Welcome to the August Newsletter. We do not have a meeting during August but hope to see you at the Hutton “Taste of Somerset” Show on August 30th where we will have a stand. There will not be a Free Help Session in August but anyone can visit the library at any time it is open to add to their research. You will have access to Ancestry and Find My Past at Weston Library as well as the resources found in the Library.
Members are reminded of the Anniversary Dinner on the 18th September and encouraged to let Peter de Dulin know your choices. More details
Why did they move?
Some years ago, I took part in a survey – I think it was run by Leicester University – to look at the reasons for internal migration in the UK. Why did your ancestors move around the country? Just considering my own parents who only moved within Bristol was interesting. How moves can be made for reasons imposed rather than by choice.
- My parents were married in 1935 and had saved enough for a deposit on a bungalow at Brislington, not far from where my father was employed at Crittall Windows on the Bath Road.
- In 1939 the illness of my widowed maternal grandfather meant that my parents rented out their bungalow and went to live with him in Greenbank to care for him. My father changed jobs at this point as well. They can be found with him on the 1939 register. I'm with them but I am pleased to see that as my entry is redacted I must still be alive!
- WW2 broke out and I have vague memories of watching war planes fly over while being held by my grandfather. By 1941 my grandfather had recovered from his illness and had decided to marry again! War time restrictions meant that my parents were unable to get their bungalow back and so had to rent accommodation in Eastville.
- It wasn’t until 1948 that they were able to return to Brislington and then it needed a court order to get the property back.
- In 1961 my paternal grandfather died leaving his house to his 4 children. It was agreed that my father could buy out his siblings and my parents moved back to his family home at Stapleton, where they remained until my father’s death in 1987.
- My mother then had accommodation in my sister’s home in Filton until her death about 10 years later.
Why did your people move?
We asked this question to our Facebook Members and had some interesting replies. They ranged from evacuation, for employment, for health reasons, to start a business catering for the holiday trade, to be nearer family members, to getting married. etc. These reasons can all be included to enhance in your Family History as they breathe life into your story
Society of One Place Studies
10 years ago, Dr Janet Few started this Society to assist people to look in detail at a small area of the country which interested them or was involved their ancestry. It could be the village or street in which you live or your ancestors lived - to see how it has developed over the years, and the occupations of other residents. it might be a local church, cemetery, prison or workhouse. It could be a local industry like a Pottery, Quarry, Shop, Theatre or Brewery etc., Perhaps the railway, other means of transport, or local sporting activities, the list is endless. Researching places also involves researching the people resident or working in that place.
In September, to celebrate this 10 year Anniversary there will be an event called“All about that Place” which will introduce you to this type of research which uses those skills which you have honed in your Family History Research
10 minute Talks
The British Association for Local History which is sponsoring “All about that Place” also offers some very interesting 10-minute Talks on video covering a range of subjects. You might not want to spend longer than that watching a video, but these short ones are worth investigating. Do try one of these 10 minute talks which interests you.
Researching the previous inhabitants of your home or road.
If you are choosing to research a road – try a short one! Just recently I put all the residents of Ewart Road in 1921/22 taken from a Street Directory on to our Facebook Group which resulted in several people recognising their ancestors living there. When comparing the residents with the 1921 census you can see the occupations of all inhabitants and a couple of the wives were taking in washing -describing themselves as Laundress.
EWART ROAD in 1921/2
From Milton Road
1 THORN, G
2 CARTER, H
3 TANCOCK, Edwin
4 BIDWELL, J
5 TAMLYN, W
6 BRUFORD, E
7 BATEMAN, E
8 BIDWELL, H
9 BROOKS, P
10 REYNOLDS, M J
11 PHILLIPS, G, Stoke Villa
12 RICE, G
13 KNIGHT, C, Spaxton House
14 STOCKER, Alfred, St Neots
Here Cross over
15 HOCKEY, O W, Surrey Villa
16 ROSSITER, A, Needwood
17 BOND, Wm, Belmont
18 FEAR, Herbert W, Glencoe
19 BOARD, F and LOVELL, R A, Lydenburg
20 WEBB, B J
21 BURNELL, Lewis and MORLEY, D, Lilton Villa
22 BENNETT, Arthur, Brynville
23 WILLIAMS, Chas
24 COLLARD, F W
25 BENNETT, F., Ivydene
26 LLOYD, J
27 RAFORD, A.
28 DENSLEY, J
Other roads in Weston which give examples of work undertaken at home include Holland Street where the long gardens allowed the washing to dry, the buildings at the bottom of the gardens or attached to the house contained the boilers and the wide drives allowed horse and carts to bring laundry from houses on the hill. Check the 1891 census to see how many women are employed as laundresses.
Palmer Street has archways between the terraced houses to allow access to the rear for workmen to bring horse or donkey carts. Again check on censuses to see what employment the residents have.
As you all seem very reluctant to use our Research Forum – Why is this? I have asked this question in several Newsletters but never got a reply.
Where do you get help for your research when you are stuck?
I find it helps to unravel my research problems by writing them in the form of a request for help. Sometimes then you can even solve them yourself!
UK Railway Records
While considering movement of ancestors. My great grandfather, William PINNOCK worked for the GWR. His movements were governed by his employment.
He was born in Winterbourne, Gloucestershire. From his Railway Record (found on Ancestry) I was able to follow his employment from initially joining at Swindon. On the 1871 census he can be found boarding with his uncle’s widow, Esther PINNOCK and described as a fireman on goods trains.
In July the same year he was moved to Weymouth to become a fireman on passenger trains. In Feb 1873 he was stationed at Paddington again as a passenger train fireman. He married a Jane HARRIS in Weymouth in October 1875 – presumably they had met while he was based in Weymouth and in December 1875 he moved to Reading to work in the Yard as an Engine Turner (responsible for the turntable and for shunting engines).
Jane died in Reading in 1877 and in 1878 he married my great grandmother, Annie STOKES. from Wraxall who was working as a domestic servant in Reading giving his occupation as an engine driver. They had 5 children before his death in 1885. Annie returned to Bristol as a widow.
His Records also show when he was reprimanded for breaches of the rules. There is no mention of an inquest on a fellow railwayman – a signal man - who was accidentally killed by his engine when shunting it into the shed. No blame was attached to him.
This newsletter seems to be more about local history than family history but I hope that it may encourage some of you to look at your research in a different way.
Please feel free to comment on this newsletter - perhaps to offer advice to other members about how to get the most information about your families and the places in which they lived.