LoginRegister About us Contact us Terms & Conditions

News & Information

August 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Thu, 01/08/2019 - 18:04

It's the Summer Holidays and the schools have all broken up with Proms and Sports Days etc.  I found this photo (and it's named!) in the Pictorial Review of 1931 published by the Weston Gazette.  Anybody researching these surnames? - OVER, OSBORNE, CHARLES or ALFORD - I think that Doris OVER was connected with the Confectioners OVERs in the High Street

Wills

The notification that UK Wills from 1858 are now available at £1.50 each instead of £10.00 was put on our web site as soon as they became available at this price and caused great excitement.  Several members have already received Wills which have proved interesting.    It is likely that this price will only be held for 12 months so make the most of it.  See Who Do You Think You Are? magazine for details.

Family & Local History

I am a firm believer that Family and Local History go hand in hand and that you cannot do one without considering the other.  Many local societies have helpful websites and I have just mentioned just three societies below.  I know there are many other groups operating in our area.  Please add a comment to this Update to draw attention to others which could help other members.

  • Yatton Local History Society has a series of their publications available which can be searched and contain interesting articles about the history and people of Yatton. The first item on the page is an index to names mentioned in various publications, not all of which are online  
  • Nailsea & District Local History Society has also put a number of their Journals – The Pennant – online.  You can see them by clicking on the name of the society. Purely by chance, I note that  Pennant No 30 (the last one on the list) contains an article written by one of our members, Peter Lamb, about the MASSINGHAM Family.
  • The Clevedon Civic Society has a very strong Local History Group.  It has published PDF versions of their magazine the Clevedonian which ceased publication in 2014 but contain a variety of interesting articles about Clevedon.  They can be viewed by clicking on the name of the society and include a piece by Jane Lilly entitled “When we were very young” which may ring bells with some of our members.

Buckets & Spades

Thanks to Sue Maguire for the latest edition of our Buckets and Spades – it made for some very interesting reading about families with connections in the Weston district.  On Page 36, Sheila MILLS mentions that her great grandfather Charles DAVIS was a “Journeyman” with the trade omitted.  Looking at the 1871 census of Bedminster I see that Charles was a Carpenter.  The term “Journeyman” means that he had completed an apprenticeship but had not set up in business on his own account and so was in the employ of someone else.  One definition of “Journeyman” is that he was “paid by the day” after the French for “Day” – “Jour”  not that he travelled around although of course, he might have done that looking for work.

The deadline for articles for the next edition is 17 Oct 2019. 

If any of you are stuck with your research we have started a section in Buckets & Spades on “Breaking Down Brick Walls”  - see Page 8 -  If you contact me with your the problem I will try to offer suggestions for your research to be published in the next edition with the hope that the suggestions might give ideas to others of how to solve their problems as well.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

The Research Forum.

The Research Forum is for full members only.  When you post a query on the Research Forum please use this page and use the link on the right-hand side of the page where it says "Post your Query Now" which will allow you to give it a suitable title (with the SURNAME in UPPERCASE to attract a response. The Research Forum is open for questions about ancestors in all parts of this country not only North Somerset

Facebook Group

For members of the Facebook Group who are not also full members of the Society and who are reading this – You can post queries on the Facebook Group and hopefully other members of the Group – we now have 135 members and some are vastly experienced - will respond with suitable suggestions

Free Help Sessions

These are continuing during August as normal and are open for everyone members or not.  Just turn up at about 2,00pm on a Saturday afternoon with some facts about your family and an idea of what you hope to find out and we will see if we can help.   If you are a full member but cannot attend the Weston Library you can use the Research Forum to post your query – which need not be about the Weston area and our volunteers will use their time in the library to find an answer for you.

Brian Austin Archive

We have recently put a list of the topics of the research which Brian Austin has completed over the years on the web site.  See The Brian Austin Archive for the full index to his work and detail of how to access it.  Some of it is the result of him, many years ago, spotting documents with were surplus to requirements being destroyed by officials at the Town Hall.  Brian removed them and studied their content, noting facts which have subsequently assisted family historians piece together information about their ancestors.  Brian’s research can be found in the Somerset Heritage Centre, Weston Library and at his home and he will reply to any query if you include a stamped addressed envelope. 

Newish Resources online

  • The Genealogist has announced a new selection of records from Norfolk including Bastardy Records which should interest any of you with Norfolk ancestors - You will need to scroll down to find the article.  These also include images from the Norfolk Archives.  The latest news from The genealogist can be seen here 
  • Findmypast now includes images of Devon Parish Records in its collection of records.  See which other parishes it has available.
  • To find which new items have been added to Ancestry go to this page - Some will have just been updated but some are completely new.

