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November 2021 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 31/10/2021 - 19:08

Release of 1921 Census

The biggest news in the last month has been the release date for the 1921 Census.  It will answer a few queries you may have about your family and their lives just after the 1st World War and no doubt raise more questions.  On January 6th 2022,  Find My Past will give you access to the last census many of us will be able to interrogate.  The 1931 census was destroyed and there was not a census in 1941 during WW2, which is why the 1939 Register has been so helpful.  There are several interesting articles online with the background to the 1921 Census including this one from the National Archives which includes information about some webinars it is offering during November to assist your preparation for the release.

New items on Ancestry

During October these new items have appeared

100 Years of Education

The clocks were put back 1 hour last evening. and the autumn leaves are now falling from the trees, bringing back memories of School Days when as small children we collected the multi coloured leaves, pressed them and created collages, incidentally learning to identify trees from the leaves.  The recent repeat of the BBC Programme "Back in Time for School" which is still available on iPlayer. featured the changes in education over the years. We have all had experience of some form of schooling and there were parts which made me want to shout at the TV.  I went to a mixed Primary School, a Girls' Grammar School and then taught in a Secondary Modern School and there were aspects which did not fully match my experiences or memories of that time. 

The development of the education provision in Weston is interesting with a large number of private boarding schools in the area.  The first National School opened in Weston 1844/5 was St John's School, on the corner where the College is now, had these rules.  The last one is particularly interesting in view of the current situation - this was against smallpox but was compulsory.

While on the subject of TV programmes - Last month I highlighted that "Who Do you think you are?" was returning to the screens,  The Genealogist has some featured articles including some which are reviewing these and other programmes.

Local Scouts

I have temporary access to a brilliant Log Book of the Mendip Rovers which were the fore-runners of the 9th Weston-super-Mare Scouts attached to Emmanuel Church.  This handwritten book goes from Sept 1927 until Sept 1943 and contains many local names.  There were 4 Founder Members - L.HUMBY, E.ATKINSON, R.POPE and M.STOCKER with Mr R.E.MONK as their "Rover Mate".  For many of their activities they were supported by "The College" Troop - 10th Weston under Mr N.G. PARTRIDGE.  Their first Camp was at Max Mills Farm at Easter 1928 and they attended the opening of the Hospital in July 1928, acting a Stewards. By Sept 1929 they decided to become a Scout Troup with 2 Patrols - new members named after that included Eric KNOWLES, Reg GRIFFITHS, E.PHILLIPS, Henry ALLEN, J.HENDERSON, R. GARTH, R.WRIGHT, Warwick CASEY and D.WILLIAMS etc.  If you have any connection with these or think you may have other links I would be pleased to search for names for you.   

Another interesting item caught my eye that in 1940. 

"two members of the troop helped St Paul's troop to gather Autumn Crocuses for the Government , cycling to Shipham where they found them growing wild in the fields"

On further investigation I found that large quantities of Meadow Saffron (Colchicum autumnale) bulbs were collected to provide the drug colchicine, used to reduce inflammation. With 12 tones of bulbs needed in WW2, collectors were instructed to gather them from pastures and meadows in which they grew when these were being ploughed up to grow crops.

With Remembrance Day approaching it was sobering to read of the death of Eric KNOWLES, who lost his life at sea while serving as a Ship's Engineer in the Merchant Navy. 

The entries stop in 1943 and it appears that the troop was disbanded at that time although there is no actual mention of that. 

Society Meetings

On Thursday 18th November we will be holding our AGM via Zoom which will be accompanied by a quiz and a short talk by me about the "Legacy to Weston from the JACKSON-BARSTOW Family". 

This will be the last Zoom presentation, as actual meetings will start again at our new meeting place of Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall in Baytree Road on the 2nd Wednesday afternoons of each month starting on Dec 8th from 2.30-5.00pm.  This will be a Christmas Meeting with Ian Sage talking about "Farler's Coal Pit, Nailsea" and accompanied by seasonal refreshments.

Please add any comments you may have about this newsletter or to share helpful advice and information to other members.

News TopicMonthly Update
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Proposed Changes to Society Constitution
published by Brian & Pam Airey on Sat, 23/10/2021 - 10:27

Your committee proposes the attached amendment to our constitution to bring us up to date with digital age. This will be submitted to the AGM on 18th November.

