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Wraxall All Saints Monumental Inscriptions
published by Graham Payne on Fri, 12/08/2022 - 8:46

The Wraxall All Saints MIs are now available for society members to view online.

Please report any transcript errors or information relating to missing or incomplete inscriptions to the author of this news article.

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August 2022 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 01/08/2022 - 21:56

Following the success of the English Womens’ Football team in the Euros and the changes in sporting activities which have emerged over the years, I wonder what sports our ancestors enjoyed or were allowed to enjoy?  One sport which is no longer practiced locally is Cudgel, Single Stick or Sword & Dagger Play.  This was very active in the Wedmore area and the Wedmore Genealogy web site contains these notes by Rev Hervey concerning this activity 

SINGLE STICK. I have often intended raking together what I could about the old single stick players of Wedmore, but somehow I have never done it; and as I have already said, if you don't do a thing when you can, it is not likely that. you will do it when you can't. Every year it gets more difficult to find out anything about them, because the generation that played has died out. Besides single stick there was playing with the cudgels, which was much rougher work. In single stick playing the left arm was guarded and held up to guard the head; in cudgel playing the left arm was not guarded. I am told that players used "to drink gunpowder" before playing, because that made the blood less ready to come. Any blood above the neck counted. Sometimes blood was drawn on a player's mouth, and he would keep licking it away to hide it; but if the spectators saw it they would cry out, "Blood, blood, blood."

There is no mention about women wanting equality in this sport and I can’t say I am surprised. But Congratulations to the Lionesses!

While on that site do take a look at what else it has to offer – Dr Westover’s Journal is particularly interesting as it names his patients and their ailments. 

Bristol Map

05 Donne 1769
05 Donne 1769
Map of the country 11 miles around Bristol by Benjamin Donne published in 1769.‎

Many of my own ancestors came from the vicinity of Bristol and this map published in 1769 is very interesting to me as it also covers many of the parishes which are within the area of this Society. It produced some interesting discussion on the Facebook Group when it was posted there as it includes the names of many of the landowners and the position of some of the non-conformist chapels.  Nempnett Thrubwell is entered as just Nempnett - does anyone know when the Thrubwell was added?

It also reminded me of the back of the exercise books used by Bristol school children in the 1950s.

Private Schools in Weston

I wonder how many of you have found ancestors as boarders in one of the many schools in Weston or knew of day pupils in any of them?  There has been some response on Facebook and from the Research Forum on this site to my request for information about Private Schools in Weston.  It is proving to be a fascinating study. The number and variety of schools in Weston is amazing. I know that there are folders of information about some of them in Weston Library and that some of the larger ones have sections in books on Weston but it is tempting to compile a document about each one.  I am attaching an initial database of references to the Schools in Weston found online.  I would be grateful for any additional information which you may have and then we can put it on the web site as a specific entry under Weston-super-Mare. 

This photograph was given to me some years ago and I was told it was Stanmore Annex but where was that?  The date I was given was 1939 and in the 1941 Directory there is an Uphill Branch of this school mentioned.  I think that was at 9 Uphill Road, (now known as Uphill Road North) between Moorland and Charlton Roads.  can anyone confirm this?

Free Help Sessions at the Library

The first of these after Covid was unfortunately cancelled because nobody had booked through the Weston Library as per the instructions which we had published.  We have now decided not to have a meeting in August but to start again on Saturday 3rd of September as a drop-in session between 2.00 and 3.30pm.   If the numbers are too great, then you may have to wait to be seen as there is still a restriction on the number of volunteers who can be there.  You can always post any queries on the Research Forum of this site or on the Facebook group


These Zoom Workshops are attracting a small but interested number of members – more are welcome.  The first three on Births, Marriages and Deaths were in the capable hands of Peter de Dulin.  The September Workshop has had to be moved to Wednesday 5th October and will be an introduction to DNA by Jenny Towey.  However, the October Workshop will be at its usual place on Wednesday 26th October – the topic will be Education Records led by myself. Joining information will be sent to all full members by email.

Hutton - Taste of Somerset

We are taking a stand at the 2022 Taste of Somerset Show at Hutton in August. Come along and make yourselves known to the members who will be running the stand.  We hope to be able to answer questions about family history and hopefully will have wifi and computers to assist us.

If you are connected with any other local event where we would be welcome to have a stand perhaps you could let us know.  We need to make sure that we are known as a local Society.

Bristol & Avon FHS Family History Fair

This event, set for September has been postponed until Spring 2023.  We are hoping to have a stand there so look out for details later.  Society Fairs are an excellent way of seeing what Family and Local History Societies and allied commercial activities have to offer and to meet with people with similar interests. 

