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Weston Library Help Session - March 3rd 2018 CANCELLED
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 14:39

We have cancelled the session in the Library due to the weather conditions but we will be there as usual the following Saturday March 10th from 2.00-3.30 pm.  If you have any queries about your research please use the Research Forum.

News TopicEvents
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March 2018 Update
published by Pat Hase on Thu, 01/03/2018 - 23:58

It’s the 1st of March today, St David’s Day, the Patron Saint of Wales, when the Welsh amongst us proudly wear a daffodil (or leek) and we all celebrate the coming of Spring.  Today, the weather is hardly Spring-like, with dire warnings of snow, and I wonder how our ancestors, without the benefit of detailed weather forecasting, managed!

February Meeting

Lois Sparshott gave an interesting and thought-provoking presentation about how you might write up your family history.  She gave many useful tips on how to start and suggested ways of structuring your writing to make it accessible to your reader. 

Writing as Lois Elsden she is a published author and several of her books have a genealogical theme. Her latest, published as a paperback, is called Radwinter.  You can read more about her and the contents of her talk here.  During the questions following her talk Lois also spoke about self-publishing using Kindle via Amazon and this was of interest to some of our members. 

Releases during February

During February there were some welcome new releases of information  including a new database of prisoners on board the Prison Hulks and the coloured Tithe Maps of Buckinghamshire accompanied by a helpful article about Tithe Maps.

Buckets and Spades

Thanks to Sue Maguire (and Paul) we now have available the latest edition of our Journal.  Following our February meeting it is hoped that you will be inspired to write short articles based on your family research.  It doesn’t have to be about Weston families – many of our local members are researching people from different parts of the country.  The deadline for inclusion in the June issue is in May but Sue would love to have any before that so that she can produce a balanced edition.

Events during March

The Free Help Sessions in the Libraries continue throughout March – so if you would like some individual advice or are stuck with a brickwall do use these events to see if we can help.  All details on the website. You don’t have to be a member to get help!

DNA and me

I’ve had a DNA test done and one of my possible links has the surname JONES!  A man in Australia shares some DNA with me and he is descended from a JONES transported to Tasmania in 1832 for a crime committed in a village in Wiltshire. The same village in which my great grandfather, David JONES was born in 1838.  My paper research hasn’t yet shown a firm connection yet but of course it could have been several generations before this.  All this points to

  1. the need to continue widening my JONES research in this area
  2. Including the siblings of my direct ancestors (and the convict’s ancestry) just in case! 

It also shows that

  1. DNA can provide additional chromosomal evidence.
  2. DNA does not, and never can, replace traditional document-based research

Looking at DNA testing in general and the results posted by individuals it seems to me that a great many people have had DNA tests done with little or no understanding or experience of traditional research. Have a look at the You-tube videos of people discussing their results – mainly about the ethnicity results. They seem to take the ethnicity results at face value, but these results can vary, depending upon which company you have used and the make-up of their data bases. If you match with one of these people, then it becomes difficult to identify where the connection might be because they haven’t done the ground work. The more genealogists who test the greater your chances will be of a match.

However, I am making some progress with my elusive JONES which I would not have done without the DNA test.   

April Events

Thursday April 12th

the Society visits The National Archives at Kew – a few seats still available contact our Secretary, Brian Airey for more details

Saturday April 14th 

FFHS "Every Ancestor Matters" Conference at MShed, Prince’s Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RN 
Full details including Speakers can be see here

Tuesday April 17th

A Family History Workshop The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Family History Research – April 17th from 2.00 until 4.00pm at the  Weston Museum – more details here

Members of the Society will be leading this Workshop and all are welcome to attend whether you are members of the Society or not. 

Saturday April 21st

ALHA Local History Day ALHA Local History Day at UWE Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol from 9.30 – 4.30 pm.  The theme this year is RELIGION AND COMMUNITY, CONFLICT AND CHANGE – and includes as a Speaker, Wendy Thompson, representing the LDS and who has been Chair and Secretary of our Society. She will be talking about “How the Mormons came to Bristol and Grew.”    Full details of topics and the other speakers are included in the PDF document at the end of this Update

Apart from knowing Wendy, I am interested in her topic because attached to my tree I have a family with one of their children born in Salt Lake City – the rest in Bristol after their return.  A daughter of this child’s grandfather’s sister (I didn’t say it was a close relation!) went to Salt Lake City and became one of the seven polygamous wives of Benjamin Franklyn Johnson an elder of the Church.

