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Flax Bourton St Michael & All Angels Monumental Inscriptions.
published by Graham Payne on Wed, 06/10/2021 - 9:28

The Flax Bourton St Michael & All Angels MIs transcripts are now available for society members to view online.

If you find any transcript errors or can provide information on any of the incomplete/missing inscriptions please contact the editor of this news article.

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October 2021 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/10/2021 - 17:42

Another month has passed, and the Society is now seriously planning for the future, post pandemic.  As a result of the answers to the questionnaires the committee has decided to restart actual members’ meetings on Wednesday December 8th at a new location.  

Society Meetings

  • These meetings will take now place at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall in Baytree Road, on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the afternoons from 2.30 p.m. until 5.00 p.m. This is in response of requests from members for daytime meetings rather than evening ones.  Arrangements are being made for the speaker to be recorded and the talk paced on our web site for those who are unable to attend the meetings.  It is a first for us to have a meeting in December and we will celebrate with seasonal refreshments and a raffle.  Please bring any  contributions you may have as prizes for the raffle.
  • On Thursday October 21st at 7.00 p.m. Alan Clark will be talking via Zoom about “The Temperance Movement in and around Bristol”
  • On Thursday November 18th at 7.00 p.m. we will have a Zoom AGM covering the last two years
  • The September talk by Grace RUBERY is now available to view from our Web Site.  Once you have signed in, look for Videos under your name on the main menu.

Online Courses

  • Starting on October 7th is a 4 week Online Introductory Course for Family History  It is being run by the Family History Federation with a signing on fee of only £10.00 and will cover a vast range of research aspects.
  • Bristol University is also offering an 8 week online “Introduction to Genealogy” starting on the 26th October. This course will cost £140.00

FamilySearch Digitalisation

This has been announced from Familysearch and as a free resource for family historians it should not to be overlooked. This project to digitalise their micro film collection means that you can find images of census records, parish records and many older Court records online. It is not always easy to find a particular parish but is worth the effort. Some of the records can only be seen at LDS Family History Centres but there are a large number available for the public.  Images can often solve the problem of faulty transcriptions.   For example, although not found on FamilySearch,  - The 1841 census of Rodney Stoke reveals the relationship between John and George CASELEY who are mentioned on the same Grave Stone Memorial in the churchyard of St Leonard’s Church, Rodney Stoke.


George CASELEY has been entered under occupation as “Brother living with one”.  This has been deleted by the enumerator so that does not appear on any transcription, but it gave me the relationship between John and George.  

T.V Programmes

Our Lives

As part of ongoing series of programmes entitled   BBC - Our Lives, Series 5, Finding My Family which celebrates the diversity of lives in the UK, at 7.30 p.m on  the 11th October BBC 1 will broadcast one which covers the search about “Finding My Family”  about a baby girl who was abandoned at birth Manchester.

Who Do You Think You Are?

This ever-popular programme starts another series on Tuesday October 12th on BBC 1 at 9.00 p.m. when the subject will be Josh WIDDICOMBE   A preview of this series with all the participants can be seen here.  It is amazing to realise that this programme has been running for 18 series over the past 10 years. You can still watch 50 of these previous programmes on iplayer 

A House Through Time

The current series has now finished but is still available on iplayer.   I think that this time it was less about the house in question but, situated where it was, it was much more about the mainly middle-class families who lived there over the years, their interests  and the contacts which they made – some of whom probably never visited the house.  There were some lodgers there just after the second world war, when a widow was living there who needed to augment her income.  It was only fairly recently, in the 1990s, when for a time, it became a home for a number of students that it ceased to be a family home.

Trace your own “Home Through Time”

Inspired by the BBC series I have been looking at a building in Bristol which was the home between the 1840s until the 1870s of my great great grandfather and his family.  You may have seen a query I place on our Research Forum  Weston-super-Mare & District Family History Society (wsmfhs.org.uk) about it. Although my family were only there for a time in the mid 19th Century the house which was a timber-framed Elizabethan Building has records in the Bristol Archives dating back to  1624. The building was demolished after a 1942 Bombing incident involving 3 loaded buses and I can remember the concern in my family not only for the 48 lives lost at that time  (my mother knew some of them) but also because of the house which my grandfather knew and had been taken there after it left the hands of the LONG family but was still looked upon as the ancestral home. Newspaper archives have been very useful in finding anecdotes about their life there. 

