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March 2024 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/03/2024 - 14:13

St David’s Day

The Patron Saint of Wales celebrates his day today.  Daffodils and Leeks are the national emblems of Wales.  I noticed that the Daffodils along the road towards the hospital in Weston are already in bloom.  They certainly seem to be a real message of Spring. 

If you have Welsh connections, you may find the Welsh Newspapers which are free to access helpful. We have a PC Charles PUDDY in our family who was born in Mark but became a Policeman in Cardiff. He often features in newspaper accounts of his activities in arresting offenders.  He also won a bravery award for rescuing a potential suicide from the river in Cardiff. 

Free Help Session

On Saturday 2nd March our Volunteers will be waiting at the Weston-super-Mare Library to assist you research your family’s history.  You will be welcome from 2.00pm until 3.30 for our Free Help Session. Could you be a volunteer to help others?

Next Society Meeting

Our next Open Society meeting will be on Wednesday 13th March at 2.30pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall. The Speaker will be  Terry Ransome who will be researching the history of Eliza CARR, a West Country Girl and her Sampler.  Visitors and Non-members are welcome.

Next Zoom Workshop

Correction to original entry - The next Workshop on March 27th will feature Mark Bayley from The Genealogist who will give us a presentation called "Breaking down brick walls in your family history research." - How to resolve stumbling blocks in your family history research using new and unique search strategies to find those missing relatives.

This includes searching for a family using just the individuals' forenames, using keyword search tools, using criteria other than a name to search on, and using other advanced search techniques. The talk also covers unique data sets such as Non-Conformist records, Non-Parochial records, Fleet marriages, Will images, Parish Records, Directories, Newspapers and more.

Login details will follow in due course.

 British Home Children

Between the 1860s and 1970s, over 130,000 children were sent to live in overseas dominions by the British government. Known as British Home Children, many of their stories have been lost to history.  Today, FindmyPast has added “The Canadian Home Children Inspection Reports” to their collection and it includes two children who were for a short time in Axbridge Workhouse.

On the 14th April 1911, 5 siblings, the children of Thomas GAINEY of Nyland, Wedmore, were admitted to the Workhouse.  The youngest, Maurice, had been born that day and sadly the mother had died giving birth.

A family story handed down through the eldest daughter, Beatrice, who was 7 years old at the time, reported that the father took all the children initially to the home of his employer where they were each given 6d and a hot cross bun (presumably not the baby!) as it was Good Friday and then taken to the Workhouse. The three eldest remained there until June when their father took them out, but they were returned in August 1911.  In September the baby died, and the remaining 4 children were again removed from the Workhouse. 

Isaac and Violet, the 2nd and 3d children must have gone to a Dr Barnardo’s Home because in 1920 they were  sent to Canada. Found on Ancestry.

 

Isaac was deemed suitable to do farming and Violet to be taken into Domestic Service.
Records of their employers in Canada can be found on FindmyPast with the Home Children Inspection Reports.

Violet appears to have moved around quite a bit.

On the 1931 Census of Canada which can be found on Familysearch (free of charge) Isaac GAINEY, is living as a farm labourer in Ontario and Violet is a Domestic Servant also in Ontario.

When Violet married George GOODSON in 1939 in Peterboro, Ontario, Ancestry shows that her brother was a witness. Findagrave.com has a photograph of her tombstone with her death given as Dec 1961 - Her husband died in 2001 and they were both buried in  Oshawa Union Cemetery, Ontario, Canada.

A Bristol retired Headmistress, Shirley Hodgson’s book “Bristol’s Pauper Children” gives the background covering Victorian Education and emigration to Canada and I highly recommend it.  More can be read about  British Home Children in Canada on this web site 

Around four million people worldwide - and around 10% of Canada's population - are descended from a British Home Child. Their stories make up a crucial yet relatively unrecognised part of Canadian history.

1939 Register

It is worth rechecking this Register because there has been an increase in the number of redacted entries which have been opened and they may include the names of evacuees.  They will not only be children but you can also find teachers who travelled with their schools. Some information about the evacuation of children can be read here 
I wonder how many evacuees to Weston remained after the War? There are some memories of evacuation on our web site.  If you enter evacuee into the search box on the home page you can read of some experiences.

I have several books dealing with the subject.  “Good Night Children Everywhere” ( a phrase Uncle Mac used to end the Radio programme Children’s Hour) covers first hand memories – not all pleasant – of children involved.  It has many photographs taken at the time. This is one of them.

Alec Kingsmill, in his book “A School in the Forties” recounts his experiences being evacuated from Mitcham to Weston Grammar School where they shared facilities with that school until the school was bombed and they went elsewhere. The Logbooks of schools such as Milton Primary School and Bournville School also report on conditions at that time. At the same time schools such as Westcliff and La Retraite were evacuated away from Weston and pupils from Clifton High School in Bristol were sent to Tyntesfield. Do we still have members with memories of evacuation?

Buckets and Spades

The latest edition of our journal will be available at the next meeting of the Society and I am sure that Sue will be pleased to have more items for the next one.  We all have stories to tell which may inspire others to research and help to break down brickwalls.

Finally

Enjoy St David’s Day, enjoy your Welsh Cakes and celebrate any Welsh ancestry – remembering that a large number of Somerset residents crossed the Bristol Channel to become miners in the South Wales Coalfields.  Please add any comments or views which will help your fellow members with their research.

 

 

 

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Comments ..


Submitted by Jenny Towey on Sat, 02/03/2024 - 9:18

I hope everyone is enjoying listening/watching the online talks from RootsTech, too, Pat.

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Forthcoming Events

Workshop by Zoom
Wednesday, 24th April, 2024 19:30 - 21:30
Library Help Session
Saturday, 4th May, 2024 14:00 - 15:30
Physical Members' Meeting
Wednesday, 8th May, 2024 14:30 - 17:00
Workshop by Zoom: Free websites
Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024 19:30 - 21:30
Library Help Session
Saturday, 1st June, 2024 14:00 - 15:30
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