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News & Information (Monthly Update)

June 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Sat, 01/06/2019 - 2:01

It’s the 1st of June and “Summer is a coming in” or so says one of the oldest English songs.  What are we going to do during the Summer?  Family History often takes a back seat during the summer when other attractions hold sway.  If you are mobile, why not make use of the fine weather to visit some of the places which your family knew in the past.  It’s strange how often when visiting a place where your ancestors lived you have a feeling of familiarity with the area.  Walk where they walked, visit places that they knew and learn the history of the area where they lived.  It all helps to understand their lives. 

Holiday Photographs

Do you have any photographs of parents or grandparents on their summer holiday?

This is my mother and her sister on holiday in (I think) Bournemouth in about 1923, with my grandparents.  I really do not know why my mother was wearing dark stockings on the beach!

Visit an Archive

Why not also arrange to visit an Archive to find out more about your family – not everything is online!  You might look at Overseers' Accounts, Wills or perhaps even Bastardy Accounts if they have them.  These may name the putative fathers of illegitimate children.

Overseers’ Accounts

I recommend you look at the Overseers’ Accounts for the parish in which your family lived.  They are only rarely transcribed but give such an interesting insight into the lives of ancestors.  They will tell you what taxes they paid to support the poor and if poor themselves what help they received. For example, there is an outline of the Overseers’ Accounts for Shropshire which explains why they are so difficult to transcribe.

Brian Austin has transcribed the Overseers’ Accounts for St John the Baptist of Weston-super-Mare which is available on the shelves in Weston Library in book form and is arranged in alphabetical order which makes them easier to consult than the actual Accounts

Somerset Wills

Many of the Somerset Wills were lost during the blitz but some can be found with other documents like deeds of property.  Weston Library has a copy of a book by Sir Mervyn Medlycott of an index to Printed and Manuscript Copies of Somerset Wills, which he compiled in 1993.   Check also with the Somerset Heritage Centre Catalogue online to see what else is available. Search with your ancestor’s name.  You can also search the Discovery database on The National Archives for documents that may be lodged in other local repositories.

Visit of North Somerset Archivist to Weston Library

A reminder that the next visit is on Thursday the 6th of June and you have just about time to order any documents you wish to see. More details can be seen here.

Free Online Resources

The Family History Federation, of which our Society is a member offers this section on Free Online Resources   It’s worth taking a look at it.

How to Prove your Family Tree Connections

There is nothing more frustrating than finding information online – perhaps in a submitted family tree which seems to be your family only to discover that there are errors in it.  Worse still if you accept it and do not realise that there are errors!  This seems to be happening more often now with the increase of DNA inspired research. This article will give you some ideas about how to ensure that your own family trees are error free by using the Genealogical Proof Standard.  If you spot a mistake in a submitted family tree you can always try to explain to the owner why you think there is an error.  You may find that you don’t get a reply or that they insist that they are correct, and it is you who are wrong, but others may thank you for drawing attention to it. 

Exhibitions and Shows

  • The Genealogy Show  The Genealogy Show is taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on June 7th and 8th – if any of our members are attending please will you let us know of any particularly interesting and useful stands
  • The Family History Show – South West  Nearer to Weston and perhaps nearer home to some of you The Family History Show – South West will take place on Saturday 6th July at UWE Exhibition and  Conference Centre, Bristol.  We are not having a stand there but we hope that our members may take to opportunity to attend to experience what these shows have to offer.
  • Kewstoke Local History Exhibition  There will be an exhibition in Kewstoke Village Hall from the 11th to the 14th July organised by the Kewstoke Local History Group at which our Society will have a Help Desk run by Graham Payne and others.  We look forward to meeting many of our members there.

Free Help Sessions

Our Volunteers in the Library are there each Saturday from 2.00 p.m. until 3.30 p. m. to help anyone – members or not – with their family or local history research.  Even if you are not researching local families do come into the library to see what is available to interest you or to discuss your research with others. 

Research Forum

This has been very quiet again during May – Only 4 queries and 2 of them were from me!   It would be helpful if replies to any queries could be sent to the website unless they contain information about living people because that way others can benefit from the suggestions made.  Having said that, no one answered my queries either directly to me or to the web site.  If our members really do not have any research queries perhaps they might consider giving some examples of recent successful research which might assist others. 