ITEM 7 FINANCES. After " these shall be signed by any TWO of the Signatories or through recognised internet" Add " or telephone banking procedure"

ITEM 8. "Given the need for the Society to hold AGM and/or Executive Committee Meetings despite COVID restrictions on physical meetings, the Executive Committee resolve that in order to comply with good governance it will hold the next AGM and future Executive Committee meetings online virtually or as hybrid meetings despite the lack of authority to do so in the constitution. Persons who register to join the meeting online in accordance with the information supplied by the Society will be taken to be present and count as part of the quorum and be entitled to join and participate in the relevant meeting as if they were physically present"

ITEM 9. VOTING delete "by closed ballot" and insert "by show of hands"

The reasons for the amendments are as follows:

ITEM 7. Modern technology allows for both electronic means of making transactions. The safe guard will be that there are still 2 persons to authorise the transaction.

ITEM 8. Dispensation was granted to permit organisations to hold meetings of members (AGMs & GMs), committee meetings and regular meetings of members "virtually" despite the lack of authority to do so in the constitutions. The Corporate Insolvency & Governance Act 2020 (CIGA) permitted this and the dispensation was supported by the Charity Commission who adopted a pragmatic approach permitting delayed meetings and for them to be held virtually rather than face to face. Many societies took up the dispensation and indeed found it helpful to hold virtual meetings.

This dispensation ended on 30th March. COVID restrictions will no doubt vary over time but the above amendments should enable continued good governance of your Society.

Brian Airey


News TopicGeneral
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fiche reader to give away
published by Brian & Pam Airey on Thu, 21/10/2021 - 18:48

We have been contacted by a person who has a fiche reader to give away. If anyone is interested please contact me

Brian Airey


News TopicGeneral
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Flax Bourton St Michael & All Angels Monumental Inscriptions.
published by Graham Payne on Wed, 06/10/2021 - 9:28

The Flax Bourton St Michael & All Angels MIs transcripts are now available for society members to view online.

If you find any transcript errors or can provide information on any of the incomplete/missing inscriptions please contact the editor of this news article.

News TopicTranscripts
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October 2021 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/10/2021 - 17:42

Another month has passed, and the Society is now seriously planning for the future, post pandemic.  As a result of the answers to the questionnaires the committee has decided to restart actual members’ meetings on Wednesday December 8th at a new location.  

Society Meetings

  • These meetings will take now place at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall in Baytree Road, on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the afternoons from 2.30 p.m. until 5.00 p.m. This is in response of requests from members for daytime meetings rather than evening ones.  Arrangements are being made for the speaker to be recorded and the talk paced on our web site for those who are unable to attend the meetings.  It is a first for us to have a meeting in December and we will celebrate with seasonal refreshments and a raffle.  Please bring any  contributions you may have as prizes for the raffle.
  • On Thursday October 21st at 7.00 p.m. Alan Clark will be talking via Zoom about “The Temperance Movement in and around Bristol”
  • On Thursday November 18th at 7.00 p.m. we will have a Zoom AGM covering the last two years
  • The September talk by Grace RUBERY is now available to view from our Web Site.  Once you have signed in, look for Videos under your name on the main menu.

Online Courses

  • Starting on October 7th is a 4 week Online Introductory Course for Family History  It is being run by the Family History Federation with a signing on fee of only £10.00 and will cover a vast range of research aspects.
  • Bristol University is also offering an 8 week online “Introduction to Genealogy” starting on the 26th October. This course will cost £140.00

FamilySearch Digitalisation

This has been announced from Familysearch and as a free resource for family historians it should not to be overlooked. This project to digitalise their micro film collection means that you can find images of census records, parish records and many older Court records online. It is not always easy to find a particular parish but is worth the effort. Some of the records can only be seen at LDS Family History Centres but there are a large number available for the public.  Images can often solve the problem of faulty transcriptions.   For example, although not found on FamilySearch,  - The 1841 census of Rodney Stoke reveals the relationship between John and George CASELEY who are mentioned on the same Grave Stone Memorial in the churchyard of St Leonard’s Church, Rodney Stoke.


George CASELEY has been entered under occupation as “Brother living with one”.  This has been deleted by the enumerator so that does not appear on any transcription, but it gave me the relationship between John and George.  

T.V Programmes

Our Lives

As part of ongoing series of programmes entitled   BBC - Our Lives, Series 5, Finding My Family which celebrates the diversity of lives in the UK, at 7.30 p.m on  the 11th October BBC 1 will broadcast one which covers the search about “Finding My Family”  about a baby girl who was abandoned at birth Manchester.

Who Do You Think You Are?

