Fools Day 

Mothering Sunday

During March we celebrated Mothering Sunday, another old custom, which may have inspired you to look again at your female ancestors.  With different resources becoming available it is often surprising how new information can shed light on our families. I decided to look again at my gg grandparents who lived in Wraxall, within our area.  Charles and Lavinia STOKES née SPERRING were married at All Saints, Wraxall, on the 24th of May 1846.  They had 15 children, so Mothering Sunday may have been very busy for Lavinia and the possibility of DNA matches should be relatively high if I can identify each one. A little while ago I posted a document "My Wraxall Connections" on the Web site under the Place, Wraxall which outlined this family.   Why not include some information about your research under the place where your ancestors lived on our web site?


Talking about DNA – I hope that some of you managed to catch some of the excellent talks (including the one on DNA by Blaine Bettinger) which were available under the project “History for Ukraine” which raised over £52,000 during last week. Today, 30th March, there have been further talks about Railway History and WW1 Battle of Somme and many other topics.  They are still available on youtube for 48 hours. 

Welsh and Irish Research

With both the Patron Saints of Wales and Ireland being commemorated during March, I decided to see where my own research featured in these countries.  I knew that Charles PUDDY, born in Mark, and a Great Uncle of my husband, became a Police Sergeant in Cardiff.  The free Welsh Newspapers  enabled me to identify some of the cases in which he was involved and learn about an Award with which he was presented for saving someone's life.

When considering Irish Ancestry this site is a useful one and so to a certain extent is "Dusty Docs" which, of course can also be used for other places in the British Isles.

Research Forum & Facebook

There have been no new entries in our Research Forum in the last month and the Facebook Group has also been very slow.  However, a request which was received through our secretary, Brian Airey, for a photograph of the Town Surveyor Harold BROWN was successfully answered on the Facebook Group by John Crockford-Hawley who found one in the Souvenir Programme for the initiation of the Borough of Weston-super-Mare in 1937.  Are any of you related to members of the Administrative Staff of the Borough at that time? I have included named photo of all of them employed by the Borough in 1937, taken outside of Drove Road Hospital which hopefully may be useful.


I have often mentioned an interest in the schools of Weston and district and there has been a request on the Facebook Group for info and photos for Winterstoke Girls' Secondary Modern School, which was not answered.  Can anyone help?  Initially it was known as Locking Road Girls' School but by 1952 took the name of Winterstoke.

Questionnaire about Workshops

Members should have received a questionnaire to assist in the planning of Workshops for the Society.  Please make sure that you reply as these are designed to make sure that these events meet the needs of the majority.

Next Meeting

Our next Society meeting on Wednesday 13th April - full details on our web site  The Speaker will be David SKIDMORE a member of the famous Worle Family which celebrated 100 years of trading in 1919.

Your Comments

Please take this opportunity to add any helpful comments which you may have about the society and whether it meets your needs. There are some very helpful members who are willing to answer any queries you may have about your research. Thanks go to Sue Maguire for another excellent Buckets and Spades, to Graham Payne who continues to provide transcriptions of records and Memorials, and to all those who have struggled with the challenge of new IT coupled with the rules and regulations of providing meetings during these difficult times.  


News TopicMonthly Update
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New Know Your Place Exhibition at Weston Museum
published by Graham Payne on Fri, 18/03/2022 - 10:50


There is a new Know Your Place photographic exhibition at Weston Museum, Burlington Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1PR.  It’s titled ‘Weston & Area Then & Now’ and features some wonderful images selected by museum volunteers.  It’s a real trip down memory lane (and beyond!) with images of old pubs, shops, the town centre, the seafront, Worle and Uphill.

It is situated upstairs in the function room and there is lift access to the 1st floor.  It will be open until Saturday 2nd April (last day) but please note that the museum is closed on Saturday 26th March.  Otherwise they are open Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm.

Further information at https://westonmuseum.org/ and http://www.kypwest.org.uk/

News TopicEvents
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March 2022 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 01/03/2022 - 0:24

During February there have been some interesting developments in local family history research.  I received a communication that some genealogical papers – possibly from a house clearance - had been purchased as part of a lot which included local postcards and other local memorabilia.

