We’re looking forward now to after the Pandemic and your committee is, like committees of other Family History Societies, giving considerable thought to what we should be doing for our members once the current situation is over. You will find a questionnaire included in the July edition of Buckets and Spades and you should have received by email, another, more comprehensive one. Please return both by August 8 th as we are keen to know what it is you want to happen and how you use our current provision. It’s your society, let us know what you need from it and the way forward.
Future of Family History
Although not concerned with changes caused by Covid, in 2019 Dr Nick Barrett spoke to the Guild of One Name Studies on “The Future of Family History”. Described at the time –
“This presentation reflects on the impact of media and technology on the way we research, share and connect - looking ahead to challenges and opportunities for family history and personal heritage to help improve the lives of individuals and communities”
It can be viewed on YouTube (221) The Future of Family History by Dr Nick Barratt - YouTube The sound is a little off at the start, but it settles down and the questions at the end are also interesting. Do you agree with the points he makes?
Society Talks - Hot off the Press!
Since unable to meet, we have had Zoom talks presented to our Society and today I have been informed that recordings are now available of some of them on our web site for full Members. Log in to the website and look at the bottom of the main menu for your own name, under which you should find the word "Video" which when clicked will take you to a selection of the videos which the presenters have given permission to be recorded. If you missed any of them you will now be able to watch then whenever it is convenient to you.
Please contact us via the web site using the category "Webmaster" if you have any problems.
Buckets & Spades
Once again, the latest edition of Buckets & Spades is full of articles of interest. I really enjoy reading about how other people have managed to research their families and there is such a variety. Every family is different and requires different approaches which can offer hints to you for your own research. Thank you, Sue for editing the journal – it is an asset to the Society.
Re-Visiting your Research
Just recently, I have been taking a look at my own family tree and have been surprised to find more available online than when I last reviewed it. It really is worth investigating brickwalls again. One of the problems of brickwalls is that each time you look at them you are inclined to think along the same route. This is where another person looking at it may see something different and suggest alternative records to use. The Research Forum is the place to ask for help or to help others. By answering queries, I find that it often helps my research as well.
Queries from the Web Site
I also get queries sent directly to me via the web site. A new member asked where the Spread Eagle Hotel was in Weston as her ancestor had been the landlord at one time. I was particularly interested because I had found this Challenge in a Local Newspaper which mentioned the Spread Eagle in connection with a member of the HASE family. The race took place and William HASE won!
In the newspaper was also a list of residents and addresses which gave the address of the Spread Eagle at 37 Anstice Terrace (now Alexandra Parade) 2 doors west of Orchard Place but later documents give Meadow Street as the address for the Spread Eagle. However, The National Library of Scotland View map: OS town plan - Weston-super-Mare sheet IX.15.20 - Ordnance Survey Town Plans of England and Wales, 1840s-1890s (nls.uk) has a town plan of Weston-super-Mare which shows that this is the same building with probably entrances in both roads.
When the Free Help Sessions were running at the Library we used to quite a few enquiries wanting information about Public Houses, Schools and the Cemetery in Weston where connections had been found with their families. The same questions are asked now via the web-site. We do have information about the Cemetery available for members but not for Pubs and Schools - perhaps we should try to add these?
During the London Olympics of 1908 a team had been chosen to swim the 4 x 200 metre Relay Race but at the last moment one was unable to swim so a member of the Water Polo team, Paul RADMILOVIC of Weston, was put in instead. After an eventful race they won Gold which was the last time a British team won that event until this year!
Free Resources Online
It is often difficult to find out where you can obtain information about the location of parish records in other parts of the country.
- I often use Dusty Docs DustyDocs - English Parish Registers Online which is free and you can choose the Country, County and Parish to locate suitable records.
- Another site is the Online Genealogical Index OGIndex which features in the August edition of Family Tree Magazine. Most of the results are free but it also includes those which can be accessed for free at Family History Centres (FHC).
- The Family History Federation also lists some free sites Free Online Resources | Federation Resources | Family History Federation - I have found some very interesting details of London court cases at the Old Bailey, especially useful if your family were in London at any time. Witnesses as well as the accused are mentioned.
- For help with any problem with your research I find that Rootschat RootsChat.Com - Index which is free can be extremely useful. The information comes from other individuals so must be treated with care but there are some very knowledgeable people on that site who respond very quickly to any question.
August has always been a holiday month and in the past we have not had meetings in August because people are doing other activities rather that researching. Perhaps they are visiting the haunts of their ancestors or in the fine weather search the unrecorded plans of churchyards hunting for graves. Coming back refreshed and eager to continue (or start) researching their families. This month will be different because the Society is planning an August Zoom meeting on Thursday August 19th at 7.00pm when member Anne Lockyer will be talking about Mercer v Puxton: The Folly of Litigation. which sounds fascinating.
August 19th is also our Diamond Wedding Anniversary so I might miss the actual talk - there are times when the living family takes precedence over any other activity - 60 years is something to celebrate! - but hopefully now I will be able to catch up via the recording afterwards.