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May 2024 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 30/04/2024 - 23:28

Well, here we are in May already.  Years ago, we would have been celebrating by washing our faces in the morning dew, dancing around May Poles, electing a May Queen and welcoming the start of Summer with Morris Dancing.  Of course, some celebrations still take place. In Padstow there is the Hobby Horse and usually in Hutton and many other villages there are other community-based events, and this May we do have two Bank Holidays.

Future Events

Free Help Sessions Weston Library  - Saturday May 4th from 2.00 until 3.30 p.m.

Do you know what is available in Weston Library for family and local historians?  Have you ever visited our Free Help Sessions at Weston Library? – everyone is welcome whether you are members of the Society or not.  These are held in the North Somerset Studies Room with our experienced Volunteers to help you.  On the 1st Saturday of each month from 2.00 until 3.30pm. - just come along and get a second opinion about your research.   Apart from the material available in the library itself, including directories, maps, files about people and places, family trees compiled by the late Brian Austin, electoral rolls, etc. you will also have free access to Ancestry and  Findmypast and the chance to find out about what other sites are freely available on the Internet.  If you are an experienced member, would you  consider joining our team of volunteers?

Society Meeting – Wednesday May 8th from 2.30 until 5.00 p.m. at our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall

John Page, a keen and knowledgeable local and family historian, will be speaking about “Settlement Orders, the lives of the poor”.  Settlement Orders are very useful ways of keeping track of your poorer ancestors who may have been sent back to their original parish if they needed support in the parish in which they were living.  The Somerset Archives online Catalogue includes an Index to Removals and Examinations https://somerset-cat.swheritage.org.uk/indexes/settlement .
In my own family research, I have found these documents to be enlightening and interesting.  The Examinations often outline the lives of the people involved and explains how they obtain settlement in a particular parish. I can also recommend a book by Thelma Munckton  “Somerset Paupers, Unremembered Lives” which contains case studies she extracted from the Settlement and Removal Examinations.

Workshop by Zoom will be on Wednesday 22nd May and will be an Update on the 1939 Register by Peter de Dulin

The 1939 Register continues to be updated to reveal people who have died since the last update.  In addition, users may have sent in corrections to the transcriptions, so it is always a good idea to check again for people who are missing.

I am under the redacted entry here.  My Identity Card Number was OANB 12 4.  The OANB can be found at the top of the page.

If you have any queries about how to use the 1939 Register please let Peter know before the meeting so that he can answer them during the Workshop.

Workshop on June 26th – Union Workhouses with examples from Axbridge.

Rear View of Axbridge Union Workhouse.   I will be offering a Workshop about my research into the people who were inmates of Axbridge Workhouse and how they were treated.  If you have found any of your relations in Axbridge I would be interested in hearing from you.  Some information can be found on our web site  http://www.wsmfhs.org.uk/custom_page.php?pID=17

September Society Meeting - Away Day – Site visit to Mendip Hospital Cemetery on Sept 11th 2024

Jenny Towey has sent an email to all members about a proposed visit to the Mendip Hospital Cemetery to take place instead of the Society meeting on Wednesday Sept 11th   She wishes to know by email to her  jenny@towey.me.uk  whether

a)   you are interested in attending.

b)   you are able to offer transport to others and if so, how many?

c)   you will require transport.

If needed we can arrange a minibus which will incur a small charge.

A collage of a cemeteryDescription automatically generated

Views of Mendip Hospital Cemetery from the Friends Facebook Group.

Many people from this area were patients in the Mendip Hospital and may be buried there in this cemetery – This visit will be hosted by the Friends of Mendip Hospital http://www.mendiphospitalcemetery.org.uk/ and will include an exhibition in the chapel with new patient stories and more on the workings of the asylum/hospital, the entertainment, which was viewed as important for the patients and staff, a section on the staff and information on some of the medical history.

A room with a table and chairs and a table with a table and chairsDescription automatically generated

Picture from their Facebook Group. https://www.facebook.com/mendiphospitalcemetery/

Please let Jenny know if you are interested in joining the visit.

More information about the place can be found on our own web site   http://www.wsmfhs.org.uk/custom_page.php?pID=18

Lost Cousins Newsletter

The latest edition of this excellent newsletter has recently been published and can be seen here - http://familyhistory.news/endapr24news.htm
Lost Cousins was first established 20 years ago and has offered valuable advice and encouragement to all. 
One of the items in this edition reminded me of the day before I was married.  We had sent our Banns certificates to the Vicar of the Parish where we were to be married. He had gone on holiday, so his housekeeper had forwarded all his mail to him in the north of England, but he had not received it.  We were contacted with the news that we would need to get copies of the certificates, or the wedding could not take place!  That Friday we had a rushed visit to Emanuel Church in Weston and St Cuthbert’s Church in Brislington, Bristol to get the necessary documents.

A person and person in wedding attireDescription automatically generated

That was nearly 63 years ago but we were legally married!

Inebriated Women

I have been helping a student who is now nearing the end of her dissertation on Inebriated Women of Weston.  She is going to join the Society. One of her case studies, Elizabeth STAPLES, is buried in Weston Cemetery in Grave Tu 381 and according to our records there is a memorial on the grave.  Would someone be very kind and take a photograph of the grave for her?  I can provide a map to show where the grave is.

