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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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February 2024 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Thu, 01/02/2024 - 22:05

I’m writing this in a chilly house as our boiler has decided to give up the ghost and needs to be replaced.  As vulnerable older people we are having a speedy resolution to this problem, but it has made me consider whether all the books, magazines, data CDs, microfiche and folders etc connected with family history which have been accumulating over the years are really needed.  We have had to clear the way for the new installation and some big decisions have had to be made.  Has anyone else had this state of affairs and how did you solve it?

David Tyler 1935-2024

It was with sadness that I heard this week of the death of David Tyler who for a long time was a member of this society. Dave was a stalwart member of the team who volunteered in the Library every Saturday before Covid.  In addition, he could often be found searching the newspapers on film in Weston Library and he carried out detailed research about the Carlton Street area, Moorland Road and other parts of Weston. The results of his research into some old public houses of Weston can be seen on our web site 

David had been evacuated to Weston during WW2 from West Ham and remained here afterwards.

A person sitting in a chairDescription automatically generatedHe worked as a projectionist at the Odeon from about 1950 and appeared in some publicity shots carrying a sandwich board around Weston advertising the latest film at the Odeon.

Dave and his wife, Joan, were very active in supporting the Community in which they lived.

I was grateful to David and Joan, as they were members of the U3A Family History Group which met at St Pauls, each month they made and served the refreshments for it. 

We will miss him and send our sympathy and love to Joan and his family.

WW2 Remembrance

I have received this communication from the Royal British Legion, and I very much hope that if you have memories of this bombing or connections with anyone who lost their lives at that time that you will be able to attend.

REMEMBERING THE WESTON BLITZ 1941/42

To mark the 80th Anniversary of D-Day the Weston Branch Royal British Legion will be holding a Memorial Service at the Civilian War Graves area of Milton Cemetery to commemorate those who lost their lives during the Blitz of 1941 and 1942. The Service will take place at 3pm on Sunday 9th June 2024.

The Branch would like to invite to this Service any relative, descendent or friend of those that lost their lives during the Blitz. If you would like to attend, please contact the Branch representative on 01934 709564 or e-mail r.potter60@talktalk.net

A group of people standing in front of a graveDescription automatically generatedThis photograph is of the mass burial of civilian casualties taken from the information on our web site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Free Help Session at the Library

The next free help session at the library will take place this Saturday, February 3rd from 2.00pm until 3.30pm.  As we do not have as many volunteers as we did before Covid we can only offer this service once a month these days but do come along with your queries and our valiant volunteers will assist you in your search for members of your past family. There is no need to book - just come along.

Next Society Meeting

On St Valentine’s Day – Wednesday February 14th at 2.30 until 5.00 pm we have a meeting at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall when the Speaker, Simon Talbot-Ponsonby will give an update on the Regeneration of Birnbeck Pier.  Many of our ancestors will have been familiar with this structure in its hey day and we will hear about progress which has been made to restore it, the money involved and when work is scheduled to begin.  There is a short compilation of pictures of the Old Pier on YouTube which you might find interesting.  

Next Zoom Workshop

A group of children sitting in front of a buildingDescription automatically generated

The next Zoom Workshop for full members of our Society will be on Wednesday 28th February at 7.30pm when I will be looking at the many Private Schools which existed in Weston in the 19th, 20th and early 21st Centuries - The last one, Ashbrooke House School, closed in July 2022.

 

 

 

Photo of Hazelhurst School  - which is included in a list of schools on our web site 

Thank you very much to those who have responded on Facebook and on our own web site with memories of attending such schools or with reports of ancestors who were educated or taught in these establishments.

Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday is on the 13th February this year and although probably most of us will be eating pancakes, the religious traditions of Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday are largely ignored in favour of more popular entertainment.  This is an extract from 1906 explaining the historical significance of these days.

A close up of a newspaperDescription automatically generated

St Valentine’s Day

Ash Wednesday this year is also St Valentine’s Day which is commercially a clash of chocolate with the start of Lent.  Although I have several people whose birthday was on the 14th of Feb, I have no one with the first name of Valentine on my tree. 