Roots Tech 2018 – Salt Lake City

Roots Tech is a family history and technology conference and trade show held annually in Salt Lake City, Utah.  It is taking place as I write this and in looking for information about it  I came across this item which I found worth considering– Do We Still Need Genealogy Societies? A conversation with Josh Taylor - This was recorded at Roots Tech 2016 but actually asks a very relevant question at a time when we are considering using Social Media to link with possible members and others who share our interests.  What do you think?

To find out more about Roots Tech go to this web page about  Roots Tech 2018

George Knox

A founder member of the society and an honorary Life Member, George Knox, (membership number was 13) passed away on his 92nd birthday in February.  George and his late wife, Millie, were enthusiastic members of the society supporting many activities.

 In 1990 George was Treasurer and Millie was Secretary and they were in charge of our stand at a time when there were many more Family History Fairs and Open Days than there are now. Consequently, they became well-known to the members of other societies.  Millie became editor of our Journal and George became the Membership Secretary, positions which they held throughout the 1990s. He produced Booklets of Members’ Interests and George would take early transcriptions of parish records and censuses to Shows for people to search (before these appeared online).  When the 1891 census was released George oversaw a team of transcribers working on the local area and the result was published in booklet format. 

Any society depends on the work done by its members and we have been lucky to have had many members who have worked tirelessly on its behalf over the years.  We are grateful to all who contribute including the Coffee and Tea makers!

March Meeting

Neil Gibson will be guiding us through the gentle art of digital photography and editing so that we can make the most of our old photographs when illustrating our family history. 

If you know of any new resources which have become available, please post them as a comment to this Update

News TopicMonthly Update
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Federation Conference
published by Brian Airey on Wed, 28/02/2018 - 9:10

FFHS Members - FFHS Every Ancestor Matters Conference MShed, Prince’s Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RN Saturday 14th April 2018 The programme has been assembled to both broaden and deepen your understanding of the wonderfully diverse and absorbing interest we call 'Family History'. On Saturday 14th April you can expect to discover answers to many questions you don’t yet know to ask! Intrigued? You should be! Are you enthusiastic to learn from acknowledged experts on the following research topics: Wills? British India? Gypsy Heritage? Adoption? ... and maybe much more? The FFHS Every Ancestor Matters Conference sessions at the Bristol M Shed on Saturday 14th April are designed to enlighten your understanding in such areas. Our programme will include talks by the following accomplished speakers: John Hanson - Professional Genealogist Peter Bailey - FIBIS + FFHS Beverley Walker - Romany and Traveller Family History Society Dr Penny Walters - Adoption Research Expert Book for our Saturday Session of the FFHS Every Ancestors Matters conference ... and you'll also be offered the (optional) opportunity to attend further lectures on Friday 13th April ... and/or accompanied visits to places of interest in the Bristol area on Sunday 15th April. Booking: Attendance at the Saturday 14th April session of the FFHS Every Ancestor Matters Conference is £39:50. Capacity is limited to 60, so Please Book Early to avoid disappointment https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ffhs-every-ancestor-matters-conference-bristol-tickets-42528771701

News TopicFairs, Seminars & Talks
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George Knox
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 23/02/2018 - 23:10

It is with sadness that we have learned of the death of George Knox, aged 92, Life Member of this Society.   With his wife, Millie, George contributed greatly to the Society.  They were in charge of our Stand at numerous Family History Fairs and were well known to other societies. Millie, who died  in 2015, was our Secretary and George edited the Journal as well as overseeing the transcription of the 1891 census when it was released and he produced our first publications of transcriptions in booklet format.  We miss them both and our sympathy goes to their family.

His Funeral service will be at Weston-super-Mare Crematorium on Monday February 26th at 11.00am. Family flowers only by request but donations in memory of George to Diabetes UK may be sent c/o L Bennett & Son Funeral Directors 9 Queens Rd Clevedon BS21 7TH. Tel 01275 875882.

News TopicPeople
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New Blagdon Parish Transcripts
published by Graham Payne on Fri, 23/02/2018 - 18:22

The Blagdon parish transcripts have been updated to include the following periods and are now available to view online.

Baptisms 1555-1599

Burials 1556-1599

Marriages 1576-1599

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

News TopicTranscripts
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The National Archives events
published by Brian Airey on Fri, 23/02/2018 - 16:38

The National Archives Suffrage 100 projects and records As it is 100 years since women received the vote and The National Archives have sent us information about new records that have been released. To mark the anniversary they have launched their Suffragette 100 season. There are lots of talks and events taking place at The National Archives as well as the new records and for more information please follow the link below. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/suffrage-100

News TopicEvents
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Forthcoming Events

Society Meeting
Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019 19:00 - 21:00
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 27th April, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 4th May, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 11th May, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 18th May, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
<- View calendar for more






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