Weston Museum

With its free admission don’t overlook this facility to highlight Weston’s past and the lives of our ancestors.  There is much discussion about the state of High Streets everywhere but currently there is an exhibition which allows you to explore Weston’s High Street in this community exhibition and remember shopping, entertainment and leisure in the past.  The exhibition is a celebration of the High Street and will act as a legacy project.  It has been supported by North Somerset Council’s Heritage Action Zones. 

This Invoice from James Phillip's a forerunner of Lance & Lance on the corner of High Street and Waterloo Street was found amongst my great grandmother's books.  What surprised me was that Rebekah Saunders COLES, who before her marriage was a dressmaker and milliner, and lived in Bristol should have shopped in Weston! 

40th Anniversary of our Society

If you have read the introduction to this Society of its home page online or on the Facebook group you will be aware that the Society was founded in 1983 from an Adult Education Class run by Brian Austin.  The Committee is now exercising its collective brain as to how we should mark this 40th anniversary next year. A Celebratory meal and an Open Day with invitations to other local societies are being discussed.  If you have any ideas please let us know.    

Society Meetings

We do not have any meetings, face to face or by zoom during August to allow for holidays – so it just leaves me to hope that you all have an enjoyable time and perhaps meet up with family and share or make memories to include in your family history.



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Workshop on death records
published by Peter de Dulin on Sat, 30/07/2022 - 19:10

Just to let you know, the video of the  workshop is now on our website for you to enjoy.

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July 2022 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/07/2022 - 15:14

June has given us plenty to do apart from researching our family history.  The weather has been kind and there have been other attractions. Family History need not be done in a rush as the records are not going to disappear, except for the erosion of some Memorials on Gravestones! However, I find that you are likely to forget what you have consulted unless you make careful notes of what you have found and where you found it. 


We had the 2nd of our Workshops led by Peter de Dulin during June, this one on Marriages –  full members who missed it can see it via the website  and they can also see the talk on the West Somerset Railway given on the 8th June by Don Bishop.

Research Forum

There has been a lively exchange of ideas on the web site about people involved in the Hewish and Puxton Harvest Festival Committee and it has been interesting to follow it and see the ways in which members have tackled the problem of naming the people involved.  This un-named photograph is from the Weston Gazette Pictorial Review of 1931  -  How about naming the six men in the lower picture?

The Research Forum can enable some helpful exchange of ideas – why not try it?  I had some very useful information from my query about the COLES family which solved a long-held problem.

Facebook Group

We had a sudden influx of new members during June – all of whom are welcome and we hope that at least some of them will join the Society to get the benefit of full membership. We ask all new members to post their SURNAME Interests so that other members may see if there is a possible link with their research.  The same applies to the Society – if you live locally,  the chances are that you are researching a family from elsewhere so we do not restrict queries to North Somerset. 


I really do not need to write a newsletter each month when there are others such as the Lost Cousins Newsletter which which is excellent.  Do read the Masterclass on How to ask for Help by Dr Janet Few – or rather what to do before you ask for help!

War Medals

I was grateful to Peter Towey who discovered that the medals awarded to a cousin of my husband’s were being auctioned. The Auction Catalogue also gave a summary of his life and why the medals were awarded – I knew most of it as we were in touch with his daughter during her lifetime, but it was good to see it recorded.

His parents were married at Emmanuel Church in Weston and his mother was a descendant of "Farmer King" who lived off Meadow Street and was featured in a book entitled " Somerset Dialogues or Reminiscences of the old farmhouse in Weston-super-Mare" published in 1826 

It is about a woman who stayed in Farmer Kng's Farmhouse on holiday in Weston and her reaction to the spoken word in Weston at that time.  You can see this book on archive.org a site for reading out of print books. However, not all the illustrations seem to work. 

DNA Results

Myheritage has a system of offering a Theory of Family Relativity where connections are made using published trees on their site which is proving interesting to me - More information is available on the My Heritage Blog  It is suggested on that site that my husband has a direct link with the CREED family of West Pennard and on closer inspection of their tree it seems to confirm that they and Mike share a common ancestor of John & Mary CREED (Mike's 4 x g grandparents) This is particularly interesting because Matthew CREED, son of John & Mary was named as the father of illegitimate twins Joseph & Mary TAYLOR born in 1824 to a Christian TAYLOR and Mike is descended from the boy, Joseph TAYLOR.  In Christian's examination Matthew did admit to being the father but it is very satisfying to find a DNA link to a 5th Cousin with 24.2cM

Free Help Session - Weston Library

These will start again on Saturday July 2nd at 2.00 pm. Bring along your research and use the free access to Ancestry which is available in the library.  If you haven't already done so - contact the library on 01934 426010 or Weston.library@n-somerset.gov.uk to make your booking 

Next Society Meeting

Our next live meeting will be on Wed 13th July when Sue Burne, from the Taunton Branch of the Somerset & Dorset FHS and a talented glass engraver will be talking about the STOREY family from Bridgwater and North Petherton who were Publicans and Boatmen. Timing of Meeting 

Next Workshop

The next Workshop which will be by Zoom on Wed 27th July at 7.30pm will concentrate on Death Records

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June 2022 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 31/05/2022 - 22:53

We start by congratulating her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her Platinum Jubilee.  The Platinum Jubilee Beacon at Uphill will be lit as part of the national chain at 9.45 pm on June 2nd preceded by a unique Bugle Call and the ringing of the old church bells.  Just one of many local events to commemorate the occasion.  More later.

