As we welcome 2018 with the optimism of all family historians that this year will see the breakthrough in our research may we wish you all a happy and successful year. I’m writing this listening to the New Year’s Concert from Vienna - a glorious start to the year.
On a personal note I would like to start by thanking all of you for your good wishes, cards and emails while I underwent a hip replacement. I am now well on the way to a full recovery – it’s taking a little longer than the last time but as a “friend” kindly pointed out - you are 13 years older this time! Thank you to Peter, our Vice-Chair who took the Chair at the AGM and produced the last Update. One of the sites which he mentioned then was the 1910 Lloyd George Domesday Survey which concentrates on London but considering the loss of buildings during the wars is invaluable for finding addresses mentioned on the 1911 census. This short film on You tube explains what is on offer It is worth considering that the renumbering of houses happened in many places including Weston-super-Mare (streets in the centre of that town were renumbered in 1908/9 so it sometimes looks as if people had moved by the 1911 census).
At 9. pm on Thursday, January 4th the BBC is starting a 4-part series on BBC2 called “A House Through Time” – tracing the history of a single house in Liverpool and its inhabitants from the 1840s until the present day. It looks as if it might be very interesting – You can read more about it here
It looks as if, at long last, the mother’s name is to be added to Wedding Certificates from 2018. Too late for much of our research but a welcome addition for the future.
It’s not often that a modern film is based on family history research but take a look at the FamilySearch Blog and also at the advice it gives about preserving your memories.
I know that many of you already subscribe to Lost Cousins but if not the latest newsletter, published a week before Christmas is worth considering especially if you have uploaded your family tree to Ancestry
The family gatherings over this time of the year often give us the time to catch up with family news and perhaps add to our trees. This year the addition of DNA testing results may have also have added to our knowledge - or perhaps cast doubts on them. Do share any exciting new research and how you did it with us, perhaps by a short article in Buckets and Spades, with its new editor, Sue Maguire. Our web site has been fairly quiet over the Christmas period, but it is now in a stable situation and can deal with new queries and comments. Our thanks to Ian for taking over the site for us with the minimal of disruption and to Graham and Paul for their assistance in this matter.
Early in December the Society was represented at the funeral of Stan Baker, a Life Member, who was also well known to other societies when he had the responsibility of managing the Society’s Stand at their Open Days and Fairs. Stan was born in Weston-super-Mare in 1918 and his BAKER research included members of his family who worked at the Town Quarry and in the Cemetery. His IT knowledge put many of us to shame and when the Society started to survey the Memorial Inscriptions in the newer part of the Cemetery he produced a database and CD which included not only those but also the survey done earlier by another Life Member, Brian Austin, of the original Cemetery (many of those are now illegible) and he obtained permission from Weston Town Council to include the records from the original burial books. This has proved invaluable to Weston family researchers as all church graveyards in the town closed when the Cemetery opened. The Society made the database available to the Town Council and they in turn recognised his contribution by presenting him with the Mayors’ Award for Services to the Weston-super-Mare Town Council. It was in recognition of the enormous part he has played with the Society in producing a searchable database for all the graves in Weston Municipal Cemetery in Milton Road. Latterly parts of this database have been enhanced by Graham Payne and others and placed on the website with access for full members.
I’m proud of what the society has achieved over the years, but we do need to make sure that our Society and what it has to offer reaches the widest audience. I’ve noticed that we are missing form several web pages. For example The list of Somerset Societies on the Familysearch wiki similarly we’re not included under Weston-super-Mare on Genuki, or the event lists on Avon Local History and Archaeology Site etc. This will be discussed at our next committee meeting but please let us know where else we should have a presence.
On Wednesday, January 3rd there will be a Help Session at the Healthy Living Centre in Lonsdale Ave., from 1.30 until 3.30 pm; on Saturday, January 7th the Weston Library will host a Help Session from 2.00 until 3.30pm and at Portishead Library the monthly Help Session is on Wednesday Jan 10th from 2.00 until 4.00pm. The Help Session at Worle is on Friday January 26th is at the Worle Library & Children's Centre in Mendip Avenue from 2.00 until 4.00 pm, All are completely free and open to all members and non-members. It really does help to talk over your research with someone else.
Our next Monthly Meeting will be on Tuesday Jan 23rd – at the Vintage Church in Hughenden Road - doors open at 7.00 with refreshments and a chance to exchange experiences and at 7.30 pm Bill Caple will be showing more from his collection of Weston photographs. If you have any photographs from the area covered by this society do bring them along.
Wishing you all very enjoyable 2018 and hope that you manage to keep your resolutions!