Leap Year

With the additional day this year – does anyone have that date for a birthday, once every four years? I only have the 29th February once on my tree and that is for the marriage of a 2nd cousin 4 times removed of my husband – a Miriam CREED, who was married to Elias MARTIN at St Mary Redcliffe in Bristol on the 29th Feb 1848.

Latest additions to Ancestry during January


The last one is interesting if you have anyone who worked for the Royal Mail and note that the Death Index now goes up to 2022.

Tracing Female Ancestors on FindmyPast

I found this entry particularly interesting especially as it mentions the importance of understanding the Social History of the time in which your female ancestors were living.  Take a look at this blog which summarises the aspects to consider. 

New Records on The Genealogist

I find Street and Trade Directories very helpful in tracing the movement of my ancestors and these cover a wide area of the UK. This explains what is now available.

Destruction of Wills

The petition about the proposal to destroy original wills has been available on our Facebook Group for a little while "Do not allow original wills to be destroyed after 25 years" and a few have signed. Please consider signing to increase the chance of more meaningful discussion of this proposal.  When you look at the errors in the index after the digitalisation of the 1921 Census and the difficulty of finding accurate information this causes.  There is also a link on our web site to the same petition which gives some background information.

Finally
I must close now because as in the marvellous song from Flanders and Swann – “The gas man cometh” – I just hope that it all goes to our plan and not like the song!  Have a great February and don’t forget to use the Research Forum, the Facebook Group and the Free Help Session to get help with your research. 

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Destruction of Wills
published by Brian & Pam Airey on Mon, 29/01/2024 - 16:01

Thanks to member David Hollins and Federation of FH notifying us that the Ministry of Justice were planning on digitising wills, then destroying the originals after 25 years. 

We responded to the Federation email that we were totally opposed to this act of vandalism as only an original article is the true thing. There are so many mis-transcriptions  of all documents that the original source document is the only one to consult. 

According to an article on the 'Who Do You Think You Are' website, the period for consultation is only open until 23 February 2024, but no genealogical organisation has been included in the consultation. A petition has been started to preserve wills in perpetuity in line with current legislation. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/654081.

Feel free to sign.

Brian

 

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Membership renewal
published by Brian & Pam Airey on Tue, 23/01/2024 - 10:53

Just a gentle reminder that our membership year runs from 1 Jan-31  Dec., so if you have not yet renewed your membership now is the time to do it. 

There are various ways to renew: through Parish Chest or Genfair; by bank transfer to Weston-Super-Mare & District Family History Society account 51383493 sort 40-46-18; Standing Order; cash or cheques to 125, Totterdown Rd, Weston super Mare, BS23 4LW.

Brian

 

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Abbots Leigh Holy Trinity Monumental Inscriptions
published by Graham Payne on Mon, 22/01/2024 - 10:35

The Abbots Leigh Holy Trinity MIs are now available for society members to view online.

Please report any transcript errors or if you can provide information relating to incomplete entries to the author of news article.

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January 2024 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 01/01/2024 - 15:49

A Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year to all the full members of our Society and to those who join us during the year! We are a Society of 40 years standing and have members who are finding out more about their families whether they currently live in North Somerset or if their family came from elsewhere and settled here.  As a Society we try to share our experiences for the benefit of others and our web page has many transcriptions of Parish Records and especially those of Weston Cemetery which are not available online elsewhere.  

New Year Resolutions

  • It’s so easy to write New Year Resolutions but more difficult to keep them!   
  • One of the favourite ones is always - keep a record of the sources where you found your information or you will be looking at the same record time and time again!
  • Another is to make sure that you have as many pieces of information- including death for all your ancestors.  With the GRO offering digital records of death (and birth) for £2.50 now might be the time to discover whether you have the death of the correct person in your tree,
  • How about writing up your findings in such a way that you inspire younger members of your family to take an interest?  
  • Have you tried sharing your direct ancestors on a fan chart?  This way you can get it 6 or even 7 generations on one just page - Yes I know it doesn't include many facts but it might just spark an interest - one of my granddaughters remarked that she was surprised to note that all her ancestors came from within 150 miles of Bristol.
  • Fan Charts also show where your gaps are and identify brick walls so that you know for what you should be looking!