Ox in 19 Broad Weir

I also noticed that in 1867 the workmen in the employ of Thomas LONG of Broad Weir donated £2.2s to the fund supporting the Bristol Infirmary, and he also asked a neighbour to contribute to the same cause as a way of apologising to him for inferring that he was keeping a brothel!  More information about the Bristol Royal Infirmary can be seen here  

Returning to 19 Broad Weir - In 1869 my great grandfather, who was then about 20 years old, offered a clutch of Black Red Game Eggs for sale for 7/6d.  I wonder where he was  breeding these.  The following year this advertisement appeared.

Fore Sale

Military Research

I have recently been sent the Army Lists for 1816-1915 and am willing to look up anyone who members may think would be helpful for their research.

The Autumn

  • Our ancestors were probably more aware of the traditional celebrations which marked the change of seasons
  • We passed the Autumn Equinox on the 22nd September and now the nights are longer than the days in this country.  Michaelmas, or the Feast of Michael and All Angels, is celebrated on the 29th of September every year. As it falls near the equinox, the day is associated with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days…
  • Throughout October Harvest Festivals Harvest Festival - the facts, customs and traditions (projectbritain.com)   will take place on the Sunday nearest the first full moon after the Autumn Equinox which this year will be Oct 3rd
  • Diwali   When is Diwali 2021? Start date, meaning behind Hindu festival of lights and how it's celebrated (inews.co.uk)  occurs each Autumn for Hindus and others when lights brighten the days.  As the name suggests, temples and houses observing Diwali are very brightly illuminated to celebrate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. This year it will be in early October.
  • Halloween,  History and Traditions of Halloween in Britain | Historic UK (historic-uk.com) the night of October 31st   which many in this country think of as an American tradition, dates back to historic times and can be associated with Celtic customs
  • Autumn is also the time which, when the days are shorter, families have more time to think about their ancestors and how they lived.  If you are starting your research or are puzzled about an elusive ancestor why not use our Research Forum or make sure that your SURNAMES have ben added to the Surname Interest list so that others can contact you? 

Looking forward to the talk in October about Temperance.  Am I correct in believing that the Albert Hotel on the Sea Front was a Temperance Hotel?

If you have found anything in this newsletter helpful or you would like to add to or question anything to it please use the comments facility.

News TopicMonthly Update
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Blackford Holy Trinity Monumental Inscriptions
published by Graham Payne on Sun, 19/09/2021 - 9:47

The Blackford Holy trinity MIs are now available for Society members to view online. 

Once again thank you to member Sue Hoddinott for providing the photographs. 

If you see any transcript errors or can complete any of the missing inscriptions please contact the author of this news article.

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Compton Bishop St Andrews Monumental Inscriptions.
published by Graham Payne on Tue, 07/09/2021 - 11:18

The Compton Bishop St Andrews MIs are now available for Society members to view online.

Thank you to member Sue Hoddinott for providing the photographs.

Please contact the editor of this news article if you can fill in any missing inscriptions or find any transcript errors.

News TopicTranscripts
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Weston Super Mare Milton Road Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions
published by Graham Payne on Thu, 02/09/2021 - 12:41

The Weston Super Mare Milton Road Cemetery MIs are now available for society members to view online.

Due to the size of the file it has been divided by surname into four sections.

The MIs are based on the survey undertaken by Society members in the late 1990's and was subsequently managed and updated by member Stan Baker until his death. These records also include records from an earlier survey carried out by Brian Austin.

Please report any transcript errors or additions to the author of this news article.

News TopicTranscripts
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September 2021 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Wed, 01/09/2021 - 13:29

John Keats (1725-1821) summed it up perfectly in his “To Autumn”.  Few of us remember more than the first line – “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”, but the whole poem evokes the rural atmosphere familiar to many of our ancestors.  This time of the year also often heralds a new interest in Family History when conditions favour time which can be spent in research. Since early in 2020 things have been very different and we have had to rely on the availability of online records but, for those who are able to visit, the gradual reopening of Archives and Libraries will be welcomed.  Do check before travelling to an Archive that you know all the conditions required to attend.  You will need to pre-book your visit to the Somerset Archives  and information is available on their web site.  

Mercer v Puxton - A Folly of Litigation - 19th Aug.

The Society is very grateful to one of our own members, Anne Lockyer, for her patience and perseverance during a technical problem which prevented her presentation in August from being transmitted.  Anne then recorded her talk, and it is available for all members to see at a time convenient to them. Just log in and go to Videos under your name on the main menu. It is a fascinating story and congratulations and thanks to Anne for unravelling her family from the complications of Chancery Records and sharing it with us.

