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COVID questionnaire response
published by Peter de Dulin on Sat, 21/08/2021 - 12:30

Results of Post COVID questionnaire

May I give a big thank you to all 82 of you who responded to my questionnaire. That is an impressive 30% of our members and responses came from all round the world. The responses resulted in a committee meeting that was twice our normal length!

Of course, this survey was anonymous which means that I must ask those people who said they were willing to do things to get in touch with us. I will mention those as I precis the results.

We had four replies from Australasia and one from North America. 50% of replies came from within our area but that means that 50% replied from other parts.

It is obvious that we are an ageing group. The vast majority are aged between 60 and 79 (72%), 17% are over 80 and 11% are aged 40-59. There were no responses from people under 40. Of these people 94% are retired.

Seven people stated they would be able to give talks. Please get in touch with our chairman.

Two people would like to join the committee. Let us know who you are.

Two people said they could help with organising the library. Please get in touch with Brian Airey.

One person has said they can host Zoom meetings. YES PLEASE. After our technical difficulties on Thursday that help would be much appreciated.

With regards to Zoom workshops we’ll let you know when these will begin. Zoom workshops are so much easier to arrange than physical ones but bear with us while we organise them.


A staggering 26 of you said they would be willing to write articles for Buckets and Spades. Please send Sue Maguire your articles.

With regards to the website, the overall impression was that you are mostly pleased with it. We are continually looking at ways to improve it.

Going forward we asked whether you would prefer Face to Face meetings, Zoom meetings or option of both. Obviously, this question was aimed at those who came to our meetings.

28% would prefer Face to Face

15% would prefer Zoom

57% would prefer the option of both.

It has therefore been decided that when we can meet Face to Face again, we will hopefully livestream them over Zoom and they will then be available on the website.

With regards to future meetings, there are doubts over Vintage Church, and so we are in the process of negotiating a new venue at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall in Baytree Road, Milton. We are also considering having meetings in the afternoons rather than in the evenings. Once again, we are still in discussions regarding this.

Thank you all for the extra comments at the end of the survey. 34 of you responded and be assured every one has or will be discussed.

News TopicGeneral
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Can anyone help please?
published by Brian Airey on Tue, 17/08/2021 - 18:27

Hi I am an amateur genealogist and aviation researcher with a specific interest in the Dambusters Raid of World War 2. Jack Liddell was the youngest of the Dambusters to die on that raid. I am looking to get him an appropriate memorial such as a blue plaque. I have done some research but not come up with much. I wondered if any of you had any information.

I can be contacted on Amarkham7@aol.com


News TopicGeneral
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Spotlight on Weston-super-Mare & District FHS
published by Jenny Towey on Wed, 11/08/2021 - 14:55

The latest issue of Family Tree magazine (Sept) features our Society in their 'Spotlight on...' feature.  Great pictures and text put together by our vice chairman Peter de Dulin.

News TopicGeneral
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Weston Worthy - No 16 John HARRIS
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 09/08/2021 - 18:06

John HARRIS - No 16 - is the last Weston Worthy which I am able to post as it has been difficult to identify 3 of them.  If you can help with the missing ones please let me know.  As usual they can be found under Weston Worthies in the main menu.

News TopicPeople
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August 2021 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 01/08/2021 - 23:29

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!

Newspaper extract

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.  


News TopicMonthly Update
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Post-COVID 19 Society Meetings Ballot
published by Paul Tracey on Sun, 25/07/2021 - 20:19

Your Committee is looking ahead to when we will resume holding physical Members’ Meetings. We have had a good response from members who live outside our local area/abroad to us holding Zoom meetings and feel it would be unfair to stop having these once we are able to resume physical meetings again.

Consequently, we would like to canvass your opinion on how the Society should move forward.

Please complete the attached ballot form and return to our Chair, Jenny Towey, as stated at the bottom of the form.

News TopicEvents
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Page 6 of 77 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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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