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October 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 01/10/2019 - 12:51

Yesterday, Sept 30th, we enjoyed our Annual Lunch which took place at the Worlebury Golf Club.  Thank you to Peter de Dulin for organising it and it was agreed that we would do it all again next year so if you couldn’t make it today, we hope you can join us in 2020.

Thanks also to Peter Towey for his interesting talk about military medals at our last monthly meeting – so many of our families had people who took part in the first world war and we may be familiar with Pip, Squeak and Wilfred  and their variants but the more recent medals were new to me not being in a military family.  My grandfather’s records are amongst the lost WW1 ones but just last week I noticed that his name appeared in a list on FOLD3 via Ancestry – you need a subscription for FOLD3 but by using their Free Trial I was able to see information about his pension.

I hope some of you took the opportunity to visit some of the churches which were open during the Heritage Days in September.  Several of them had interesting exhibitions of their history on view and thanks to all the people who took time to answer questions about the places.

Next Saturday, October 4th, we will be taking part in the Library’s initiative to inspire people to take up a new hobby and of course we will be suggesting Family History could be the one to choose.  This “Fun Palace” will be operating from 10.00 – 12 noon and the afternoon Free Help Session will be running as usual.  If you can spread the word to others outside the Society, it would be appreciated.  Full details can be seen here.  

On October 12th the Weston & District FHS Stand will be at the Glamorgan FHS Open Day hoping to help all those “Welsh” people whose families came from Somerset!  If you live on that side of the Bristol Channel do make yourselves known to Graham Payne and Bill Caple who will be managing the stand.

WW2  Memories

At our last meeting it was suggested again to me that we might be able to produce a booklet about people’s memories of WW2.  Some articles have already gone to Sue for inclusion in the next edition of Buckets and Spades but I would be glad to receive any more so that we can see whether this booklet is possible.  First or secondhand memories and photographs are welcome of life in Britain during WW2. As I mentioned last month. Any accounts of the blitz on Weston or elsewhere, experiences of evacuation or the “Make do and Mend” culture, food and rationing and anything else which would give those who follow us an idea of what life was like.

Music in Weston

I have also had several queries lately about people who were musicians in Weston.  Some were of German ancestry while others were local.  Names include DEAHL, PFAFF, MOGG, BURGESS, CORELLI, WINDEATT, WAGNER etc.  If you have a musician in your family please can you let me know because this might be of interest to others.

Aspects of Family History Research

  • A couple of years ago I enrolled on the free online course on Family History hosted by Strathclyde University and found it very worth while and recommend it if you want to brush up your research techniques.  I know that some other members have benefitted from it and the next course starts on the 28th of October.  It’s a five week course and is suitable for all, beginners and those with some experience.
  • If you are following the Rugby World Cup in Japan you may be interested in the My Heritage research into the DNA of 4 former world class players.  Essentially an advert for My Heritage DNA but I still feel that the most important results of DNA testing are not the aspects of ethnicity but the connections made and confirmed by traditional research  
  • Findmypast has a free blog which has some interesting items – In particular during September it put on an article about tracing the family tree of Tess DALY who introduces the BBC programme Strictly Come Dancing   It is a step by step guide to research which shows how some errors can occur on original documents.
  • We have talked a lot lately about how we can get younger people interested in Family History.  Essex Record Office has produced a series of brief power-point presentations intended for use by school teachers but the content is of interest to anyone who is researching their family and want to find more that just names and dates – these give a background into the social history and lives of our ancestors 
  • If, like me, you are still waiting for Wills and Probates you ordered way back in July – it seems that they grossly underestimated that response that the reduction in price would produce – you are encouraged to wait patiently because contacting them simply lengthens the process.   The wills I have received have given me some surprises and answered some questions.  As I probably would not have ordered them at the original price, they are well worth the wait.

Our next meeting at the Vintage Church is on the 4th Tuesday of October – that’s October 22nd – and the subject will be Somerset Photographers 1839-1939. Phil Nichols and Robin Ansell will be discussing the project of cataloguing all the known photographers operating in Somerset at that time. With Allan Collier they have produced a book and CD entitled “Secure the Shadow”, published by the Somerset & Dorset FHS which lists all the named photographers many of whom operated in Weston-super-Mare.

The Help Sessions in the Library on Saturday afternoons 2.00 ‘til 3.30 p.m. and the Facebook Group continue to attract new people and we hope that some will join our society

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