We are halfway through 2023 and the web site and the facebook group has been rather quiet so I’m hoping that you are all enjoying the weather and perhaps planning to visit those places frequented by your ancestors. If you need help in finding where to go you could do no better that use Know Your Place which is tremendously helpful in providing maps and photographs of places of interest. To read more about places on these maps their facebook group has some fascinating and informative postings from Cat Lodge
Free Help Session
It is too late to remind you of the July Free Help Session at the Library which was on Saturday, 1st July but the next one will be Saturday 5th August from 2,00 p.m. The Library is now offering FindmyPast as well as Ancestry to assist your research.
Missing email address
I recently received an email via our website but it reached me without an email address. The sender lives in Australia and I would really like to contact her. Her name is Sally SUTHERLAND nee TOY and she is descended from Rebecca Hester Barnard HASE who went to Australia in 1881. Several years ago another descendant of Rebecca’s visited us and we took her over to Axbridge to see the Workhouse where Rebecca had spent some time. If anyone has any ideas about how I can find Sally I would be delighted.
Next Society Meeting
On Wednesday, 12th July at our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall from 2.30 p.m. member Honey Langcaster-James will be speaking about “Meet my Ancestors” who she describes as early founders of Weston-super-Mare. Honey has produced a web site Meet My Ancestor in which she reports her research into her family which includes Richard FRY, one of the Weston Worthies. One of our longest serving members, Anne Woolforth, who carries the Membership Number 49, is the speaker’s cousin and is hoping to come to the meeting from her home in Sussex.
Pamela Mary VOWLES 1929-2023
I was very sorry to hear of the death of Pamela VOWLES who had been a member of our Society for some time. Pam was brought up in Bristol but after her marriage lived in Weston. Until Covid she had regularly attended our meetings but had recently moved to Exeter to be nearer one of her daughters, however, she continued to attend zoom meetings. We extend our sympathy to her family.
This week I also got sidetracked by the Ashes! Although Ben DUCKETT has been associated with first class cricket for many years, I began to wonder whether he had any connections with the DUCKETTs of Somerset. We have DUCKETTs in our family. Using mainly the free site FREEBMD I tracked his family back to the Liverpool area in the early 19th century and can see no immediate connection. In fact, he seems to come from a different strata of society than the Wedmore DUCKETTs!
I’ve had a couple of enquiries about Divorce and how to find out about them.
There are reports of divorces available in the National Archives – use their Discovery Search facility.
I have come across some divorces in our family and have found that newspapers are a resource worth researching. Frederick Charles MARSHALL (known as Charlie) was an uncle of my husband and had married Doris Jane Maria CRIDDLE in 1935 in the Bridgwater District.
The family story goes that while Charlie was away serving in WW2 that Doris had several men friends culminating in this Newspaper entry:
As this was held in Bristol details can be found in the Bristol Archives
Doris married again – not to Thomas BRADLEY – but to a William J DAVEY in 1953. Uncle Charlie married Margery SLOCOMBE in Wells in 1952 and they went to live in Shepton Mallet in Victoria Grove. Sadly, Charlie died suddenly in a London Hospital in November 1957. Now this is the surprising bit. Late in 1958 I was sent to Shepton Mallett on Teaching Practice and had digs in Victoria Grove. My landlady introduced me to her friend Margery who she said had been widowed a year ago. How was I to know then that I was to meet and marry her late husband’s nephew!
New (and Old) Resources Online
- Each Friday FindmyPast publishes its latest resources – take a look at to see what has been added to their site and don’t forget that this is now available in Weston Library. You do need to book to use it . For more details see the announcement by the Library
- Ancestry lists its latest acquisitions and updated records. It may be worth revisiting some areas to find new records.
- The National Archives with its 155 Guides to Family History Research gives you a marvellous opportunity to familiarise yourself with the background to the records which you are using.
- The National Archives still has its free download of digital records such as PCC Wills and Medal Cards etc.. Yes, they can also be obtained through other subscription sources but they are free when obtained from here. Go to The National Archives Discovery site register or sign in, search in the normal way and then click on “Available for download only”. When you find the document you require click on it and follow the instructions. I searched for “Weston-super-Mare” and the first document was this photograph. It’s worth seeing what is available.
Wishing you all a happy and fruitful July with your research and don’t forget that the Research Forum and the Facebook Group are available to you to ask for help. Any comments and advice you can offer to other members will be very welcome.