Next Society meeting – June 25th

Books with a genealogical theme are riding high in the charts these days and I for one find them exciting reading.  We are lucky to have in Weston a published author who is going to talk to the Society at our next meeting about her experiences in writing her latest book.  We look forward to hearing Lois Sparshott again.

Finishing on a high this month – I hope very much to resume attending meetings very soon as I have successfully completed the course of chemotherapy.  I am so grateful for all the messages of support which I have received and am looking forward to seeing you all again.

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May 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Wed, 01/05/2019 - 10:39

It's May 1st - How many of you have danced around a Maypole?  Did your ancestors?  May Day will be celebrated here on Monday 6th May with many traditional events.  The crowning of May Queens or Princesses and Morris Dancing.

Family History Federation

  • Following its re-branding from the Federation of Family History Societies the Family History Federation has published its Really Useful Leaflet 2019 which includes a list of useful Web sites many of which are free to use but where payment is involved the “£” sign is used to show this.
  • Our Members can also read the Latest Federation Newsletter on our web site – just click on FHS Newsletters in the left hand column on our home page

Helpful Hints

  • About a year ago Findmypast published a Blog covering 6 Common Genealogy Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them).  In case you missed them I've included a link to them because we all make mistakes!
  • If you are researching Wedmore families you might find this interesting – Dr John Westover  of Portch House Wedmore kept a Journal of information about the many patients he dealt with between 1686 and 1700.   It includes the cost and the cures he offered and makes fascinating reading. 
  • The Genealogist has released some new Records which they have called Little Dorrit, Dickens and Dad’s Debts - They are new Criminal records reveal the dark side of debt in the past
  • Ancestry has a new collection of historical postcards from the United Kingdom & Ireland 1893-1963.  There are several from Weston-super-Mare and district.
  • Winscombe has always been a large parish in this part of Somerset and the Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council Web site offers a historical aspect to aid in your understanding of the background.  It includes a mention of a book which can be read online by Francis Knight called "In the West Country". It covers a wide area with chapters on Winscombe, Woodspring Priory highlighting the rural nature of the landscape. 
  • I have been very impressed with the free web site ColouriseSG which takes black and white photographs and gently tints them.  They do not claim that the colours will be the same as the original subject but it is very good on skin colour and natural background and really brings old photos to life.  Do try it. 

 

 Society News

  • A reminder that I am collecting information about marriages which took place at Wadham Street Baptist Chapel.  Please let me have details of any which you have found during your own family history research.
  • The Free Help Sessions at the Library were quieter over the Easter Break but they will be available every Saturday afternoon between 2.00 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. All you have to do is to come in to Weston Library - in the Town Hall - and just bring your query with any information you have already found.
  • If you can't make the library then why not use the Research Forum?  That also has seen less use recently but we do have some extremely knowledgeable members who wold be delighted to share their experiences with you - you only have to ask.
  • The next Monthly meeting on Tuesday May 28th is presented by Clive Burlton who has written and helped to present a documentary about Bristol's role in the WW1.  Clive lives locally and will cover aspects of the Great War and the effect it had on Bristol and how Bristol reacted to the challenges. 
  • The ALHA Newsletters, which can be accessed from our web site, (see link in left hand column of home page) give more information about local events which may interest you.
  • If I have omitted any events and information please add them as a comment to this Update.

 

 

 

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April 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 01/04/2019 - 11:39

I’m feeling optimistic.  The clocks have gone forward, there is evidence that Spring is well advanced, we have celebrated Mothering Sunday with Simnel Cake and are now looking forward to Easter. Today, the seasons do not affect our lives in the same way as they did our ancestors when they were dependent on them for their crops and livelihood but there is a certain uplift to the spirit at this time of year.  Perhaps I’m going to break down some of my brick-walls this year or am I being just an April Fool?

Breaking Down Brickwalls

On Findmypast there is an item entitled  20 Things to do when you are stumped which I have found helpful.  It includes various links to other helpful articles.  No 16 on this list is

16. Write a Family Sketch

Begin writing a family sketch, focusing on the family that has you stumped. Include each detail you have uncovered about the family as you write, and look for any patterns or potential contradictions in your data. Documenting each name, date, and relationship as you write helps to ensure your research is accurate and can often identify areas that could be researched further.

