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October 2022 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 30/09/2022 - 22:02

This newsletter will be published by Oct 1st which is the first Saturday of the month when there will be a Free Help Session at Weston Library from 2.00pm.  Our volunteers hope to see you there! With colder weather it is likely that more people will have time for Family History Research.

  • Death of Queen Elizabeth II

We have just lived through a very historic month; I wonder how you will record it in your own life history?  Just looking at her long life and the many changes in the position of Women in Society which have occurred during that time could form a theme for our own female ancestors. Sadly, I didn’t ask my grandfather about the passing of Queen Victoria in January 1901 when he had been 26 and would have been very aware of national events.  How did he hear the news? He told me so many stories about his life but not about that.  The method of communicating news to the public has changed so much during the 20th  and 21st centuries as was demonstrated by the Proclamation of King Charles III being given in several different locations to ensure that the Public were given that information as in the days of yore.

  • DNA Workshop

We seem to have numerous TV programmes which use DNA as a theme – some better than others!  Our next Zoom Workshop on Wednesday, 5th October, will be about DNA and its use in family history research.  Jenny Towie will be de-mystifying it and show how it can be used as another tool in constructing our family trees.  My main problem with DNA is the lack of supporting family trees – I seem to spend a great deal of time completing the trees of DNA matches to find that elusive common ancestor. Perhaps if I was royalty, it would be easier!

  • Research Forum

Those of you who have read the Research Forum Queries will know that I have a first cousin, three time removed, Emily Ann BURROWS, who married a “Prince” in 1872.  With the help of Richard Gardiner, one of our knowledgeable members, I have been able to piece together more about her life and death. It is so helpful to have someone else look at your research from a different viewpoint.  There was an inquest after her death in 1896 with the information from the Coroner Wynne E Baxter.  I am writing an article for Buckets and Spades about her and her marriage to Zacharius Basilius GORTZACOFF. However as the deadline is the 1st October for the November edition it will be for a later issue.

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  • Coroners' Reports from Inquests

Coincidentally, I had another first cousin, three times removed, Frances COLES whose story was reported in the newspapers.  There was also an inquest after her death in 1891 with information from the same Coroner Wynne E Baxter. There was considerable speculation at the time of the death of Frances that she might have been a victim of “Jack the Ripper”. The records of Coroners are often difficult to find and information about a death may only be obtained from newspaper accounts of the Inquest and post-mortem or from death certificates.

As a side issue Emily and Frances were both first cousins, once removed of my grandfather and he did not mention either of them!

  • Missing Census Pages

I spent a great deal of time recently looking for the parents of Emily Ann BURROWS who I knew were living in Bristol when the 1851 census was taken.  My first point of call is usually Findmypast, but I could not find John and Ann anywhere.  Knowing that the name BURROWS had been mis transcribed before, I tried variants and even searched for the family using their first names but without success.  The address search did not come up with their actual address.

Eventually I went to the first page of the area in which I thought they would be and started to look page by page – like we used to do in the old days!  But what I found surprised me as there were so many missing pages.  By checking the Folio and Page numbers I was able to identify these missing pages – 1, 3-6, 8-15, 17, 22 and 25 – that is 16 missing pages! It is no wonder that I could not find my family.

Findmypast has been notified and promised to look into it, especially as the Genealogist and Ancestry appear to have the full set.

This is the missing family from the Genealogist.  The moral of this story is that you might have to check several resources to get a complete picture.

  • WW2 Land Army Index

During September Ancestry has released the records of the WW2 Land Army Index Cards from 1939-1948.  Just searching for Weston-super-Mare there appear to be 43 women on this list. This one may answer a family history puzzle.  Anyone researching ZABEL and/or BAKER?

  • Free Online Genealogy Course

Last January a new free online course was offered by MyHeritage – Has anyone tried it?  Has it been helpful?  Would you recommend it?   

  • Parish Records with Images

Findmypast has increased the number of parish records for which it has images as well as transcriptions.  Some are only available from this source.  They include Roman Catholic Parish Records from various counties. Devon C of E parish records are particularly useful for anyone researching ancestors from the West of England. Several of the Weston Worthies had roots in Devon including John MAUNDER and his sister Jane MAUNDER.  This is the baptism of John MAUNDER in 1801 in Loxbeare, Devon - From Findmypast

  • School Records

School Records are becoming more available, and some Admission and Logbooks have been added to Findmypast.  In the past I have found that the Logbooks which I have seen have not usually named individual pupils but were more concerned with official visits to the school, examinations and the condition of the buildings but  some of these are very different.

This is from St Nicholas School in Elstree for November 1901

Most Admission Registers give names, addresses, names of guardians and dates of birth so can be a valuable resource.

  • Zoom Workshop on Education Records

The Zoom Workshop on the 26th of October will be based on Education Records and will be presented by myself.  If you have any particular queries, you can add them to this Newsletter in the form of a comment.

  • Next Members' Meeting 

The next Physical Members’ Meeting on the afternoon of Wednesday October 12th at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall, will look at the 1921 Census.  Peter Towey will inform you where & how you can access this new census release and all the new information that is included in it - and what items have been removed. 

If you can recommend any new resources or tips on how to research please feel free to add them as a comment to this newsletter. 

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Comments ..


Submitted by Jenny Towey on Sat, 01/10/2022 - 9:27

Many thanks, Pat, for an interesting and varied newsletter...I wonder what was behind Miss Zabel wanting to be known as Miss Baker - the name Zabel might have caused comments (in wartime) re is it a German name (which it is) - but changing her first name as well is intriguing.

The missing census pages issue is alarming - I wonder how many other pages are missing from all censuses?

Must go - off to get my Covid jab...

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