What to do with your Research Notes

On investigation they were identified as being the work of a Weston man who had been actively researching in the 1980s and 90s.  He had no children and had moved away from Weston after the death of his wife.  The bundle included original birth, marriage and death certificates, some copies of certificates, a few photographs and several family trees compiled in the familiar hand of Brian Austin, who at that time had been running consultation sessions in Weston Museum and Library and remembers helping this man.

This set me thinking about what happens to all our work if we do not make sure that it is passed on to an interested party. Perhaps some of you can advise on what should be done with this type of research.  It also highlighted the contribution that Brian’s family trees, which can be seen in the Weston Library, can make to our research. 

The other aspect of these papers was the number of families in Weston which had connections with this man through marriage with his relations.  One even married into the CRANDON family and was related to one who married a HASE!

Since the original research was done more documents have become available online and it might be easier to discover the roots of the family today.  This one family had a link back to the MUGGLEWORTH family, (of Weston Worthy Fame), 3 illegitimate children born in Axbridge Workhouse, someone who changed his name by Deed Poll,  From London Gazette.

and two different women who married German musicians who entertained in Weston, one of whom had difficulties when WW1 started and she was classed as an alien. There are many other connections to the local history of the area.

British & Black History

At the beginning of February, FindmyPast published a Blog about British and Black History  to augment knowledge about Slavery and I have previously written about some residents of Weston and district who had been the owners of Slaves.

A teacher enquired on our Facebook Group about the effect that the arrival of the Windrush had on Weston and Worle, so that he could use local memories in his teaching.  Nobody responded which I think probably was indicative of the lack of recognition of the effects which those immigrants had on the Weston area.   Pre WW2, Weston did have several people born abroad – Many were the wives or children of men serving in the Army in India or Africa.  In 1911 only three people in Weston were born in the West Indies, similarly there were only three residents born in the West Indies in 1921.  These appear to be quite well off and living on their own means.  How would you ensure that children today were familiar with the effects of migration from the Caribbean on this part of the world?

RAF Records

The Genealogist has published some new RAF Records   Over 4.2 million transcripts for RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs), have been released – they are fully searchable by Name, Rank, Aircraft, Squadron, and Date plus many other fields, making it simpler to find your air force ancestors. There is a short video to show how this works 

Portraits & Photographs

Ancestry has connected with the National Portrait Gallery to offer a collection of photographs and paintings    It is worth looking – just in case you have someone in your family whose portrait is included.  My Grandfather always maintained that Edwin LONG RA was a member of our family and there are three portraits of him included.  Can anyone see a likeness to my gg grandfather who is reputed to be a cousin of Edwin?

Thomas LONG                   Edwin LONG RA  

RootsTech 2022

Here's what you will find at RootsTech 2022.  March 3rd - 5th   
Register today!  https://familysearch.me/RootsTech22gb

Next Society Meeting

On Wednesday the 9th March at 2.30 p.m. at Our Lady Of Lourdes Church Hall, Baytree Road, there will be a meeting of the Society when the Speaker will be Alan Bateman. He will be talking about how to research the villages in which your ancestor lived.  Some Covid restrictions will still be in action.  Please bring a mask and conform to requirements.

News TopicMonthly Update
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Members' Meeting February 9th video
published by Jenny Towey on Thu, 10/02/2022 - 11:40

It is with regret that I have to inform you that - due to technical difficulties - we were unable to live stream or record yesterday's talk on DNA for Family History.

We desperately need a couple of people to help us out with the technical side of streaming and recording talks - offers of help are very welcome.

Jenny Towey

News TopicFairs, Seminars & Talks
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February 2022 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 31/01/2022 - 23:48

I know the days are getting longer and there are signs of regeneration in the garden, but I still am not fond of February.  I wonder how our ancestors dealt with the changing seasons and cold weather?  We are also coping with the uncertainties around the Covid situation.  Many apologies to those who turned up for the January meeting at Our Lady of Lourdes which we had to convert to a Zoom meeting at short notice because of the rising number of infections in this area.  We did try to notify our members, but sadly I believe some who turned up were visitors.   The talk is available on our web site for members who missed it.

Annual Subscriptions

A gentle reminder that your annual subscription is now due.  We really pride ourselves on the low cost of our membership. £9.00 per year for a digital membership is really good value considering all the transcriptions and other information and support which is available for members.