If I have a family history problem to solve; I try to explain the situation to another person – it could be as a Research Query on our Web Site – but by the time I have written down all the facts the solution often identifies itself. 

The Web Site & Research Queries

  • This month there have been just 7 queries posted on the Research Forum and 4 of them have been initiated by me and 2 by Bill Caple! – Doesn’t anyone else have any queries? 
  • Whilst thinking about the web site – don’t forget that the search facility at the top of the home page can be used to find out whether the site contains information about names, places and events you may be interested in.
  • If you have any problems in using the web site please contact Paul Tracey or Graham Payne who will be pleased to help you

Know Your Place & Using Maps for Research

I hope that some of you have been able to find some interesting facts about this area by using Know Your Place.  I gather that the presentation at the last Society Meeting was fascinating and for those who missed it or want to find out more about  it Know Your Place – West of England  includes an introductory video and links to enable you to research the area where you or your ancestors lived.

  • 50 years ago I was told by an elderly neighbour that our houses had been built on some tennis courts and, low and behold, the maps prove just that!

If you have a subscription to The Genealogist it has just introduced their Map Explorer which also offers comparison maps but for the whole country – useful if your family is not local and especially good for London families with the Lloyd George Domesday Survey 1910-1915.   You can access these videos without a subscription

  • I’ve just found the map showing exactly where a relation of mine, Frances COLES lived and where she was killed in Whitechapel.

My Family & Jack the Ripper

Knowing that I had an interest in Jack the Ripper, I was recently given a new book about his first five victims.  It is called, “The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper” by Hallie Rubenhold and I found it enthralling.  The author has meticulously researched the lives of these women up to their deaths and as a social history it is a brilliant insight into their real lives and the circumstances of the society in which they lived. They become living breathing women, not the mutilated corpses depicted in the newspapers, and I found myself wishing that I could learn about my own ancestors’ lives in the same detail. Of course, a lot of the information came from the evidence given at their inquests, but other research into the way women were treated and lived during the Victorian era widened the scope. 

I was particularly interested because Frances COLES, a first cousin of my great grandmother was murdered in Whitechapel in 1891 and the press concluded that she was another victim of Jack the Ripper.  Using information from her inquest and coincidentally many of the resources available to Hallie Rubenhold, I had compared her life with that of her cousin, my great grandmother, in Bristol.  The awful inevitability of the downward spiral of her life (together with her parents and siblings) drew many similarities with this book which I can thoroughly recommend.

DNA Research

Have just received a notification that I have a DNA match with a possible 3rd Cousin and he has a tree on MyHeritage containing one person – himself!  That’s not a tree – not even a twig!  However, he has a match with someone else who does have a tree with seven people on it including my original contact.  With some additional research I have been able to identify our common ancestors who are my 3 x great grandparents but I still haven’t heard back from either of these matches to confirm my research.   One thing I have noticed is that the age of those who have tested tends to be younger than the majority of family researchers.  Is this a way of encouraging younger people to become involved in research?

Facebook Group

We now have nearly 100 members of our Facebook Group – and we welcome anyone to join who has an interest in researching their families from this area of North Somerset.  There is a link to the Group from the home page of our web site and there have been some interesting photographs posted by the facebook group.  The Facebook Group also advertises the activities of the Society and welcomes visitors to the Library Free Help Sessions and to the monthly meetings, encouraging them to become full members of our Society.

Buckets & Spades

You will now have had the March edition of Buckets and Spades – Thanks to our editor Sue Maguire who is now looking forward to your articles for the July edition.  Please consider writing up your experiences in researching your families.  How did you do it?  What difficulties did you overcome? What resources did you use?  Were your family stories, handed down through the generations, accurate? Do you have photographs?  Were they named?

