June will end with the SWAG Family History Fair – to be held this year in Swindon on Saturday 30th June 2018 from 10am to 3:30pm at STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway. There will be over 40 exhibitors including Family History Societies not only from the South West of England, Societies and Commercial enterprises supporting our interests. A full list of contributors can be seen here and there are also some free talks during the day.
The 1939 Register
The 1939 Register and the GRO index were two of the most helpful resources which came our way last year. As the 1939 Register is now available on Ancestry, My Heritage as well as FindmyPast and can therefore be found free of charge in most Libraries it is time that you checked out where all your relations were living in 1939. Not only your direct ancestors but also their siblings and offspring. There is an informative webinar on FindmyPast which you may find helpful if you haven’t used it before or even if you have but want to know more about it.
My parents were living with my mother’s widowed father in 1939 (and I am the blacked-out entry with them!) My paternal grandparents had my father’s sister living with them and because this document was updated it tells me that she later married someone called PUDDY. It also allows me to look up and down the street where they lived, and I can recognise names of people I can still remember. The 1939 Register showed me a sister of my grandfather living with her uncle who was born in 1858 and who I can remember meeting when he was about 90. Although this is all relatively recent family history it can confirm half remembered facts and family stories.
DNA Matches & Ethnicity
- Half way through the year already and in a belated spring clean I’ve been sorting through some old photographs and naming those that I can still remember – it has taken ages because I find myself checking to find out what happened to some of the people thereby increasing the information on my extended family tree. This has its benefits because it also increases the chances of identifying a DNA match if I know the names of the spouses of the siblings of grandparents.
- Another news story today about DNA being used to identify surprising ethnicity – perhaps I’m wrong - but ethnicity is not what I primarily look for in DNA results – I want it to help me locate and possibly confirm my connection to actual ancestors. We are grateful to Peter and Jennie Towey for all the help they have given to members who have embarked on this branch of family history research.
- One of the matches I received for my husband resulted in me contacting Kym EDWARDS in Australia who I had initially corresponded with many years ago about the EDWARDS family of East Brent. You can read more about the EDWARDS family on the Rooksbridge Site which has a wealth of information about Rooksbridge and East Brent Residents. It was set up initially by John Rigarlsford, one of our members, to cover Rooksbridge families but information of these inhabitants now incorporated into the East Brent site under East Brent and Rooksbridge People
Latest Records Online
Even if you do not have a subscription to Ancestry, Findmypast or The Genealogist, to name but a few, you can always access their sites to see what is newly available online.
- Ancestry shows you their latest records which you can see includes some confirmation records for Somerset.
- FindmyPast lists its latest documents to be released every Friday and you can see what new documents were released on previous Fridays.
- The Genealogist shows that its latest addition which happens to be the Metropolitan Police Habitual Criminals Registers which include photographs.
- The Federation of Family History Societies offers a free online bi-monthly newsletter which is worth looking at with tips for researching.
A new addition to our transcriptions is “Notes and extracts from the minutes of the vestry meetings at St Paul’s Church, Kewstoke 1835-1920” compiled by Grace Rubery. These vestry minutes give an insight into life in the parish during this time and what was concerning the Parish Officials. These can be seen by full members with the other transcriptions of Kewstoke Church Records where you can also see, under Kewstoke MIs, photographs of the tomb stones in Kewstoke Church yard together with an transcription of the Memorials engraved on them. There are similar photographs and Memorial Inscriptions of many of the Churches on our web site and are a valuable resource.
June will see the last free help sessions in Worle, Portishead and at the Healthy Living Centre in Weston but they will continue at the Library in Weston Town Hall every Saturday afternoon from 2.00 – 3.30 pm. You don’t have to be a member to come in and we like a challenge so if you are new to family history or have started your research but got stuck why not give us a try. It doesn’t have to be about people who were at some time in North Somerset.
If you have any queries about any aspect of Family History Research, whether about people, places or methodology why not use the Research Forum on our Web Site? We have some very knowledgeable members who may be able to answer your questions or at least point you in the right direction.
Programmes & Events
- The next series of Who do you think you are? is starting soon, with a gap during the Football World Cup. The opening programme will be screened on June 6th and will feature Michelle Keegan who has recently appeared in “Our Girl” on BBC TV and will cover evacuation during WW2 and a link to the Suffragette Movement.
- Suffragette Banners are part of a new exhibition for the Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury called Processions: Two Banners, One Voice – discover how Somerset women got the vote which will be open to the public from Saturday 16 June to Sunday 1 September 2018. The exhibition will focus on two banners. The first was created by Weston born, postcard artist, Ivy Millicent James, in 1911 for the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, Weston-super-Mare branch. The second banner is currently being created by a local artist Dorcas Casey in collaboration with local schools. It will be paraded through London on 10 June 2018 as part of a national commemoration of the anniversary of the Representation of the People Act.
- The Weston Banner was thought to be lost for many years and was only recently discovered at the Somerset Heritage Centre although there is mention of it in a diary kept by Ivy Millicent James’s sister and that it had been given to Weston Museum.
- Looking forward to seeing lots of you at the SWAG Fair on the 30th June in Swindon and at our monthly meeting on June 26th when I will be talking about “On the Street Where you live” – taking just one street in Weston and looking at some of the inhabitants over the years, including one house where coincidentally the ancestors of one of our long standing members, Anne Woolforth, lived and was later owned for a while by one of my sons.