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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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