Dates for your Diary

  • The next meeting of the society will be on the 4th Tuesday of April when we welcome back Lynda Hotchkiss with another of her talks – this time entitled “Time Gentlemen Please”. At the time of writing I have no further information about the content of this talk but going on past experience it will be entertaining and relevant to Family History research.
  • Looking further ahead, there will be an exhibition in Kewstoke Village Hall from the 11th to the 14th July organised by the Kewstoke Local History Group at which our Society will have a Help Desk run by Graham Payne and others.   More can be seen   about the Kewstoke Group which has an impressive collection of data about the Village.  Past Exhibitions have been well worth a visit – even if you have no family connection with Kewstoke the information which they have collected will interest you. 
  • If any of you know of events or resources which would interest our members please add them as comments to this update.  
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March 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/03/2019 - 14:27

It’s March 1st bringing with it the daffodils with which to celebrate St David’s Day for the people of Wales and the promise of Spring.  February, the shortest month, has finished with the most surprising weather for the UK.  Days of warm sunny weather certainly makes our spirits rise.  But, how did the weather affect our ancestors? British Weather from 1700 to 1849 gives us a glimpse of unusual weather events and of special concern was during 1845-46 when the weather conditions caused a widespread crop failure leading to great poverty and migration from the rural areas. This was very evident in Somerset when many left to find work in industrial areas, particularly, in South Wales.

Useful Web sites

  • The British Newspaper Archive is continually adding new papers and this week has added the Central Somerset Gazette from 1862-1981 and I discovered with some amusement that in the edition of 5th June 1980 it was reported, under the heading of Women’s Institutes, that at the next meeting of the Rodney Stoke and Draycot WI there would be a “Cookery Demonstration of Summer Sweets and Salads by Mrs Hase”.  I remember it well – I was working at Weston College at that time.  I arrived early to take a look at the churchyard to see if I could find out anything about my husband’s CASELEY ancestors who came from Rodney Stoke!
  • This advertisement caught my eye on Findmypast  that “The 1921 Census is Coming  But even January 2022, when it will be released, isn’t that far away!  I remember the excitement of the 1881 census being released because it had all my grandparents on it – The 1921 census will answer some of the questions of those wanting to know what happened to members of their family in the 20th Century before the 1939 register.
  • Another new resource, if you have ancestors in the Bath area, is the free Bath Historical Directories which has Bath Directories  from the 1840s to the 1930s and offers several ways in which to search them.  I have spent many hours in Bath library searching through their Bath directories for members of the LONG family so this is actually very helpful.
  • The February Newsletter from Lost Cousins  included a master class on how to find birth certificates in England and Wales, which I’m sure you will find useful, especially if you are having difficulty with a missing relative.  Having just written that, I received another newsletter from Lost Cousins  with even more useful tips. It includes a short piece on a man marrying deceased wife’s sister – which always reminds me of the Fairy Queen in the G & S Operetta Iolanthe referring to the long- winded campaign to change the law when she sings of pricking "that annual blister, marriage with deceased wife's sister". If you do not already subscribe to this free newsletter I advise you to do so for up-to-date news about family history.
  • Our own web site is expanding to include information about the villages which we cover.  If you go to Information Sources in the left-hand column of the home page and then click on Places/Churches you will see a list of Places with the Church (or Churches) which serves them.  If you click on the Name of the Church you get the transcriptions of their registers (for members only) but if you click on the Name of the Place you will get some information and photographs about the place.  At the moment, there is information available for (in no particular order!) Abbots Leigh, Bleadon, Locking, Kenn, Chelvey, Badgworth, Brockley, Hutton, Chapel Allerton, Weare, Chew Stoke and Backwell.  More will follow.

 Dates for your Diary

  • The North Somerset Archivist will be visiting Weston Library on the 1st Thursday of March, June, September and December. Sessions are open from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm, and from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm. The next session is on Thursday 7th March and for more information or to order documents contact somersetarchives@swheritage.org.uk  
  • The U3A in Weston is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its founding and its Family Group has been running from the start.  The U3A is holding an Open Day including an exhibition of what it offers on Saturday, March 16th at the United Reform Church in Waterloo Street.
  • The next edition of Buckets and Spades will be published at the end of March and is only available to full members but non-members - including our Facebook Group - can see selected articles from old issues.  Go to Journal Articles in the menu at the left hand side of the home page.
  • The Family History Show – South West will be held at UWE on 6th July 2019.  It is good to support this which will have interesting stands and speakers and it is much nearer than London!