Saturday Free Help Session

This is where you can go to get help finding those missing ancestors you've identified on your fan chart.

The first session of 2024 on Saturday January 6th will take place between 2.00 p. m. and 3.30 at Weston Library where you will have access to our experienced volunteers, Ancestry and Findmypast as well as all the contents of the North Somerset Library including film of Weston Newspapers which are not online. 

Society Meeting

The January meeting of the Society will take place on Wednesday afternoon, from 2.30 - 5,00 p.m on the 10th January at Our Lady Of Lourdes Church Hall. Baytree Road when Jean Routley will be speaking about "Why collect Postcards".  Whether you are familiar or not with the excellent Facebook Group "Memories of Weston-super-Mare" run by Farrell Fox which is mainly concerned with his collection of post cards you will want to hear this talk about how they can relate to your family history research.  

Workshops - Zoom

  • Workshops take place by Zoom from 7.30 - 9.30p.m. and details about how to join will be sent to all full members.
  • The Workshop on January 17th will be on How to Break down your Brick Walls. This should be of interest to all as we all are stumped somewhere.  If you have a particular problem you want looked at perhaps you could contact Peter de Dulin with an outline of your problem as soon as possible.  Or use our Research Forum!
  • I will be offering the Workshop on February 28th which will be about Private Schools In Weston. At one time Weston was teeming with Private Schools - the sea air, healthy climate and large Victorian Villas all welcomed this type of school.  Some of you may have ancestors who attended one of these schools - I know that some of our Society also attended them and may have memories - good and bad - which they may like to share.

Facebook Group

The Facebook Group continues to grow but not many of the members contribute - I'm very grateful to those who do! - However, it does provide a chance for anyone to ask questions about their research and hopefully receive an answer.  It has thrown up some interesting queries and hopefully is helpful to those just starting out.  Don't forget that there are many free sites on the Internet.  See this page on our web site  for "How to start research" and "Some Free Sites" .  Our own transcriptions may be able to help you at a fraction of the cost of Commercial sites. Full membership starts at £9.00 per year.  You will also get access to Zoom Workshops and our Journal "Buckets and Spades". etc.

What happened 100 years ago?

Axbridge Union Workhouse

In the December Newsletter I mentioned Christmas in Axbridge Workhouse - this  appeared in the January recounting the gifts offered to the inmates during Chirstmas 1923.   I wonder whether any of your relations appear as benefactors?

1924 was the year my Mother was a Nymph!

Before you get too excited about what that means I am - I should say that she took part in the Bristol Pageant.  The Bristol Pageant was a Community Production and as can be seen by this official programme, was to be part of the British Empire  Exhibition in 1924. It portrayed seven scenes from the history of Bristol

 

The first performances  were to be in the grounds of Ashton Court and then move to London - Wembley Stadium - Mum was 13 at the time, in her last year at school, and she was chosen as one of the dancers who accompanied Queen Elizabeth 1st into Bristol in the scene depicting her visit in 1574 - 350 years previously.

Although the first night at Ashton Court shows had to be cancelled due to heavy rain the other performances were greeted with acclaim and they all headed for London. Trains of supporters went to London from Bristol as well. There were over 3,000 in the cast and this was my mother's first visit to London.  They stayed at a school and she spoke of the bus journey across London to Wembley. recognising buildings she had only seen in photographs.  As a nymph, she was dressed in green and unfortunately during one of the London performances it rained and the green dye ran so much that her underclothes became green as well! 

Mum as a Nymph!

Mum mentioned the great costumes worn by the principal characters, and how spectacular it all was. She didn't know that one of the characters in the 2nd Act was Gilbert BALDWIN, a young school master playing the Jester, who was a cousin of the man she would marry.