Members' Workshops

During May we had the first of the Members’ Workshop Sessions which are planned for the 4th Wednesday of each month by Zoom.  The Workshops start at 7.30 and the second one covering Marriages will be on Wed. 22nd June.  The first was very successful, and thanks go to Peter de Dulin for organising this addition to our programme of activities.  The opening session on Births and Baptisms is now available on video for members who could not attend on the night - you need to sign in first to see it.

Free Helps Sessions at Weston Library

It's good news that our Free Library Help Sessions are starting up again.  Initially they will be once a month at Weston-super-Mare Library - on the first Saturday of each month - with the first session on the 2nd July, from 2.00pm to 3.30pm.  You can bring your own laptop to work on if you prefer. Please bring whatever information you have about your family which will enable the volunteer to help you.  Only four people can attend each session and this time you will have to book through the Library (the Society cannot take bookings). Contact the library on 01934 426010 or email Weston.library@n-somerset.gov.uk to make your booking.

The Weston Library is a great resource for family historians covering all the parishes in North  Somerset.  It can also give access to local to local newspapers on film; however, these are not indexed but if you are prepared to search the pages for it and not be side-tracked by all the interesting articles in the neighbouring columns it can be a rewarding experience! The Electoral Rolls and Street Directories are also a goldmine of information as are the number of maps available.  Files of information about local people and places associated with the area are anther rich source.  Don't forget Brian Austin's collection of Family Trees. 

Free Web sites

I apologise that the list of free Web Sites on our home page is in need of correction. The North Somerset Libraries no longer give access online to some of the most useful sites like the Times Digital Archive, The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and others which can still be accessed if you have a Bristol Library Card!  I will try to amend that list as soon as possible.  Please check with your local library to see whether you have access to these as it seems to vary across the country.

Addition to Ancestry Church Records

  • The Bristol C of E Marriages on Ancestry now covers 1754-1937 with images
  • The Bristol C of E Baptisms on Ancestry now covers 1813-1921 with images
  • East and West Sussex C of E Baptisms, Marriages and Burials from 1538 – 1920 (Baptisms) - 1936 (marriages) – 1995 (burials)

The 1950 Census of America

The 1950 Census of America was released during May. To search it go to https://1950census.archives.gov/search/ There is a useful series of videos on Youtube about how to use it to your advantage.    More details about these can be seen here

Who do you think you are? 

The web site has been very quiet – just one research query in the last 3 months – perhaps you may get inspiration from the current series of Who Do You Think You Are.  The first one about Sue Perkins was really interesting especially dealing with the Isle of Mann and the Knockaloe Internment Centre during WW1     The following programmes are scheduled:

  • Richard Osman - 9 June, 9pm BBC1
  • Matt Lucas - 16 June, 9pm BBC1
  • Anna Maxwell Martin - 23 June, 9pm BBC1
  • Ralf Little - 30 June, 9pm BBC1

WDYTYA is still one of the best programmes for gaining tips for future research, but remember how many researchers they use and how many people have been discounted as not being interesting enough!  Several TV programmes give a nod towards family history but many of them are designed as entertainment rather than giving any tips for research.  The best of the DNA programmes is probably “DNA Family Secrets” with the brilliant, Professor Turi King, who explains the system rather than just giving the answers.         

The experience of tracing and finding blood relations through DNA in these instances is a deeply emotional one and there needs to be a support network set up for both sides to see that mental health issues are addressed.

Irish Records Recovered

On June 27th a new free resource will become available for those of you who have Irish ancestry and who thought all records were destroyed in June 1922.  More information can be seen on this short video called "Beyond 2022" This is an encouraging and inspiring project which has gathered together evidence from a multitude of sources to enhance the resulting digital archive.

Basic Research Caveats

  • Not every record is online - one of the most valuable records - Overseers' Accounts - are difficult to transcribe or index but have fascinating information.
  • Original records may have errors - age, name etc.
  • You will make mistakes - we all do!
  • Handed-down family stories may not be accurate but may contain a grain of truth.
  • You will never finish!

