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May 2018 Update
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 01/05/2018 - 14:12

May is such an optimistic month – the trees are sprouting, the blossom is out, the birds are nesting and busy feeding their young.  I’ve often thought that if I was visiting the UK for the first time I would choose to come in May.  Apart from that we have two Bank Holidays and a Royal Wedding to look forward to this May.  What is the oldest Wedding Photograph you have – do you know the names of the participants?  Perhaps you could scan it or photograph it and post on our web site under the Research Forum with any other information you may have of the Wedding in question - other members may have connections to the family. Do you have a list of presents from a newspaper account perhaps?

Research

The Research Forum has also been very quiet this month only two queries and one of those was mine!  Thank you to those who made suggestions about where my ancestor lived – I’m really grateful.  Do make use of this facility – we have many experienced members who can help you break down your brick walls.

We did have an enquiry by post about the identity of a Mrs L J GRAY who was living in Burnham-on-Sea in 1931.  She sent a wreath to the funeral of a William Ernest PALMER of Manor Farm Hadenham in Buckinghamshire in 1931 and one of his descendants is keen to identify her as he knew that she had always sent birthday cards to a member of the family. Not certain whether the initials were hers or her husband’s and as yet we have not found her – can anyone help?

Weston Cemetery

Milton Road Cemetery records  are now available for 1856-1923 on our site: These include information of about 250 Weston Residents who died in Axbridge Workhouse – from the early 1900s referred to as Ilex Lodge, Axbridge It also gives the place of death, date of burial and Grave number.

  • Once you have identified a person you will have the grave number and by then searching for that Grave number you can find others buried in the same plot.  Remember that a grave starting with Tc is in consecrated ground and a grave starting with Tu is in un-consecrated ground signifying a non-conformist burial or perhaps a catholic burial when the ground is consecrated at the time of burial. 
  • For example: William HASE, a blacksmith, aged 87, (well, that’s how old someone thought he was!) died in Laura Buildings and was buried on the 12th March 1959 in Grave Tc 4586.  Looking for that grave number I find that on the 29th July 1865 a 4-month-old, Florence HASE, who also died in Laura Buildings was buried in the same grave.  She is shown as the daughter of William & Amelia HASE (she was actually the blacksmith’s granddaughter).  I find this interesting because the family had not purchased the grave, there is no stone on it but presumably the workers in the Cemetery had recognised the relationship and she was buried in the same grave.

Many thanks to Graham and his small team of helpers for making these records available for members, and as the churchyards in Weston were closed to new burials when the cemetery was opened it is a valuable asset to find this information for Weston residents.

Local History in Weston

The North Somerset Studies Room at the Weston Library where we hold our Free Help Sessions on Saturday afternoons contains so much information about parishes in North Somerset, including parish records on fiche of all the parishes.  Dedicated to Frederick Wood who left his substantial library of books to the original Weston Library in the Boulevard it is worth familiarising yourself with what is there.  Ernest Baker a Solicitor in Weston, who lost two sons during WW1, was a keen local historian. 

He interviewed many older inhabitants in the 1880s and published his findings but he also kept extensive scrap books.  Six volumes of these are on the open shelves in the library and make for fascinating reading.  Brian Austin has also given to the library the results of his own research including many family trees of Weston Families which are housed in the filing cabinets in the centre of the room.  Does anyone keep a scrap book now-a-days?

Family History Workshop – April 17th

The take-up for this Workshop at the Museum was very disappointing although the small number who did attend had one-to-one assistance for the afternoon and left expressing satisfaction.  Many thanks to the volunteers who gave up their time and expertise to support the Workshop.  If anyone has suggestions for any other activities which the Society could offer which might be more popular - please let us know.

Familysearch and Digitalised Records

  • During 2017 the LDS announced that they were stopping the facility of sending films of parish records to local Family History Centres because the digitalised records could be accessed online.
  • This short video explains how to find these records but note that many of them are only viewable at pay-for-view sites or at a Family History Centre.  The nearest LDS Family History Centre is in Weston where you can see these records free of charge.
  • As older records become available some will be written in Latin.  To help work out what they mean this site of Common words in Latin is useful. 

GRO Index

  • If you haven’t already done so the GRO Index is really worth while using for checking the mother’s maiden name for births up to 1917 and the age at death up to 1957  Both sets of records start in 1837. 
  • This can be very helpful in checking siblings and making sure that you have buried the correct person!  Because of the restricted 2-year time span you can search on the GRO Index I locate possible people on FreeBMD first and then I can easily find them on the GRO index, sometimes narrowing it down by using the Registration District as well.  Where children have died only months old sometimes they are listed as much older – for example a 14-month-old child may appear as having died aged 14.  Don’t forget that the offer of a cheaper PDF of a birth or death certificate is still available from the same site.
  • The ability to trace siblings and their families becomes important if you decide to have a DNA test where matches may become evident in the lines of cousins. 