Web site

The combined brain power of the Committee is being exercised about how to make our web site more friendly. We have a large amount of information available on the web site, but it is not always easy to find it or to add more. Very few people use the Research Forum to pose queries or to answer those from other members – Why? – Any comments or suggestions you have will be gratefully received.  But my newsletters do not receive many comments either!


Our Facebook Group is possibly not used as much as it could be.  We do have members with considerable experience in Family History Research who are willing to help others who are just starting out or are temporarilly puzzled. 
Sometimes people who are wishing to join our Facebook Group are delayed acceptance because they have not answered the simple question asked of them before we admit them.  If you recommend other people to join, please mention this as it does cause extra work our end to contact them and may disappoint them. 

Brian Austin – Worle Society Meeting – “Remembering Brian”

On Thursday May 2nd at 7.00 pm Worle History Society at Worle Community Centre, Lawrence Road will be hosting a special meeting in Remembrance and Celebration of Brian Austin, his life and work recording the history of Weston and its people. Non-members are welcome.

North Somerset Libraries

All North Somerset libraries will be closed on Tuesday 7 May from 9.30 to 2pm. This is so staff can be trained in using an essential new computer system for libraries. Libraries will re-open as normal at 2pm. Extended Access will be available at Nailsea, Portishead, Clevedon, Yatton, Worle and Winscombe libraries for customers who are registered for self-service. Alternatively, you can access eResources, make reservations and renew items at www.librarieswest.org.uk with your PIN.

New Resources Available.

Ancestry has published details of the Red Cross Volunteers during WW1.  https://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/collections/70927/

If you just enter Weston-super-Mare in the space for Key Word you get a list of all people with connections to Weston and some information of their work. There are some interesting people mentioned. Sybil Baker, the daughter of Ernest Baker who lived at Glebe House, Mabel and Vera Barstow, from the Lodge, and Marjorie Graves-Knyfton from Uphill. But one of the most interesting was Ethel Mary Pethick who as a Suffragette filled in the 1911 Census like this. “No Vote No Census”

A close-up of a registerDescription automatically generated

Ethel Mary PETHICK was the sister of Emmeline PETHICK-LAWRENCE who was the first Treasurer of the Women’s Social and Political Union.  Their father owned the Weston Gazette. Ethel Mary was the Assistant  Commandant at Ashcombe Red Cross Hospital from Dec 1914.

Ancestry has also published information during April about UK and US Blacksmiths and Related Trades 1720-1940. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/collections/62979/    

I was surprised to find an entry for William HASE and even more so to see that the information for him had come from me!  I do remember many years ago contributing to an index of Blacksmiths which has obviously been included in this collection. It does mean though that the information may not be totally accurate – except for mine of course!

Memorial Service in Weston Cemetery – 3.00pm, Sunday 9th June

Please do not forget to contact The Weston Branch of the Royal British Legion if you wish to be involved in their Memorial Service for all those who lost their lives during the Blitz in Weston.  If you would like to attend, please contact the Branch representative on 01934 709564 or e-mail r.potter60@talktalk.net


If you have any comments or questions about this newsletter, please feel free to add them together with any tips and advice you would like to share with other members.  We would like to be able to share your successes as well as help with any queries you may have. Not everyone can attend the face-to-face meetings and we hope that the Web site can provide a method of communication between members so that everyone feels involved in the Society.




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Comments ..

Submitted by Jenny Towey on Wed, 01/05/2024 - 9:31

...too bloomin' cold and wet for welcoming in May, Pat - thanks for another enlightening newsletter.

Thanks also for the 2 Ancestry updates - I'll certainly be checking those out.  I have contributed to a Brickmakers Index but I don't think the compiler has released it to Ancestry - I should look!

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Submitted by Pat Hase on Wed, 01/05/2024 - 23:41

Many thanks to David Hockey for taking a photograh of the grave of William and Elizabeth STAPLES.

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Submitted by Jane Harding on Tue, 07/05/2024 - 13:30

Hi Pat, 

Really interested in your workshop on Axbridge workhouse in June. I'm quite a new member so not sure if the Group's workshops are online or in person. I'm in Australia, so if online would love to join in. I'm currently working on the story of my gr-gr-grandma who gave birth to one of her children in Axbridge workhouse.


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Submitted by Pat Hase on Tue, 07/05/2024 - 14:58

The Workshops are on ZOOM and are recorded for members to catch up when convenient for them.  Can you let me know the name of your relation who was born in Axbridge Workhouse?

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Forthcoming Events

Workshop by Zoom: Guild of One-Name Studies
Wednesday, 24th July, 2024 19:30 - 21:30
Library Help Session
Saturday, 7th September, 2024 14:00 - 15:30
Physical Members' Meeting: site visit
Wednesday, 11th September, 2024 14:30 - 16:30
Library Help Session
Saturday, 5th October, 2024 14:00 - 15:30
Physical Members' Meeting
Wednesday, 9th October, 2024 14:30 - 17:00
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