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August 2023 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 01/08/2023 - 1:22

Welcome to the August Newsletter.  We do not have a meeting during August but hope to see you at the Hutton “Taste of Somerset” Show on August 30th where we will have a stand.  There will not be a Free Help Session in August but anyone can visit the library at any time it is open to add to their research. You will have access to Ancestry and Find My Past at Weston Library as well as the resources found in the Library.

Members are reminded of the Anniversary Dinner on the 18th September and encouraged to let Peter de Dulin know your choices.  More details 

Why did they move?

Some years ago, I  took part in a survey – I think it was run by Leicester University – to look at the reasons for internal migration in the UK. Why did your ancestors move around the country?  Just considering my own parents who only moved within Bristol was interesting. How moves can be made for reasons imposed rather than by choice. 

  1. My parents were married in 1935 and had saved enough for a deposit on a bungalow at Brislington, not far from where my father was employed at Crittall Windows on the Bath Road. 
  2. In 1939 the illness of my widowed maternal grandfather meant that my parents rented out their bungalow and went to live with him in Greenbank to care for him.  My father changed jobs at this point as well. They can be found with him on the 1939 register. I'm with them but I am pleased to see that as my entry is redacted I must still be alive!
  3. WW2 broke out and I have vague memories of watching war planes fly over while being held by my grandfather.  By 1941 my grandfather had recovered from his illness and had decided to marry again!  War time restrictions meant that my parents were unable to get their bungalow back and so had to rent accommodation in Eastville.
  4. It wasn’t until 1948 that they were able to return to Brislington and then it needed a court order to get the property back. 
  5. In 1961 my paternal grandfather died leaving his house to his 4 children.  It was agreed that my father could buy out his siblings and my parents moved back to his family home at Stapleton, where they remained until my father’s death in 1987. 
  6. My mother then had accommodation in my sister’s home in Filton until her death about 10 years later.

Why did your people move? 

We asked this question to our Facebook Members and had some interesting replies. They ranged from evacuation, for employment, for health reasons, to start a business catering for the holiday trade, to be nearer family members, to getting married. etc.  These reasons can all be included to enhance in your Family History as they breathe life into your story

Society of One Place Studies

10 years ago, Dr Janet Few started this Society to assist people to look in detail at a small area of the country which interested them or was involved their ancestry.  It could be the village or street in which you live or your ancestors lived - to see how it has developed over the years, and the occupations of other residents. it might be a local church, cemetery, prison or workhouse. It could be a local industry like a Pottery, Quarry, Shop, Theatre or Brewery etc., Perhaps the railway, other means of transport, or local sporting activities, the list is endless. Researching places also involves researching the people resident or working in that place.  

In September, to celebrate this 10 year Anniversary there will be an event called“All about that Place” which will introduce you to this type of research which uses those skills which you have honed in your Family History Research

10 minute Talks

The British Association for Local History which is sponsoring “All about that Place” also offers some very interesting 10-minute Talks on video covering a range of subjects. You might not want to spend longer than that watching a video, but these short ones are worth investigating.  Do try one of these 10 minute talks  which interests you. 

Researching the previous inhabitants of your home or road.

If you are choosing to research a road – try a short one!  Just recently I put all the residents of Ewart Road in 1921/22 taken from a Street Directory on to our Facebook Group which resulted in several people recognising their ancestors living there. When comparing the residents with the 1921 census you can see the occupations of all inhabitants and a couple of the wives were taking in washing -describing themselves as Laundress. 