Society News

I know that many of you will want to join with me in offering sympathy and condolences to Maureen Harvey on the sad loss of her husband.  Brian Austin is waiting for open heart surgery – we all wish him well and a speedy recovery. 

The next meeting of the Society, on the 26th March, will be about the Mapping Project “Know Your Place”. This is a very exciting and useful resource and one to which you can add photographs and information. It now covers Bath and North East Somerset, BristolDevonGloucestershire, Somerset, North Somerset and Wiltshire .  Take a look at the site before the meeting so that you can fully benefit from the talk.

The Saturday Free Help Sessions are continuing from 2.00 – 3.30 p.m. each Saturday in Weston Library. The facilities in the Local Studies section enables us to point you in the right direction whether you are researching somewhere in this locality or a family wherever it is.  Free access to Ancestry is a tremendous help.  Sometimes it just takes another person looking at your research to suggest a different path to take – this applies no matter how experienced you are.  Thanks to all who freely give of their time and experience to support this. 

If you have a stumbling block in your research why not ask for help either in the library or if you can’t get there, write on our Research Forum which has been rather quiet lately. I can't really believe that there are so few queries from members - every new thing I find poses another question!  If you see a query that you can help with, then please do post a comment – any help is really appreciated.  Non- members, including our Facebook Group can answer your queries with a reply directly to the questioner. Have you added your surnames to the list of Members’ Surnames and perhaps added a tree as well to explain a little more about your interests? 

If you have any comments about what the society has to offer please let us know as this is your Society and we want to share our enthusiasm for family history.

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February 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/02/2019 - 11:13

Welcome to our newly updated web site - thanks to Paul and Graham who have overseen this improvement.  If you are puzzled by any of the changes to the web site any queries may be answered here .Welcome also to anyone who is reading this monthly update for the first time.  Each month we try to keep you up to date with Society news and newly available resources, or perhaps remind you of a forgotten one!  

Buckets & Spades

  • The deadline for the next edition of our Journal has been extended until the end of February – this will mean that it can be published at equal intervals throughout the year.  Please send any articles or other items to Sue Maguire.   Have you made a breakthrough in your research, or are there any resources you can recommend? Buckets & Spades is a way of contacting all our members whether they are computer users or not and all will be pleased to read of your family history experiences. 
  • Some articles from our Journal can be seen by non-members by clicking on “Journal Articles”   found under the main menu on the left-hand side of the home page. 

Next Society Meeting – Doors open at 7.00pm

  • At the next meeting on 26th February at the Vintage Church in Hughenden Road, the speaker will be Ann-Marie Wilkinson.  If you are a member of the Somerset & Dorset FHS you will know Ann-Marie as she is currently its Chair.  The last time she spoke to us it was about a Photographic collection held at Wells which was very interesting.  
  • This time her topic is Early Censuses.  I doubt if Ann-Marie will include the census which took Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem – that’s probably too early! - but there are many available if you know where to look, with varying amounts of information. 
  • I’ve found members of my family in the 1801 census of Huntspill, a transcription of which is included here and others are in the 1831 census of Bitton, which is in the Bristol Archives.

W-s-M & District FHS Facebook Group

  • This has been formed to inform people about our society and its activities.  It is still very new  - You can see what is happening on it by accessing it through the Facebook link on our web page  or from this link
  • Many thanks go to Lorna Gibson (supported by her son Neil) for setting it up and for being an Administrator and to Jeanette Carter who is acting as a Moderator. 
  • It is a closed group so you have to apply to join and give a reason for becoming a member.  We now have just over 60 members.

Federation of Family History Societies

As a Society we are a member of this overarching group and this is just a reminder that its website is full of useful information.  Do look at it from time to time.  At the moment it is highlighting the following:

  • The rise in the cost of certificates from the GRO which takes effect from February 16th.  Get your orders in before they go up - Certificates will increase from £9.25 to £11.00.  At the same time the PDF versions of births and deaths will rise from £6.00 to £7.00. To order visit the GRO site.  
  • Transcription Tuesday Feb 5th is organised by the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine.  This year they've chosen to support three projects, led by FamilySearch and Heritage & Culture Warwickshire, along with a joint initiative from the University of Portsmouth, the Modern Records Centre and the National Railway Museum For more details see WDYTYA website   
  • Family Tree Live  - a New Family History Show taking place in London in April.  More details from Family Tree Magazine   Let us know if you would like a visit to this organised.