Who do You think You Are?

It’s that season again. Why is it, however much I want to see these programmes, that halfway through I fall asleep?!  It’s lucky that I can always catch up with them later!  The stories behind the celebrities make for good television but I want more.  How did the local expert actually find the information they produce from out of a hat?  Why did they need the expert?  Couldn’t they do it themselves?  Or would the programme be too long?  It’s taken me years to discover some facts but that’s because when I started the documents were not as accessible as they are today.  The celebrities are missing that rush of adrenaline when you finally discover the missing link.  They are allowing someone else to find that final piece of the jigsaw.  Mind you, if someone could tell me who the parents were of Robert LONG who married Hester PRIGG in 1767 in Bitton, how many children they had and when they died, I think I could live with that!

Society meetings

The July meeting looked at the history of the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Light Railway.  My mother used to tell of a day when she was on that train somewhere near Wick St Lawrence and she became uncomfortably hot only to find that there was a fire smoldering away under her seat!  There were other tales of the train stopping for either passengers or the driver to pick mushrooms in a neighbouring field. If you would like to join a tour on Sunday 20th Oct 2019 along the route of the WC&P see here for more details 

Just a reminder that we do not have a meeting in August.  The September meeting on the 24th Sept will be Peter Towey talking about British War Medals. 

News TopicMonthly Update
  login or join us now to post comments
Cost of Wills Reduced to £1.50
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 22/07/2019 - 23:40

The Find a Will  Service is offering a vast reduction in the cost of a UK Will from 1858 - This is a Beta or new version of the service reducing the cost from £10.00 to £1.50 and they are looking for feedback on the system.  Worth a try.

News TopicGeneral
  login or join us now to post comments
Introducing the next generation to Family History
published by Pat Hase on Sat, 20/07/2019 - 23:49

We are working towards interesting younger people in Family History.  One Photograph was taken at the Kewstoke Local History exhibition showing pupils from Kewstoke School with Graham Payne. 

and the other at the Free Help Session at the library with young Xander Tinsley having a go himself under the guidance of Roy Smith. Any more ideas for spreading the word? 

News TopicGeneral
 2 Comments      login or join us now to post comments
The Research Forum
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 15/07/2019 - 21:45

The Research Forum can now be used for queries for members' research which does not have to be limited to North Somerset Families.  We have many local members who are researching families from elsewhere and we would like to be able to offer suggestions for furthering their research.  If your research is stuck please post your question here and if you can help other members please consider adding a comment.

News TopicGeneral
  login or join us now to post comments
Banwell Wesleyan Methodist Circuit Baptisms 1838-1897
published by Graham Payne on Fri, 12/07/2019 - 12:25

The Banwell Wesleyan Circuit baptism transcript covering the period 1838-1897 are now available for society members to view online.

Please report anytranscript errors tothe author of this news article.

News TopicTranscripts
  login or join us now to post comments
July 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 01/07/2019 - 22:53

It’s July, and time for Wimbledon, gardening and holidays so is there time for Family History?  We all have priorities to make in the way we use our time, but life goes on and you are creating the family history of the future.  Are you recording the events which your descendants will search for?  With photography so easy now, are you saving and naming the people in your snaps?  Many photos are kept digitally and not printed these days and it is not so easy to identify individuals without a back to write on!  Many old photographs appear online with a request for someone to name the individuals, whether they are school photos, wedding photos or pictures of other activities, so this not a new problem. 

Kewstoke Local History Exhibition

There will be a Kewstoke Local History Exhibition in the main village hall at Kewstoke starting Thurs. July 11th to Sunday July 14th. It will be open from 10.30 am until 6.30 pm each day. Refreshments will be available.  Our Society will have a help Desk there throughout, but the local Kewstoke exhibits and resources will be plentiful and varied.   They will include a new display of W.W.1 & 2 & evacuees and where they stayed in the village. Many local family histories with photos. The usual Census entries 1841 to 1911. New information taken from the Parish Minute books. Lots of new photos and information about local buildings and events.

 Genealogy versus Family History

There has been a concentration lately on the DNA aspect of genealogy but if we think about the way in which our ancestors lived that will add another dimension to your research.  I have recently been reminded of a book published in 2016 by Janet Few, who has spoken to our Society several times.  It is called “Remember Then, Women’s Memories of 1946 and 1969 and how to write your own”  Janet worked with a group of 80  women who recounted their own experiences and consulted their diaries and photographs to produce a book which  describes life from their own perspective and may give you some tips on how to write up your own memories.  This holds good for men and women, although I suspect few men wore liberty bodices!

