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April 2024 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 02/04/2024 - 0:02

Everything seems to be happening this weekend.  It is Easter with two Bank Holidays, the clocks have to be put forward 1 hour and it’s April Fool’s Day! And it's raining again!  How are you getting on with your family research?

Summer Time

Did you all remember to alter your clocks on Saturday evening?  As a child, I have a vague memory of the double summer time instituted during WW2.  Having to go to bed in broad daylight was a strange experience.  At least we had black-out curtains then which did help a little!

Easter in Rome

A portrait of a personDescription automatically generatedWatching the current Pope deliver his Easter Message reminded me that during WW2, my father who was severely wounded at Monte Cassino in 1944, after a partial recovery and classed as disabled, had spent the rest of the war in REME Workshops in Rome.  He did not come home until 1946. 

During this time,  he visited the Vatican with other troops for a gathering which was attended by the then Pope.  Not all his comrades were selected and several who were Catholics asked him (not a Catholic) to take various items with him so that when they sent them to their families, they could say that these had been in the presence of the Pope Pius Xll. 
My father kept this small card from that occasion.

This photo is of the group has my father sitting on the ground at the left hand end of the front row.



I have posted on Facebook the same request for information about inebriated women as you will find in our Research Forum.  This is an interesting project and has produced some relevant comments.  Looking at these women I can see that in some cases the Police Courts were sympathetic to their problems but in others (one woman was before them 17 times) less so but concerned about the welfare of the children involved. Looking at any problem with the benefit of C21st knowledge can sometimes produce a different result than if you were totally aware of the conditions and the social pressures of the time.

 Civilian Casualties of WW2 in Weston.

Here is a reminder that if you have any connection with any of Civilian casualties in Weston of WW2 and wish to attend this service please make sure that you let the BRL know as outlined below.  

REMEMBERING THE WESTON BLITZ 1941/42 – Sunday 9th June 2024

To mark the 80th Anniversary of D-Day the Weston Branch Royal British Legion will be holding a Memorial Service at the Civilian War Graves area of Milton Cemetery to commemorate those who lost their lives during the Blitz of 1941 and 1942. The Service will take place at 3pm on Sunday 9th June 2024.

The Branch would like to invite to this Service any relative, descendent or friend of those that lost their lives during the Blitz. If you would like to attend, please contact tthe Branch representative on 01934 709564 or e-mail r.potter60@talktalk.net

New Items on Ancestry

These items have been added or updated during March.

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated

It is always a good idea to check to see if your ancestor is included in any update.

New Items on FindmyPast

These items have been added or updated recently and can be seen on this blog I wonder how many of us have relatives in Country Life?!
However, as a side issue, many of you will know that we used to run a vintage car for Wedding Hire and the past owners of that car may well appear.
I don’t only research relatives but also those who connect with us.

Research Forum - Napoleonic Wars

A person wearing a red uniformDescription automatically generatedBrian Airey has posted that he has access to a file of information about the Napoleonic Wars compiled by the late David Milner.  Brian is prepared to look up any person you think might be included.  You never know what is included in this file.

David Milner, who for many years was our Treasurer, spent a great deal of his time researching these wars as he had an ancestor involved.  On Open Days he would dress in uniform to create a suitable atmosphere.

Please use the Research Forum if you need help in breaking down brick walls or are simply unsure of where to look for individuals.

Free Help Session

The next free help session in Weston Library will take place on Saturday, April 6th at 2.00 p.m. until 3.30 p.m.  Everyone is welcome, the Library has access to Ancestry and FindmyPast (which includes many newspapers) as well as on the shelves where you can find maps, street directories, electoral rolls, and files containing information about people and places in North Somerset etc.  Thanks go to our team of Volunteers who enable these sessions to take place.  

Scout Hut in Totterdown Road

My father-in-law was a scout with the 3rd Weston-super-Mare (St Paul’s) Scout Group  back during WW1 when they met in Whitecross Road. Much later, both our sons were scouts with the same Group,  meeting at the Gilcraft Den at 41, Totterdown Road and I served for some time on their committee. One of my sons is now a Trustee and has been involved in the planning and fundraising for a renovation of the Hut which is now taking place.

He is looking for exterior photographs of the Den as well as  maps to show its previous use as a cowshed.  The Somerset Archives has plans for it in 1923 and 1947.  If anyone is going to Taunton in the near future perhaps they could take a look for me? The next visit of the North Somerset Archivist to Weston Library is in June.


The National Library of Scotland has a map of 1929-1930 of Weston which does show it opposite the end of Whitting Road.  This is a good free source of maps as well as Know Your Place.

Next Society Meeting

There has been a change of speaker for the next meeting on Wed. 10th April at 2.30pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall.   It will be Merchant Seamen in the C19th & C20th by Lucy Browne: what their lives were like and how to research them. 
Many have a more praiseworthy service than our relation - Henry Austin HASE - who was born in Weston in 1857 but was sentenced to spend time on board the Training Ship Formidable in 1871.  From there he was apprenticed to the Merchant Navy and placed aboard the SS William from which he absconded in 1873 in Liverpool after his first voyage.

Ancestry has this record of him. 

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There was an excellent Zoom Workshop in March given by Mark Bayley from The Genealogist.  It is now available for all members to view on our web site.  It made me realise that whatever commercial site you subscribe to – there may well be areas of it which you have  never used. So, make sure that you get full benefit from your subscription.

The Zoom meeting on April 24th will be hosted by Mark Olsen of Family Tree Maker with news on the website with discounts and door prizes included.  

The Society

We are still in need of assistance on the Committee and a great many thanks are due to all those who struggle on to support this society.  Please consider what you can do to make sure that it survives.  Your opinion about what you think a society should or could provide, how to attract  younger people and meet their needs is of great importance. 

News TopicMonthly Update
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Finding Eliza Carr
published by Peter de Dulin on Wed, 20/03/2024 - 11:49
News TopicFairs, Seminars & Talks
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Napoleonic Wars
published by Brian & Pam Airey on Thu, 14/03/2024 - 12:18

I have just been through our archives and found records produced by a former member, David Milner, on regiments, personnel and other records concerning the Napoleonic Wars. The file is too large for this website but I will be happy to do a look up for anyone interested in a particular name.

Brian Airey

News TopicMilitary
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Tickenham St Quiricus & St Julietta
published by Graham Payne on Thu, 14/03/2024 - 11:15

The Tickenham St Quiricus & St Julietta MIs are now available for society members to view online.

Please report any transcript errors or if you can provide information relating to incomplete entries to the author of this news article.


News TopicTranscripts
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Birnbeck Pier- Back from the Brink
published by Peter de Dulin on Wed, 13/03/2024 - 19:53
News TopicGeneral
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Workshop 27th March
published by Peter de Dulin on Fri, 01/03/2024 - 16:58

Further to Pat's newsletter, I have had to change the workshop for the 27th March.

We welcome Mark Bayley from The Genealogist who will give us a presentation called Breaking down brick walls in your family history research.

How to resolve stumbling blocks in your family history research using new and unique search strategies to find those missing relatives. This includes searching for a family using just the individuals' forenames, using keyword search tools, using criteria other than a name to search on, and using other advanced search techniques. The talk also covers unique data sets such as Non-Conformist records, Non-Parochial records, Fleet marriages, Will images, Parish Records, Directories, Newspapers and more.

Login details will follow in due course


Peter de Dulin

vice chair

News TopicGeneral
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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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