Rootstech – London Oct 2019

  • Rootstech is a mainstay of the American Genealogical scene and each year its Conferences are attended by researchers who benefit from the programme of Lectures and associated stands.  In 2019 there will be a Rootstech event held in London. For more details visit the Rootstech London web site  
  • The presentations given at the 2018 Rootech in Salt Lake City can be seen online and if you have the time to watch them you can pick and choose from a wide selection of topics.   I have just watched one entitled “A DNA match with No Tree? – No Problem” which gave some very useful tips for overcoming this problem. 

1939 Register and Free Help Sessions

  • Set up as the means of knowing who would need an Identity Card and a Ration Book during WW2, this is proving an extremely useful tool for finding members of your family who were alive in September 1939 and who have since died. 
  • It gives the full birth date of each entry and also if a woman has since married it gives her new married name.  It can be consulted on pay for view web sites such as Ancestry, Findmypast and My Heritage but also in the Library (free of charge).
  • If you come into Weston Library on any Saturday afternoon to the free help sessions you can be given some tips on using this.

Looking for a woman in your tree?

  • Findmypast includes useful blogs which you can access without a subscription – here’s one about how to find the maiden name of women in your family
  • Similarly, the Ancestry Academy has a video about searching for women.  It is very American orientated but the basic information it gives is sensible.  You do not need an Ancestry subscription to use any of videos in the Ancestry Academy - Just lots of time!!

Members’ Surname Interests

  • Has a member of this society already shown an interest in your family surname?  If you click on Members’ Surname Interests under the main menu you will find a list of names being researched by members and in some cases family trees have also been posted.
  • One of the changes on the new web site is that although only members will be able to enter names and make comments under that heading, anyone, whether a member or not will be able to contact that member directly through the site with information for them but the members’ email address will not be divulged. More information about that can be seen here.   

New Year’s Resolutions. 

  • In the January Update I included this – "Lastly, it is the time for New Year Resolutions – one of mine is to get you all involved – so please when you have read this add a comment where it says “Add new Comment” describing what your New Year Resolution will be in respect of Family History!”  Where were those comments?  Have you nothing planned for this year?
  • It’s probably too late for your resolutions now - but we are looking forward to members adding comments about anything on the web site (including the Monthly Updates!) and using the Research Forum to share problems and to help others solve theirs.

My final tip is that although many of you will be reading this initially as a notification on your phones do go to the web site and look at all that is available to you from the society.  There’s a lot there!  Good Luck with your research.

 

 

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January 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 31/12/2018 - 21:58

A Happy New Year to all who are reading this! 

My thoughts on DNA Testing

  • I have a feeling that 2019 will bring more questions to your family history research.  Hopefully, the popularity of DNA testing – or at least the fact that it has been so widely publicised with special offers - will attract more people to do some actual research about their ancestors. 
  • Many will have been tempted over the Christmas season to purchase kits, lured by the offer of an insight into their ethnicity but with no idea of where their grandparents came from, let alone where their ancestors lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago!  For example, take a look at this extract from a year ago when the presenters of Good morning Britain were tested and see their reactions.
  • The results of DNA tests are another tool in the researching of our family history when used in conjunction with traditional methods.
  • If you are considering DNA testing, I found this blog on Findmypast very useful 3 Reasons every family historian should take a DNA test
  • If you have tested, or are considering testing, be prepared to spend time researching the trees of your matches to find where the link might be or adding to your own tree in preparation.  For example, my best match so far is a 2nd to 3rd cousin once removed (on My Heritage) This means that we could share great grandparents or gg grandparents.  In order to find a link I am now filling in all the descendants of the siblings of my gg grandparents in the hope that we find a connection somewhere.  I think I know all 16 gg grandparents (and all 32 ggg grandparents) but this would be a good target for everyone to aim at during 2019.
  • Over Christmas I enjoyed the Royal Institute Lectures which were on the theme “Who am I?” and explored DNA.  They can still be seen on iplayer for another 3 weeks. As a background to DNA testing I found them very interesting.