Results of Questionnaire

A precis of the results of the Questionnaire about the future of the Society was posted on our web site  If you have further thoughts about its results please add comments or let a member of the committee know.  If you said you could give a talk, please contact Jenny Towey and if you said that you would write an article for Buckets and Spades Sue Maguire would love to hear from you.  As we have said before - this is your society - what can you do to help others?

All Parishes Covered by the Society

We do need to add more information to the web site about the parishes which surround Weston.  We have marvellous transcriptions for them but need more background.  I started to add basic information from the 1914 Kelly’s Directory for each parish but failed to finish that project.  Perhaps now that the Worthies are completed, I will revisit that!  Links to Local History Societies covering the same areas could also be included under the Places.  I also suggested in a newsletter sometime ago that members could add information about their own connections with these parishes on the Places Pages.  I added “My Wraxall Connection” to the Wraxall page and have several others which need finishing.  If you have anything which could enhance the website, please contact Paul Tracey who will be able to assist with the uploading.

I knew that my STOKES family of Wraxall were connected with Market Gardening and some years ago I attended a meeting of the Nailsea and District Local History Society    which sadly no longer meets,  to hear a talk about the importance of market gardening in that area.   It covered not only the relevance of market gardens to the diet of the glass makers of Nailsea but also the growing and selling in London of the popular Victorian flower, violets, from the Tickenham area.  Other interesting aspects of Nailsea and Wraxall can still be seen on their web site by looking at the Free Pennants    N&DLHS - Free Pennant (ndlhs.org.uk)  (their journal) and their free ebooks

Market Gardening also featured in the Milton and Worle area until the land was sold for building in the 1960s.   Gillian Moore published a book entitled “The Good Earth” about this subject which is available in Weston Library.  It gives the background to the development of market gardening in this area in conjunction with the rise of Weston as a holiday resort and highlights the changes in this trade over the years.  I wondered whether a copy was in our own library but  unfortunately it does not feature.  For those who said that they did not know where to find the Library - it's on the main menu, after you have signed in, and you can search for any title.  Many of the books have been donated my members and contain useful information - it's not all on the internet!

Re-reading books

Recently I’ve found pleasure in re-reading books which I have had on my bookshelves for years!  When I originally bought them, I probably skimmed through them – from the index backwards – looking for names I was researching!  Now I have been reading them properly and have been surprised how useful and meaningful they are in giving an idea of the conditions in which our ancestors lived – whether it was through the Bristol Riots of 1832, the Monmouth Rebellion, as Irish immigrants to this country or America, being transported to Australia, life as a servant, or simply the changes in the ways shopping was undertaken etc. The last being very relevant with the current decline of the High Street.

Society of Friends

As family historians we can spend hours looking for church records, but have you considered that the reason you have been unable to find any is that your family might have connections with the Society of Friends? 

  • To look at Quaker Records you need to understand a little about them.  This site - Getting Started is very helpful
  • The Quaker FHS gives some very helpful advice about the basics of research and a details description of their records can be found here.   
  • An additional glossary of terms which you might find in Wills is also included on this site which contains information which is general and not only connected with Quakers.  
  • As the first building at Sidcot was given to the Society of Friends as far back as 1690 – there is a distinct possibility that you may find Quakers in this area.

Charles Booth Poverty Maps

I know I have mentioned this before but if you have ancestors who lived in London you may be able to trace their road and the conditions in which they lived by using the Charles Booth Poverty Maps.  It does take a while to learn to use this site but it is worth the effort.

Family History & Life Stories

Many of us decided to use the Lockdown to write up their own research but perhaps, like me. the time went so quickly that it is still to be accomplished.  In January 2020 the U3A published this useful guide which you may find helpful. You will need to scroll down to download it.  Although originally written in 2010 this article still holds good and provides some interesting ideas for those of us who still have to complete our family history.

Next Society Meeting

The next Society meeting is scheduled for Thursday September 23rd at 7.0 p.m. which we hope will be free of technical problems.   

News TopicMonthly Update
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Forthcoming Events

Society Committee Meeting
Friday, 2nd September, 2022 10:00 - 12:00
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 3rd September, 2022 14:00 - 15:30
Physical Members' Meeting
Wednesday, 14th September, 2022 14:30 - 17:00
Workshop Session by Zoom
Wednesday, 5th October, 2022 19:30 - 21:00
Physical Members' Meeting
Wednesday, 12th October, 2022 14:30 - 17:00
<- View calendar for more

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