EWART ROAD in 1921/2
From Milton Road
3 TANCOCK, Edwin
11 PHILLIPS, G, Stoke Villa
12 RICE, G
13 KNIGHT, C, Spaxton House
14 STOCKER, Alfred, St Neots
Here Cross over
15 HOCKEY, O W, Surrey Villa
16 ROSSITER, A, Needwood
17 BOND, Wm, Belmont
18 FEAR, Herbert W, Glencoe
19 BOARD, F and LOVELL, R A, Lydenburg
20 WEBB, B J
21 BURNELL, Lewis and MORLEY, D, Lilton Villa
22 BENNETT, Arthur, Brynville
25 BENNETT, F., Ivydene
Other roads in Weston which give examples of work undertaken at home include Holland Street where the long gardens allowed the washing to dry, the buildings at the bottom of the gardens or attached to the house contained the boilers and the wide drives allowed horse and carts to bring laundry from houses on the hill. Check the 1891 census to see how many women are employed as laundresses.
Palmer Street has archways between the terraced houses to allow access to the rear for workmen to bring horse or donkey carts.  Again check on censuses to see what employment the residents have.
Research Forum
As you all seem very reluctant to use our Research Forum – Why is this?  I have asked this question in several Newsletters but never got a reply. 
Where do you get help for your research when you are stuck?   
I find it helps to unravel my research problems by writing them in the form of a request for help.  Sometimes then you can even solve them yourself!
UK Railway Records
While considering movement of ancestors. My great grandfather, William PINNOCK worked for the GWR. His movements were governed by his employment.  
He was born in Winterbourne, Gloucestershire. From his Railway Record (found on Ancestry) I was able to follow his employment from initially joining at Swindon. On the 1871 census he can be found boarding with his uncle’s widow, Esther PINNOCK and described as a fireman on goods trains.
In July the same year he was moved to Weymouth to become a fireman on passenger trains. In Feb 1873 he was stationed at Paddington again as a passenger train fireman.  He married a Jane HARRIS in Weymouth in October 1875 – presumably they had met while he was based in Weymouth and in December 1875 he moved to Reading to work in the Yard as an Engine Turner (responsible for the turntable and for shunting engines).
Jane died in Reading in 1877 and in 1878 he married  my great grandmother, Annie STOKES. from Wraxall who was working as a domestic servant in Reading giving his occupation as an engine driver. They had 5 children before his death in 1885. Annie returned to Bristol as a widow.

His Records also show when he was reprimanded for breaches of the rules.  There is no mention of an inquest on a fellow railwayman – a signal man - who was accidentally killed by his engine when shunting it into the shed.  No blame was attached to him.

This newsletter seems to be more about local history than family history but I hope that it may encourage some of you to look at your research in a different way.  

Please feel free to comment on this newsletter - perhaps to offer advice to other members about how to get the most information about your families and the places in which they lived. 


News TopicMonthly Update
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St Martin's Worle Burials
published by Graham Payne on Fri, 07/07/2023 - 10:18

St Martin's Worle burial transcripts have been up dated to include the period 1938-1964 and are now available for Society members to view online.

Please report any transcript errors to the author of this news article.

News TopicTranscripts
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Anniversary Dinner
published by Peter de Dulin on Sun, 02/07/2023 - 16:43

WSMFHS 40th Anniversary Meal at The Grand Atlantic Hotel

Monday, 18 September 2023 – 7.30 pm


Please find below the menu for our Anniversary Meal. The cost will be £25.95 per person. Please make your choices and return the form and payment.


You can do this:


1.    In Cash to the Vice-chairman

2.    By Cheque payable to ‘Weston-Super-Mare & District Family History Society’


For either of the above, send payment with your completed form to:

Mr P de Dulin, 12 Hazeldene Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 2XL


3.    By Online Banking to ‘Weston-Super-Mare & District Family History Soc.’ (Capital S in Super). Sort code: 40-46-18 and Account No: 51383493

Reference: Your surname and AD (for anniversary dinner)


Email completed form to: anniversarydinner@dedulin.co.uk














WSMFHS 40th Anniversary Meal at The Grand Atlantic Hotel

Monday, 18 September 2023 – 7.30 pm



Mushroom & Tarragon Soup 129kcals

served with a bread roll and butter

Smoked Salmon Crostini 167kcals

crispy baked sourdough and smoked salmon with

horseradish mayonnaise and mixed leaf salad

Brussels Pâté 245kcals

with toasted croûte, mixed leaf and sweet pickle

Breaded Brie Wedges 295kcals

served with cranberry sauce and mixed leaf salad


Steak & Kidney Pie 620kcals

made with suet pastry with chive mash and seasonal vegetables, topped with red wine gravy

Sweet & Sour Chicken 425kcals

tender battered chicken in a sweet and sour sauce on a bed of steamed rice

Salmon & Dill Fishcake 282kcals

served with garden salad and new potatoes

Vegetable Curry served with steamed rice and warm naan bread


Warm Apple Pie 514kcals

served with warm custard

Chocolate & Cherry Cheesecake 410kcals

with a raspberry coulis

Fresh Fruit Salad 192kcals

topped with ice cream

Duo of Ice Cream 214kcals

two scoops of your choice from our range

The cost will be £25.95 per person. Payment can be made in Cash, by Cheque or by Online Banking to: ‘Weston-Super-Mare & District Family History Soc.’ (Capital S in Super)

Sort Code: 40-46-18 and Account No: 51383493

Ref: Your surname and AD (for anniversary dinner)


Please complete your choices and return this form to Mr P de Dulin.















Apple Pie


Fruit Salad

Ice Cream









































News TopicEvents
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Anniversary Dinner
published by Peter de Dulin on Sun, 02/07/2023 - 16:41

Bookings will soon open for our anniversary meal at the Grand Atlantic Hotel on September 18th at 7 for 7:30.