The April Members’ Evening

This meeting was well-attended, and Jenny and Peter Towey led the session on using DNA as a family history resource.  The ingenious demonstration involving coloured sweets and yogurt pots showed how our DNA is passed down through the generations and led to some interesting questions from members – some of whom have dipped their toes into DNA and others who were frankly puzzled and slightly sceptical about the whole experience!  For more information look back at the articles which Jenny wrote for our journals  

I have found that actually working with a DNA sample and receiving matches has made me aware of the possibilities of DNA for Family History but I still have an awful lot to learn!

May Events

May 12th              

The Wiltshire FHS will be holding its Family History Fair at Wilton . More information can be found here which includes free talks, there is one on Researching military ancestors – Michael Cornwell of the Rifles Museum which also has a stand at the show. Other talks are about using the Internet for Research and first Steps in family History.

Tuesday May 22nd at the Vntage Church - Society Meeting

Sue Burne is returning to tell us about how she found out about “A Flock of Black Sheep” on the 22nd May - Why is it that we are so interested in the wayward members of our families!- Sue will be looking at the CULLIFORD family which she says contains heroes and rogues.

Looking forward to June.

We will be attending the SWAG Family History Fair on the 30th June which is being held at Swindon at the Steam Museum with lots of other attractions for family members!  The SWAG Web Page  has a map of the area represented by Family History Societies so if you are researching anywhere in the South West and South Wales with the exception of Cornwall you will find something of interest in the 10 Societies which will be there.  Commercial companies will also be present as will special interest groups.

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New WsM Milton Road Cemetery Burial Transcripts
published by Graham Payne on Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:44

The Milton Road Cemetery burial transcripts covering the period 1918-1923 are now available for society members to view online.

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

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New Wedmore Marriage Transcripts
published by Graham Payne on Thu, 19/04/2018 - 7:28

The Wedmore marriage transcripts covering the period 1611-1662 are now available for society members to view online.

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

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New Wedmore Burial Transcripts
published by Graham Payne on Mon, 09/04/2018 - 14:07

The Wedmore burial transcripts covering the period 1612-1662 are now available for society members to view online.

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

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Ian Edwards
published by Pat Hase on Wed, 04/04/2018 - 11:42

As promised in the April update, we are now able to give details of Ian Edward's funeral which will take place at 10.30am on Friday 27th April at Ebdon Road Crematorium.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to Jennie and family.

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April 2018 Update
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 01/04/2018 - 23:12

It’s Easter Sunday and there are signs of a new beginning.  In Weston the Sand Sculptures and the Big Wheel have returned to attract holidaymakers and residents alike and in the tops of trees, rooks are beginning to spring clean their nests. Perhaps we could take the opportunity to spring clean our family history research. Do we have any odd twigs which are waiting for proof that they really are connected to our tree?  Have we entered how or where we discovered “facts” about our families?  If you are contemplating DNA testing you will find that an accurate paper trail will assist greatly in matching with other researchers. 

Centenary of the Royal Air Force

On 1st April 1918 the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service were merged into a new organisation -The Royal Air Force - and here we are talking about all trades not only pilots.

  • Findmypast has an Essential Guide to RAF Records which gives guidance for their use.
  • Findmypast has the Royal Air Force Muster Roll of 1918 which lists each person’s trade and rank in their original service and their new trade and rank in the RAF.  I found just one entry with the surname HASE - J. HASE No 35568 who enlisted on the 4th July 1916 and was a rigger in the Army becoming an aero rigger and A Mech 3 in the RAF.
  • Findmypast has the British Royal Air Force, Airmen's service records 1912-1939 where I discovered that John HASE No 35568 lived at 41 Clevedon Road, Weston-super-Mare (he was my husband’s uncle) and transferred into the RAF on 1st April 1918.  It also gives his marriage and the birth of his children.

Bleadon War Memorial

Whilst looking at WW1 issues in readiness for the centenary of the end of the war in November this year the Society has decided to produce a booklet commemorating the lives of the WW1 Casualties depicted on the War Memorial of Bleadon (one of our constituent parishes).  With agreement from the Parish Council of Bleadon we are collecting information about each of the men featured in the War Memorial in Bleadon Church.  If you are a full member you can see a photograph of it on our Bleadon Church page  under “Bleadon St Peter & St Paul MIs”  which has photographs and transcriptions of the graves in the churchyard and at the end, the War Memorials for both wars inside the church. 