Social History and Family History

  • I consider that apart from the documentary evidence which we use in family history research that the Social History of the period in which our ancestors were living is also important. This video provides some assistance in understanding the background to our families and gives some tips for research.  
  • There have been a few queries about addresses on our Research Forum lately.  For Weston addresses it is possible to have some idea if the number changed by using the address search available on Findmypast on censuses for 1901 and 1911.  If any of the residents in the street are there on both censuses, note their addresses for both years.  Many of Weston houses did not have numbers initially but were given names (which did sometimes change!) Look on Google StreetView for up-to-date images of the road – the numbers today should be the same as they were in 1911.

Cost of BMD Certificates from the GRO

  • If when you are doing any research you need to buy a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate you should try to do it before the prices go up on Feb 16th 2019. See the Latest News Item on our own web site for more details
  • Don't forget that the GRO Index will give you the mother's maiden name from 1837 - 1917 and the age at death from 1837 - 1957.  The cost of the PDF versions is also going up.

BillionGraves

  • I have been surprised recently by finding some burials of relations on BillionGraves – they were in Manchester but there are a few more local ones as well. 
  • I also found the grave of Arthur Harold John PUDDY who was a 2nd cousin to my husband in Highbridge Cemetery.  The site is worth investigating and is free to search.

Roman Catholic Records

  • This blog on Findmypast explains the importance of Roman Catholic Records and where to find them and how to read them. 

Dates for your Diary

  • Just a reminder that the dead-line for articles for the next edition of Buckets and Spades is fast approaching – it’s the end of January and Sue Maguire will be delighted with anything you have to offer short or long.  Any new findings over Christmas or have any brick-walls been demolished?  Any resources you can recommend? Our Journal is a way of contacting all our members whether they are computer users or not and all will be pleased to read of your family history experiences. 
  • The U3A Family History Group will meet at St Paul’s Church Hall on Friday January 4th at 2.15pm – This Group has people who are beginners and some with vast experience so in the true spirit of the U3A is a Self-Help and Sharing Group.  It will meet monthly and the first meeting will be led by Grace Rubery who will offer an introduction and refresher presentation as well as investigating the needs of the group for 2019.  Grace has a programme planned until the summer – please contact her for more details.  Thank you, Grace and your team, for keeping this group going.
  • There are also two DNA for Family History Groups run by the U3A. One group meets in Worle from 2.00pm – 4.00 pm on the first Tuesday of the month and the other at Bleadon from 7pm – 9pm on the second Thursday of the month. Contact Jenny Towey for more information.
  • Society Subscriptions covering the calendar year from Jan 1st – Dec 31st and are now due and you can pay at the January meeting, use the form in the centre of Buckets and Spades or pay by credit card via the Parish Chest website.  See full details here 
  • After a break of a couple of weeks the Saturday Free Help Sessions at the Library will start again on Saturday the 5th January.   If you have any queries - please go along to the Library in the Town Hall in Weston between 2.00 until 3.30 pm to seek help.  Come at the start of the afternoon to ensure being seen by one of our volunteers. You don't have to be a member to come along.
  • The next meeting of the Society will be on Tuesday, January 22nd when Bill Caple will be looking back to September 1903 and the big storm and its effect on the Somerset Coast.  I was given a copy of Knightstone, The Story of Weston-super-Mare’s “Island” Theatre by Jonathan Shorney for Christmas.  The Theatre had been opened in 1902 and the audience of 500 that September evening was trapped until the storm subsided.

Lastly, it is the time for New Year Resolutions – one of mine is to get you all involved – so please when you have read this please add a comment where it says “Add new Comment” describing what your New Year Resolution will be in respect of Family History!

Many thanks for all the good wishes and cards I have received - Get Well, Birthday and Christmas Cards still fill the house and I am thankful for them all.  I am now almost half way through my chemotherapy and with the adjusted dosage I am not having the side effects which caused the problems with the first cycle.  I hope very much to be back with you all in the summer but I can still sit at a computer and research!

A Very Happy and  Successful New Year!

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Forthcoming Events

Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 22nd June, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Society Meeting
Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 19:00 - 21:00
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 29th June, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 6th July, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 13th July, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
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