Full details are in Buckets and Spades and also on the website.

The easiest (and cheapest for the Society)  option is to complete the form online and email it to anniversarydinner@dedulin.co.uk and transfer the money via online banking. (Option 3)

News TopicEvents
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July 2023 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 02/07/2023 - 15:48

We are halfway through 2023 and the web site and the facebook group has been rather quiet so I’m hoping that you are all enjoying the weather and perhaps planning to visit those places frequented by your ancestors.  If you need help in finding where to go you could do no better that use Know Your Place  which is tremendously helpful in providing maps and photographs of places of interest. To read more about places on these maps their facebook group has some fascinating and informative postings from Cat Lodge 

Free Help Session

It is too late to remind you of the July Free Help Session at the Library which was on Saturday, 1st July but the next one will be Saturday 5th August from 2,00 p.m. The Library is now offering FindmyPast as well as Ancestry to assist your research.

Missing email address

I recently received an email via our website but it reached me without an email address.  The sender lives in Australia and I would really like to contact her. Her name is Sally SUTHERLAND nee TOY and she is descended from Rebecca Hester Barnard HASE who went to Australia in 1881. Several years ago another descendant of Rebecca’s visited us and we took her over to Axbridge to see the Workhouse where Rebecca had spent some time.  If anyone has any ideas about how I can find Sally I would be delighted.

Next Society Meeting

On Wednesday, 12th July at our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall from 2.30 p.m. member Honey Langcaster-James will be speaking about “Meet my Ancestors” who she describes as early founders of Weston-super-Mare.  Honey has produced a web site Meet My Ancestor in which she reports her research into her family which includes Richard FRY, one of the Weston Worthies.  One of our longest serving members, Anne Woolforth, who carries the Membership Number 49, is the speaker’s cousin and is hoping to come to the meeting from her home in Sussex.

Pamela Mary VOWLES 1929-2023

I was very sorry to hear of the death of Pamela VOWLES who had been a member of our Society for some time. Pam was brought up in Bristol but after her marriage lived in Weston. Until Covid she had regularly attended our meetings but had recently moved to Exeter to be nearer one of her daughters, however, she continued to attend zoom meetings.  We extend our sympathy to her family.

Getting Side-tracked

This week I also got sidetracked by the Ashes!   Although Ben DUCKETT has been associated with first class cricket for many years, I began to wonder whether he had any connections with the DUCKETTs of Somerset.  We have DUCKETTs in our family. Using mainly the free site FREEBMD I tracked his family back to the Liverpool area in the early 19th century and can see no immediate connection.  In fact, he seems to come from a different strata of society than the Wedmore DUCKETTs!


I’ve had a couple of enquiries about Divorce and how to find out about them. 

There are reports of divorces available in the National Archives – use their Discovery Search facility.

I have come across some divorces in our family and have found that newspapers are a resource worth researching.  Frederick Charles MARSHALL (known as Charlie) was an uncle of my husband and had married Doris Jane Maria CRIDDLE in 1935 in the Bridgwater District.  

The family story goes that while Charlie was away serving in WW2 that Doris had several men friends culminating in this Newspaper entry:

As this was held in Bristol details can be found in the Bristol Archives

Doris married again – not to Thomas BRADLEY – but to a William J DAVEY in 1953. Uncle Charlie married  Margery SLOCOMBE in Wells in 1952 and they went to live in Shepton Mallet in Victoria Grove.  Sadly, Charlie died suddenly in a London Hospital in November 1957. Now this is the surprising bit.  Late in 1958 I was sent to Shepton Mallett on Teaching Practice and had digs in Victoria Grove.  My landlady introduced me to her friend Margery who she said had been widowed a year ago.  How was I to know then that I was to meet and marry her late husband’s nephew!

New (and Old) Resources Online

  • Each Friday FindmyPast publishes its latest resources – take a look at  to see what has been added to their site and don’t forget that this is now available in Weston Library. You do need to book to use it . For more details see the announcement by the Library   
  • Ancestry  lists its latest acquisitions and updated records. It may be worth revisiting some areas to find new records.
  • The National Archives with its 155 Guides to Family History Research gives you a marvellous opportunity to familiarise yourself with the background to the records which you are using. 
  • The National Archives still has its free download of digital records such as PCC Wills and Medal Cards etc..  Yes, they can also be obtained through other subscription sources but they are free when obtained from here.  Go to The National Archives Discovery site register or sign in, search in the normal way and then click on “Available for download only”. When you find the document you require click on it and follow the instructions. I searched for “Weston-super-Mare” and the first document was this photograph.  It’s worth seeing what is available.