Paul Tracey  has agreed to coordinate this project and if anyone has information about the lives and families of any of these people please will you contact him.  If you know anything about those on the WW2 memorial in Bleadon please contact Paul as well.

WW2

For those of you who have connections with Bristol or Bath during WW2 you might be interested in a film issued free of charge by the  BFI.  As you will see, the film about Bristol and Bath starts with some shots of Chew Magna in 1942.  The photographer was an American, Ernest D FEAR, who was born in Chew Magna, but by 1942 lived in Kansas USA.  According to our transcriptions he was baptised as Edward Dennison FEAR in Chew Magna on the 30th March 1873, the son of a butcher, Samuel FEAR and his wife, Hannah. 

The 35 minute Bristol & Bath colour film contains at about 20 minutes in (right at the end of the Bristol section) film taken about 1 hour after the bombing of 3 buses in Broadweir in Bristol with horrendous loss of life.  The Commonwealth War Graves site shows 46 civilian fatalities from that one bomb.

Another result of the incident was that the 17th Century House at 19 Broadweir which had been the home of my ancestors between 1840-1880 and in 1942 was occupied by Taylor Bros – Printers - was so badly damaged that it had to be demolished later that day.  It can clearly be seen in almost the final shot of that part of the film. 

New Resources online

It is always useful to check if there have been any new or updated records put online.  The following links should give some suggestions.

Ancestry (free of charge if used in the Library) link takes you to latest records - changes include an update to the following many of which also have images available

  • UK and Ireland, Obituary Index, 2004-2017,
  • Gloucestershire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1988
  • London, England, Church of England Confirmation Records, 1838-1923
  • London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932
  • London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1764-1930

Findmypast  - this link takes you to a list of new resources which include:

  • Prisoners of War 1715-1945
  • Britain, Directories & Almanacs – 255 Directories for all parts of Britain including a Kelly’s Directory for Gloucestershire and Somerset (which includes Weston-super-Mare) for 1897,
  • An essential guide to Royal Air Force Records - link given under RAF entry at beginning of this update

The Genealogist - this link takes you to some interesting background articles about new records.

If you can recommend any new sites – or old ones which you have found useful -  please add a comment to this Update

Free Help Sessions

The dates for these sessions are on our Calendar and on Forthcoming Events.  You are invited to attend any of them.  Weekly, they are at Weston Library in the Town Hall and Monthly they are at Portishead, Worle and the Healthy Living Centre

Asking for Help

You can use our Web site in two ways to ask for help.  Post a Query on the Research Forum or by listing a name under the Members’ Surname Interests, with a note giving a few more details.  Answers to both appear as Comments on the right-hand side of the home page.  If you feel you can answer any of the questions or give some suggestions as to how or where the answer may be found, please do so.  Every little helps – even if the name isn’t actually in your own tree.

March Society Meeting

Neil Gibson gave an interesting talk about how to use Photoshop to enhance our family photographs.  Every Picture tells a Story but some may have been badly handled over time.  It is possible to digitally improve your images yourself or have them done professionally by someone like Neil.  If you do not want to spend additional funds in purchasing Photoshop Neil did recommend some free software called GIMP which works in a similar way.  But whichever you choose you need to learn how to use the programme to give the best results and Neil demonstrated how good those results could be in skilled hands.  If you have any queries about the subject of his talk Neil can be contacted here

April Events

  • April 12th        Visit to The National Archives – Make sure that your Readers Ticket is up-to-date. Full details about the trip from Brian Airey
  • April 14th        FFHS Members - FFHS Every Ancestor Matters Conference details can be seen here.
  • April 17th        2.00-4.00pm Weston Museum – Pleasures and Pitfalls of Family History Research.  A workshop run by our Society.  All welcome - Details can be seen here
  • April 24th        Members’ Evening.  Led by Jenny & Peter Towey, members will be sharing their experiences of DNA testing.  Bring along your questions about this latest aspect of family history research.

Ian Edwards

We were saddened and shocked to hear recently of the sudden death of Ian Edwards.  Ian had been responsible for our website and was so supportive and helpful with any query which we had.  I personally had reason to be grateful to him for his patience on many occasions when I found I had a problem with my computer. He regularly attended our monthly meetings and understood the needs of Family Historians.  We extend our sympathy to Jennie and family and we will let you know when we have details of his funeral.

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Forthcoming Events

Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 24th August, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 31st August, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 7th September, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Society Committee Meeting
Monday, 9th September, 2019 19:30 - 21:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 14th September, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
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