Serendipity

You never know what you will find when you are looking for something else!  In the Library last Saturday we were looking for information about activities on Birnbeck Pier.  We were trying to identify individuals in this photograph. 

Peter Lander of the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust had already identified someone with connections to Axbridge Workhouse – but we had also found that a woman assistant on the Water Chute had given evidence at an Inquest during the same year as the photograph – 1913.  David Tyler began looking through the Weston Mercury which is available on film in the library for more information and found an account that described the circumstances when a man fell from the Old Pier.  Much to my surprise one of the boatmen who tried to rescue him was named as J. HASE.   I think I can identify this boatman as my father-in-law’s eldest brother, but I had no idea that he had a boat at that time.  By the way, the air conditioning in the Library made the atmosphere very comfortable on one of the hottest days this year.

Helping others to help Yourself

I have found that answering queries on the Research Forum, by volunteering at one of our Free Help Sessions or by taking part in the discussions on our Facebook Group often takes me into new areas that can be helpful in my own research.   I have just been looking to see what new resources were available on the various sites and found that Find a Grave had new entries on their site and one of them just might be a direct ancestor of mine who died in 1798. 

This photo was put on last year and I’ve been looking for him since the 1980s!  The site is free of charge although it is included in the Ancestry offering.  It obviously pays to revisit sites to see if they have been updated.

Family History Societies

I know I’m talking to the converted here but belonging to one or two Family History Societies can be a tremendous help in your research.  Ideally, you should join one which holds meetings in the area in which you live so that you can attend meetings and meet like-minded people who share your interests and another which covers the area in which your ancestors lived as that one is likely to have resources to help you and members who have an in-depth knowledge of the area.

You don’t have to be a member of our society to access many parts of our website.  News & Information (including the Monthly Updates) and some Journal Articles are open to everybody.  Transcriptions are free for members.  Other Societies have similar areas that are open to all.

Some examples of other Societies’ offerings:

  • The Bristol & Avon FHS has a database of information from unwanted Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates which can be searched online to give full details.  They include certificates from places other than Bristol and there is always the chance that your family name is included.  This is a Weston death certificate on this site  - there could be others!
  • The Somerset & Dorset FHS has, as part of its website, a Society Blog with articles and features about the Society  and it includes some articles from “The Greenwood Tree” their Members’ Journal which may be of interest.
  • The Devon FHS has a WWWBoard – which is a place where anyone (you don’t have to be a member) can post questions relating to Devon research. 

July Events

During July our Free Saturday Help Sessions at the Library will continue – and we welcome people with questions about their family history research and the question doesn’t have to be only about North Somerset as there is Internet access available.  If you do not live in the area and you have any queries which our volunteers at the library can answer please use our Research Forum on the Web Site to ask your questions and if we have time we can search for you.  The library has local newspapers on film but as they are not indexed, dates, as well as names, are needed to search these.  There is a complete set of Street Directories for 1900 – 1974 and Electoral Rolls from the 1940s where people can be identified.  With the Electoral Rolls don’t forget that only people who have the vote are included and the Rolls are arranged in Street order not alphabetical so searching can take time.  The library has extensive files about local people, buildings and events so if you can get there any Saturday afternoon from 2.00 – 3.30 (when we are there) or of course at any time during the week when you can do your own research you will find the visit worthwhile.

Our next monthly meeting will be on Tuesday 23rd July when the topic will be the fascinating history of the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Light Railway known affectionately locally as the W.C & P.  The Speaker will be Paul Gregory who is the Secretary of the W.C & P Railway Group 

At the July meeting, it is hoped to have the latest edition of Buckets and Spades available for members.   As usual, we will not have a meeting in August but look forward to our next meeting on September 24th when the topic will be War medals so you’ve plenty of time to discover which medals your relations received and why - and what questions to ask Peter Towey

If I have omitted any July events please add them as a Comment to this update.

News TopicMonthly Update
 1 Comment      login or join us now to post comments
Page 11 of 61 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Forthcoming Events

Society Meeting
Tuesday, 27th October, 2020 19:00 - 21:00
Society Meeting
Tuesday, 24th November, 2020 19:00 - 21:00
<- View calendar for more






Website written and designed by:
Weston IT Solutions
Copyright (c) 2018