Bristol decided that as the show was well received in Bristol that it should run for another week at Ashton Court on its return. In the event this was very sensible - the attendances were disappointing in London and the pageant very expensive to put on and transport with the large set pieces creating a problem as well. Extra ticket money would help

The Pageant ran at a loss of about £3,000 and such a project was never undertaken again. 

My mother knew nothing of the financial disaster nor did she ever mention the small attendances in London. I have included this because it demonstrates how an individual's perception of an event may differ from the reality.  In this case my mother reported what she remembered but in other cases family stories may be embroidered to show a person in a more favourable light. 

When you research handed down family stories have you found any discrepancies in them?

New Resources online

FindmyPast has new additions each Friday - they may not be in your particular area but it's worth looking from time to time.  During December they opened some more records on the 1939 Register which had been redacted.

Irish Ancestry  These may not be new but if you have Irish connections - have you tried this site for Irish records? It is part of https://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/ and has many free records available.  I was looking for someone with the surname Mcarthy and at the end of my first search was this comment!

Please be aware that there are variants of this surname that should also be checked. Variants include:

Maccarthy, Cartey, Carthey, Carthy, Cartie, Carty, Caurty, Charthy, Corty, M Carthy, M Cartie, Ma Carthy, Mac Carthy, Mac Cartie, Macarite, Macarthey, Macarthy, Macartie, Macarty, Maccarty, Macharthy, Mc Arthy, Mc Arty, Mc Carthe, Mc Carthy, Mc Cartie, Mc Carty, Mc Catrhy, Mc Curthy, Mcartee, Mcarthy, M'carthy, Mcartie, Mcarty, Mccarhty, Mccarhy, Mccarke, Mccartey, Mccarthey, Mccarthy, Mccartie, Mccarty, Mccathy, Mccearthy, Mccerthy, Mccharty, Mccrthy, Cartney

Familysearch should also be considered as it is a free source of many records - this page just covers what is available for Somerset

Whichever site you choose - if possible try to see the original entry before accepting it into your family tree. Some transcriptions are doubtful.  This is one where the note in the left hand margin was not included in the transcription  - "Not for Magazine"! 

Annie PINNOCK was my great grandmother and you will note that no father was given for Reginald but when his birth was registered she gave her late husband's name as father in spite of him being dead for 7 years.  Family members think that she was not the mother either but had informally adopted him.  Perhaps the Vicar and others of the congregation would also know the true situation so that was why the christening was not to be mentioned in the Church magazine? 

Family History Federation

When you go to the Federation site take a look at what it has to offer. You will see that at the moment The Federation has a Sale of Books It is always a good idea to treat yourself to a good book about how to research and understand the documents that we all use.  These documents were not created for us to use and it is important to understand them and how to use them.  

Society Matters

Buckets and Spades

The Deadline for the next edition is February the 1st so you have plenty of time to get your letters (or emails) and articles to Sue Maguire, the editor, who will magically produce another interesting journal.  Thank you, Sue for all your hard work.

Next Meetings

I have already given details of the meetings we are holding in this newsletter. So it just leaves me to wish all our members a Fabulous 2024 with all you wish yourselves.  

As a Society we have many helpful members who help out at meetings, advertising our services, checking membership details, answering queries, transcribing documents and as volunteers at the Library our Free Help Sessions etc for which we are very grateful but we do still need new younger Committee Members.  Our existing committee members, although very enthusiastic about the subject, have health and family concerns which prevent them from giving as much time as they would like.   Please think about joining us.  You could be co-opted initially and attend committee meetings, which are on Zoom, perhaps shadowing and/or helping one or other of the committee members. 

Make it your New Year's Resolution to assist the society in some way. May 2024 be the year you fulfil all your own wishes and help others to research their family history. 

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Forthcoming Events

Workshop by Zoom: Axbridge Workhouse: Pat Hase
Wednesday, 26th June, 2024 19:30 - 21:00
Library Help Session
Saturday, 6th July, 2024 14:00 - 15:30
Physical Members' Meeting
Wednesday, 10th July, 2024 14:30 - 17:00
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
<- View calendar for more






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