Members' Surname Interests 

If you haven’t looked at the web site lately, please do.  Have you entered your names, dates and places to The Members’ Surname Interest Section? You can add a pedigree chart or family tree in PDF format to your entry which may help others.  Some people have added comments to their SURNAME Interests which can be really helpful.

Research Forum 

Have you used the Research Forum yourself?  If not, why not?   It has been very quiet again recently, does that mean that no one is stuck with their research or have found something which they can share with other members?  Can you help other members by answering their Research Queries?  Look back at those which are on the site – you may be able to add helpful information.

Search the Web Site  

The web site also has information available for non-members.  You can also use the Search facility (found as a box on the home page) to see if anything connected with your research can be found.   Search for your research SURNAME or any other word which might crop up in anything about your family.  It searches articles from Buckets and Spades, Research Queries, Comments and of course Newsletters!

Family History Research

Why are we researching our past?   Is it just the thrill of the chase or are we really interested on how our ancestors lived?  Or do we want to know what characteristics we have inherited from our ancestors? Many books suggest that researching family history is like a living detective story which gives a buzz of adrenaline when you solve the mystery. Other say it’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle with very similar shaped pieces and fitting the correct one gives pleasure.  What surprising facts have you discovered?

  • Have you studied the transcriptions of the local burial records to see what was happening in the area when your family was active? 
    • The Worle Burials during 1813-1839 contain at a rough count   
      • 8 children who were only days old,
      • 28 children who were weeks old
      • 65 who were months old.
      • 34 children who were under 10 years old.
  • It is worth remembering that this time covers an outbreak of Cholera and that Typhoid, Measles and Smallpox were also highly infectious.
  • Small pox was greatly feared and mentioned during this Funeral at Lympsham in 1846
  • Vaccination against smallpox was made compulsory in England in 1853.  The Registrar of Births was made responsible for making sure that it took place, with parents being subjected to fines or imprisonment if they did not comply.  Like today, there were a number of people who were against vaccination.  Cases can be read in local newspapers.
  • Some newspaper articles appear very familiar today!
  • It is also interesting to note how many illegitimate children were baptised during a particular period.
  • What are the most common occupations listed against the fathers when their children were christened?    Did these occupations change as the area adjusted to the Industrial Revolution?
  • All of the above gives some idea of the area in which your ancestors lived.

1921 Census

What results have you gained from the 1921 Census? 

  • I have been disappointed that there is no mention of health problems on this census which seems strange considering the number of ex-soldiers from WW1 which must have caused the need for additional funding during this time. 
  • Employers being mentioned is an advantage – I have just identified someone who later became a motor mechanic but in 1921 was an apprenticed as a carpenter to his elder brother.
  • A posting on our Facebook Group has highlighted the difficulty of deciding whether boarders were just staying as holiday makers for a short stay or whether they were long term. 

 FaceBook Group

The Facebook Group has gained members but not many of the latest ones have posted their SURNAME Interests yet.  Like with the Web Site there are few queries posted but we are keen to encourage younger members who may not be quite sure about how to go about researching.  Membership of our Society and the use of a number of free web sites can enable them to make a start.  Just ask!

Family Stories

Family Stories which have been handed down are a good place to start. Trying to prove whether they are factual or not can be frustrating but fun if you succeed.    My Grandfather told me many a story about his family but I am afraid that he had a vivid imagination.   Did Garibaldi really stay with my gg grandfather when he visited Bristol in 1864?  The answer to that was NO!   Garibaldi’s train only stopped for 10 minutes on Temple Meads Station but at least it got me looking up all about Garibaldi and why he was in this country.   There is often a grain of truth in these stories as I did discover that my gg grandfather, had signed an open letter inviting Garibaldi to visit Bristol!  

Family & Local History 

Family History and Local History are closely connected and we are lucky in having members with photographs of the area.  We were saddened to learn of the death of Colin Middle recently, a member who had a vast store of local knowledge and had shared much of it.  He wrote a booklet which traces the residents of Stradling Avenue in Weston – much written from personal memories. 

Next Society Meeting

Our next meeting is due on the afternoon of Wednesday 9th February at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall in Baytree Road, at 2.30p.m. when the subject will be DNA and Family History.  The Speakers will be Peter and Jenny Towey.   As this subject is likely to be very popular, please check whether this will be an actual physical meeting or by Zoom before you leave home. 



News TopicMonthly Update
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