This ever-popular programme starts another series on Tuesday October 12th on BBC 1 at 9.00 p.m. when the subject will be Josh WIDDICOMBE   A preview of this series with all the participants can be seen here.  It is amazing to realise that this programme has been running for 18 series over the past 10 years. You can still watch 50 of these previous programmes on iplayer 

A House Through Time

The current series has now finished but is still available on iplayer.   I think that this time it was less about the house in question but, situated where it was, it was much more about the mainly middle-class families who lived there over the years, their interests  and the contacts which they made – some of whom probably never visited the house.  There were some lodgers there just after the second world war, when a widow was living there who needed to augment her income.  It was only fairly recently, in the 1990s, when for a time, it became a home for a number of students that it ceased to be a family home.

Trace your own “Home Through Time”

Inspired by the BBC series I have been looking at a building in Bristol which was the home between the 1840s until the 1870s of my great great grandfather and his family.  You may have seen a query I place on our Research Forum  Weston-super-Mare & District Family History Society (wsmfhs.org.uk) about it. Although my family were only there for a time in the mid 19th Century the house which was a timber-framed Elizabethan Building has records in the Bristol Archives dating back to  1624. The building was demolished after a 1942 Bombing incident involving 3 loaded buses and I can remember the concern in my family not only for the 48 lives lost at that time  (my mother knew some of them) but also because of the house which my grandfather knew and had been taken there after it left the hands of the LONG family but was still looked upon as the ancestral home. Newspaper archives have been very useful in finding anecdotes about their life there. 

Ox in 19 Broad Weir

I also noticed that in 1867 the workmen in the employ of Thomas LONG of Broad Weir donated £2.2s to the fund supporting the Bristol Infirmary, and he also asked a neighbour to contribute to the same cause as a way of apologising to him for inferring that he was keeping a brothel!  More information about the Bristol Royal Infirmary can be seen here  

Returning to 19 Broad Weir - In 1869 my great grandfather, who was then about 20 years old, offered a clutch of Black Red Game Eggs for sale for 7/6d.  I wonder where he was  breeding these.  The following year this advertisement appeared.

Fore Sale

Military Research

I have recently been sent the Army Lists for 1816-1915 and am willing to look up anyone who members may think would be helpful for their research.

The Autumn

  • Our ancestors were probably more aware of the traditional celebrations which marked the change of seasons
  • We passed the Autumn Equinox on the 22nd September and now the nights are longer than the days in this country.  Michaelmas, or the Feast of Michael and All Angels, is celebrated on the 29th of September every year. As it falls near the equinox, the day is associated with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days…
  • Throughout October Harvest Festivals Harvest Festival - the facts, customs and traditions (projectbritain.com)   will take place on the Sunday nearest the first full moon after the Autumn Equinox which this year will be Oct 3rd
  • Diwali   When is Diwali 2021? Start date, meaning behind Hindu festival of lights and how it's celebrated (inews.co.uk)  occurs each Autumn for Hindus and others when lights brighten the days.  As the name suggests, temples and houses observing Diwali are very brightly illuminated to celebrate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. This year it will be in early October.
  • Halloween,  History and Traditions of Halloween in Britain | Historic UK (historic-uk.com) the night of October 31st   which many in this country think of as an American tradition, dates back to historic times and can be associated with Celtic customs
  • Autumn is also the time which, when the days are shorter, families have more time to think about their ancestors and how they lived.  If you are starting your research or are puzzled about an elusive ancestor why not use our Research Forum or make sure that your SURNAMES have ben added to the Surname Interest list so that others can contact you? 

Looking forward to the talk in October about Temperance.  Am I correct in believing that the Albert Hotel on the Sea Front was a Temperance Hotel?

If you have found anything in this newsletter helpful or you would like to add to or question anything to it please use the comments facility.

News TopicMonthly Update
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Blackford Holy Trinity Monumental Inscriptions
published by Graham Payne on Sun, 19/09/2021 - 9:47

The Blackford Holy trinity MIs are now available for Society members to view online. 

Once again thank you to member Sue Hoddinott for providing the photographs. 

If you see any transcript errors or can complete any of the missing inscriptions please contact the author of this news article.

News TopicTranscripts
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Forthcoming Events

Workshop by Zoom: Guild of One-Name Studies
Wednesday, 24th July, 2024 19:30 - 21:30
Library Help Session
Saturday, 7th September, 2024 14:00 - 15:30
Physical Members' Meeting: site visit
Wednesday, 11th September, 2024 14:30 - 16:30
Library Help Session
Saturday, 5th October, 2024 14:00 - 15:30
Physical Members' Meeting
Wednesday, 9th October, 2024 14:30 - 17:00
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