Jubilee Celebrations

And now, that Jubilee!  We have Bank Holidays on Thursday and Friday the 2nd and 3rd June giving us a 4-day Holiday which we all hope that you will enjoying celebrating the 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II.  If you are meeting up with family during this time, why not take the opportunity to record any memories. In the last newsletter I shared some memories of Coronation Day in 1953 in the hope that some of you might have added your own but perhaps you are all too young, as nothing materialised.

This time I’m looking at the Silver Jubilee in 1977. I recently found some photographs of that time in Weston.  There were street parties – and a visit from the Queen.  None of my photos actually show the Queen! – just the scouts and guides displaying on the Beach Lawns  and the crowds lining the route. 

Street Parties were put on for the residents of a number of roads – This is a poor photograph of the cake for a party near me - but it does name the streets involved:

Called the Selbourne Road Street Party (half of which was closed for the event) it included Addiscombe Road, Beaumont Close, Bedford Road, Dumfries Place, Southville Road, Stanhope Road, Totterdown Road, and Whitting Road.  Strangely the only other road on the east side of Devonshire Road, Brownlow Road, is not mentioned - perhaps there were no children from there taking part.  The food was a buffet along one side of the road and provision was made for other games for the children.

Guitar entertainment was provided by the late and talented Bob Allam from Uphill.  I would take a small bet that one of the items he sang would have been a rendition of the highly appropriate Ralph Mctell’s “Streets of London”.  

Bob taught Guitar at an Evening Class for what was then the Extra Mural Department of Weston College and the “Streets of London” could often be heard pervading the building.    

There was also a fancy-dress parade for the children.   If this “King for a Day” bears any resemblance to me, it must be due to DNA!

If you have any memories of the Silver, Golden or Diamond Jubilees, please add a comment.

A picture containing text, newspaperDescription automatically generatedOur Ancestors would have celebrated Queen Victoria’s various Jubilees. In 1897 her Diamond Jubilee was marked in Weston by a parade through the town, a tea for Children, a meat dinner for the elderly poor and a public collection to set up a free library.  The resulting Grade II listed building was opened in 1900 in the Boulevard designed by Hans Fowler Price but sadly was sold when the library moved into the Town Hall.

The newspapers were full of plans for how each of the surrounding villages would mark the occasion but there was also this historical note about the Golden Jubilee of George III in 1809.  It seems that history does repeat itself!  Read more details here 

Jubilee Road 

I assume that Jubilee Road in Weston-super-Mare was named to honour the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. How many of our members or FB members have found ancestors living there?  The 1891 census shows 73 households in Jubilee Road. That 73 does not mean that there were 73 houses because in several cases two families (households) were living in the same house.  Each house had a name rather than a number.  We have had several new members of the Facebook Group who have joined because they are researching the house in which they live.  It is fascinating to look at the history of your house or the land on which it was built. Know Your Place can often provide an insight into the previous use of the land or building, sometimes you may find photographs in the Community Layer.  County Archives are useful for planning permission and changes of use of buildings. The plans may list the original owner or architect and Censuses and Street Directories give more information.

Future Events

Looking forward to August we are planning to take a stand at the Hutton Festival - "Taste of Somerset" which will take place on Wednesday 31st August in St Mary's Field in Hutton.  More details to follow.

Next Members' Meeting

Our next Members' Meeting will take place at 2.30pm -5.00pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall, Baytree Road on Wednesday June 8th and visitors are welcome.  At this meeting the remainder of our stock of Library Books will be offered for sale.  If you are interested in any but are not attending please contact our Secretary, Brian Airey.   The doors open at 2.30pm and the Speaker, Don Bishop, will start at 3.00pm.  The topic will be the West Somerset Railway - his web site has a splendid collection of photographs of the rolling stock. For those members who are unable to attend, the talk will be recorded and made available later on our web site for viewing at your convenience.


Enjoy the coming celebrations but when researching don't forget to ask for help if you need it, either on our Research Forum on the Web site or by posting your query on the Facebook Group.  Comment and additions to the Newsletter welcome.

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re Family Bible
published by Brian & Pam Airey on Thu, 12/05/2022 - 13:55

Going through the bible again I have found a Millicent BALL who died in Langford in 1968. Again if anyone is related please get in touch

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Forthcoming Events

Workshop by Zoom: Axbridge Workhouse: Pat Hase
Wednesday, 26th June, 2024 19:30 - 21:00
Library Help Session
Saturday, 6th July, 2024 14:00 - 15:30
Physical Members' Meeting
Wednesday, 10th July, 2024 14:30 - 17:00
Library Help Session
Saturday, 7th September, 2024 14:00 - 15:30
Physical Members' Meeting: site visit
Wednesday, 11th September, 2024 14:30 - 16:30
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