A warm welcome to any new members who are reading this Update and we wish you all a successful time with us finding out more information about your family history. Please add your surname interests to the list so that you can find out whether you share a surname with other members.
A brief reminder to other members that, if you have not already done so, your annual subscription is now due and can be paid directly to our membership secretary, Graham Payne, details here or online via Genfair when you can choose whether to have our journal supplied digitally or sent to you as a printed booklet.
- Due to circumstances out of our control the Weston Library will be closed next Saturday - that's the 8th February - which means that our Free Help Session will not take place. We will be there on Saturday February 15th as usual from 2.00 - 3.30
- An unexpected benefit of this is that members will be free to visit the Family History Show on Saturday 8th Feb which is being held at UWE in Bristol from 10 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. This is the largest family history event in the South West and apart from the exhibitors there will be free talks throughout the day.
- Over the years there have been many ways in which the advent of the internet has produced helpful ways of allowing people with similar interests to meet and compare research. But changes are now happening and those of us who have benefited from belonging to Yahoo Groups and Rootsweb Mailing Lists are having to learn new ways to keep in touch as these are closing. Much gratitude is due to those who administered and kept them going. I attended several annual meetings (we called them "Bunfights"! ) of people from one of the Rootsweb Mailing lists covering our area. These were friendly and enjoyable to be able to put faces to the names who were so helpful in answering queries.
- New methods will take their place and I do recommend taking advantage of these - it is always beneficial to share your problem and to gain help from people with a similar interest.
- This leads me to the use of our own Research Forum for full members and our Face Book Group for non-members. There is a wealth of experience to be tapped - why not use these avenues for research? We have opened the Research Forum to members who are researching their ancestors from other parts of the country as our local membership does not necessarily have local ancestors.
- Ancestry - which is available free of charge in the Library - has updated "Find a Grave" and it now includes burials at sea, burials in other parts of the world and more from the UK. I have been able to find some recent burials of distant relations.
- Find my Past has a useful guide for beginners with a 5-step guide to tracing a family back to 1911 which may be particularly useful when encouraging younger relatives to take an interest!
- Janet Few continues to provide thought provoking blogs about research and this one about the "Words and Voices of our Ancestors" may inspire you to record any living relatives and to consider the dialects which our ancestors used and how they were interpreted by enumerators!
- The deadline for items for the next edition of Buckets and Spades is fast approaching - February 14th - This will be the 100th edition of our journal and our editor, Sue Mcguire, is looking forward to all your contributions.
- At the last meeting a new catalogue of the Books in our own Library was made available to our full members who attend meetings. Brian Airey brings a selection to each meeting relevant to the topic of the evening but with this catalogue you can see the all which are available. It is available online on our webpage and printed copies are available at meetings
Speakers and Society Meetings
- Thanks to Peter Lander, our member, and archivist of the Birnbeck Regeneration Project for his interesting talk at the January meeting. It coincided with yet another newspaper account speculating about the future of this historic landmark. Many of our ancestors who lived in the area would have been familiar with the pier (or bridge) and island as Peter called it, through the attractive funfare installations, the Lifeboat, the popular boat trips along the Bristol Channel and towards the end of its active life the Victorian Musical Evenings and Banquets. If you do have any photographs of Birnbeck do let Peter have them as they all add something to its history
- Our next Meeting, on Feb 25th, will have another member Simon Begent, as the guest Speaker. He will be talking about Locking , his home village. Locking is also linked closely with RAF Locking and at least one of our members was an apprentice there. The history of Locking is fascinating linking it with Woodspring Priory and the Bristol Merchant Venturers amongst others. What would it have been like to live there during the Monmouth uprising?
We would welcome comments from members, especially if they have discovered new helpful resources or have any ideas about what they want from this society.