Wishing you all a happy and fruitful July with your research and don’t forget that the Research Forum and the Facebook Group are available to you to ask for help.  Any comments and advice you can offer to other members will be very welcome.         

News TopicMonthly Update
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June 2023 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Wed, 31/05/2023 - 23:51

Looking back on May, we had Bank Holidays Galore, a Coronation, Community activities and of course our own Society’s celebration of 40 years of Family History Research in Weston. The Open Day on Sat May 20th was an exciting and successful event.  Graced by the presence of the Weston Town Mayor, Councillor Ciaran Cronnelly who with his delightful Mayoress, his wife, Catherine, exhibited great interest, not only in our society, but also in all the other groups which were represented there.

It was interesting to note the extent of the local history research undertaken by the Kewstoke, Worle and Wick St Lawrence Groups and to see what secondary resources they hold.   The Friends of the Mendip Hospital, and the Weston Clevedon & Portishead Railway all had fascinating information about their particular Interests, giving an insight into how people lived locally.  Know Your Place with its array of available maps and how to access them, the Somerset Archives and Weston Library gave examples of how to further your research as did the Church of the Latter Day Saints in Ellenborough Road North. The Family History Group of the Weston U3A, the Somerset & Dorset FHS, the Bristol & Avon FHS, the Anglo-German FHS and our own Stand showed how belonging to societies can broaden your  knowledge.  DNA help was offered  along with a lucrative Book Stall.  And the refreshments were great!

With thanks to Brian Airey for the photograph.  I understand that a full report with more photos will be in the next edition of Buckets and Spades

It was the first time that I had attended a meeting since Lockdown and my cancer diagnosis, and it was marvellous to be greeted so warmly by so many people.  Thank you all. 

Sadly, - I don’t think I picked it up there – but this week I have been suffering from a very heavy cold and I’m afraid that I am unable to complete this newsletter as I had hoped.  Perhaps other committee members will add reminders for all the forthcoming events which I am omitting. The bit about the Workhouse I had already prepared.

Free Help Session at the Library

Don’t forget that next Sat June 3rd will be a free Help Session at the Library from 2.00 – 3.30p.m.

Axbridge Union Workhouse

I have been trying to add the 1921 census to our transcriptions of Axbridge Union Workhouse.  This census distinguishes between inmates and patients making it possible to see whether they were in the Workhouse Infirmary.  Initially I was surprised at the lack of children included in that census until I realised that a Children’s home had been set up in Cheddar in about 1916 where 21 school children aged between 5 and 14 were housed.

 From Google Maps

Children’s Home entries:      Perhaps some of you are researching these surnames?

  •        There were five children with the surname PYMN, four girls and a boy – Winifred, Rose, Elizabeth, Catherine Lucy and George – it says that both their parents are alive – so why were they there?  Their mother’s  maiden name was LAVER and  an elder brother William John PYMN had enlisted into the RAF in 1919. Their father was John William PYMN.
  •        There were four SHEPSTONE children – Amy aged 6, Olive aged 7, Mary aged 9 and Daisy aged 10. It says that their mother had died. Their birthplace was given as Winscombe.
  •        There were five BAKER children from Highbridge – Minnie, aged 13, Mabel, aged 11, Ivy, aged 10, Lucy aged 9 and Janes, aged 8.  Their mother was dead.

Other children listed were

  •        George TOMS, aged 12 from Compton Bishop, mother dead
  •        Edward DEAN, aged 8 from Weare or Meare
  •        Ernest DAVY, aged 13 from Weston-s-Mare
  •        Raymond SALVIDGE, aged 7 from Burnham on Sea
  •        Elsie MILLS, aged 7, from Weston-s-Mare
  •        Hilda GAMLIN, aged 5 not known birthplace
  •        Gilbert Leslie SPRAGUE, aged 11, not known birthplace


     This last one was surprising because his name rang a  bell and I find that he was actually born in Axbridge Workhouse an the 28th May 1910, the s/o Emma SPRAGUE. So why was his birthplace not known to the Workhouse Authorities?  With Emma and his elder sister he was discharged from the Workhouse on the 9th August 1910 but by the time of the 1911 census he was boarding with a nurse, Mary Jane COX in Mark. No sign of Emma nor his sister.     

     There's a lot more research which could be done on these children - What happened next to them?  By this time younger children were often boarded out and a Cottage Home for the Children was favoured to remove them from the Workhouse atmosphere. 

Anyone got a cure for the common cold which might have been used in Weston in the mid-19th Century?




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