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Missing books
published by Brian Airey on Fri, 01/02/2019 - 11:43

I have recently done a stock take of the books held by the society and have "mislaid" or not signed out the following to members. If you have one such book then just let me know please. Then, if finished with, return it at February's meeting. Thanks.  Brian

Somerset Wills before 1858 BMD/WILLS/6

Nelsons Navy 1793-1815   MIL/RN/1

Anglo Boer War 1899-1902 MIL/WD/2

More Sources of Army Ancestry  4th edition MIL/WD/10

My Ancestors were Agricultural Labourers OCC/11

My Ancestors were Coalminers OCC/12

A Glossary of household, farming and trade terms OCC/2

Brighton Presbyterian Registers 1700-1837  R/1

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February 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/02/2019 - 11:13

Welcome to our newly updated web site - thanks to Paul and Graham who have overseen this improvement.  If you are puzzled by any of the changes to the web site any queries may be answered here .Welcome also to anyone who is reading this monthly update for the first time.  Each month we try to keep you up to date with Society news and newly available resources, or perhaps remind you of a forgotten one!  

Buckets & Spades

  • The deadline for the next edition of our Journal has been extended until the end of February – this will mean that it can be published at equal intervals throughout the year.  Please send any articles or other items to Sue Maguire.   Have you made a breakthrough in your research, or are there any resources you can recommend? Buckets & Spades is a way of contacting all our members whether they are computer users or not and all will be pleased to read of your family history experiences. 
  • Some articles from our Journal can be seen by non-members by clicking on “Journal Articles”   found under the main menu on the left-hand side of the home page. 

Next Society Meeting – Doors open at 7.00pm

  • At the next meeting on 26th February at the Vintage Church in Hughenden Road, the speaker will be Ann-Marie Wilkinson.  If you are a member of the Somerset & Dorset FHS you will know Ann-Marie as she is currently its Chair.  The last time she spoke to us it was about a Photographic collection held at Wells which was very interesting.  
  • This time her topic is Early Censuses.  I doubt if Ann-Marie will include the census which took Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem – that’s probably too early! - but there are many available if you know where to look, with varying amounts of information. 
  • I’ve found members of my family in the 1801 census of Huntspill, a transcription of which is included here and others are in the 1831 census of Bitton, which is in the Bristol Archives.

W-s-M & District FHS Facebook Group

  • This has been formed to inform people about our society and its activities.  It is still very new  - You can see what is happening on it by accessing it through the Facebook link on our web page  or from this link
  • Many thanks go to Lorna Gibson (supported by her son Neil) for setting it up and for being an Administrator and to Jeanette Carter who is acting as a Moderator. 
  • It is a closed group so you have to apply to join and give a reason for becoming a member.  We now have just over 60 members.

Federation of Family History Societies

As a Society we are a member of this overarching group and this is just a reminder that its website is full of useful information.  Do look at it from time to time.  At the moment it is highlighting the following:

  • The rise in the cost of certificates from the GRO which takes effect from February 16th.  Get your orders in before they go up - Certificates will increase from £9.25 to £11.00.  At the same time the PDF versions of births and deaths will rise from £6.00 to £7.00. To order visit the GRO site.  
  • Transcription Tuesday Feb 5th is organised by the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine.  This year they've chosen to support three projects, led by FamilySearch and Heritage & Culture Warwickshire, along with a joint initiative from the University of Portsmouth, the Modern Records Centre and the National Railway Museum For more details see WDYTYA website   
  • Family Tree Live  - a New Family History Show taking place in London in April.  More details from Family Tree Magazine   Let us know if you would like a visit to this organised.

Rootstech – London Oct 2019

  • Rootstech is a mainstay of the American Genealogical scene and each year its Conferences are attended by researchers who benefit from the programme of Lectures and associated stands.  In 2019 there will be a Rootstech event held in London. For more details visit the Rootstech London web site  
  • The presentations given at the 2018 Rootech in Salt Lake City can be seen online and if you have the time to watch them you can pick and choose from a wide selection of topics.   I have just watched one entitled “A DNA match with No Tree? – No Problem” which gave some very useful tips for overcoming this problem. 

1939 Register and Free Help Sessions

  • Set up as the means of knowing who would need an Identity Card and a Ration Book during WW2, this is proving an extremely useful tool for finding members of your family who were alive in September 1939 and who have since died. 
  • It gives the full birth date of each entry and also if a woman has since married it gives her new married name.  It can be consulted on pay for view web sites such as Ancestry, Findmypast and My Heritage but also in the Library (free of charge).
  • If you come into Weston Library on any Saturday afternoon to the free help sessions you can be given some tips on using this.

Looking for a woman in your tree?

  • Findmypast includes useful blogs which you can access without a subscription – here’s one about how to find the maiden name of women in your family
  • Similarly, the Ancestry Academy has a video about searching for women.  It is very American orientated but the basic information it gives is sensible.  You do not need an Ancestry subscription to use any of videos in the Ancestry Academy - Just lots of time!!

Members’ Surname Interests

  • Has a member of this society already shown an interest in your family surname?  If you click on Members’ Surname Interests under the main menu you will find a list of names being researched by members and in some cases family trees have also been posted.
  • One of the changes on the new web site is that although only members will be able to enter names and make comments under that heading, anyone, whether a member or not will be able to contact that member directly through the site with information for them but the members’ email address will not be divulged. More information about that can be seen here.   

New Year’s Resolutions. 

  • In the January Update I included this – "Lastly, it is the time for New Year Resolutions – one of mine is to get you all involved – so please when you have read this add a comment where it says “Add new Comment” describing what your New Year Resolution will be in respect of Family History!”  Where were those comments?  Have you nothing planned for this year?
  • It’s probably too late for your resolutions now - but we are looking forward to members adding comments about anything on the web site (including the Monthly Updates!) and using the Research Forum to share problems and to help others solve theirs.

My final tip is that although many of you will be reading this initially as a notification on your phones do go to the web site and look at all that is available to you from the society.  There’s a lot there!  Good Luck with your research.

 

 

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Buckets & Spades Journal
published by Paul Tracey on Mon, 21/01/2019 - 10:06

It was recently agreed by the Committee to revise the issue dates for our Journal, 'Buckets & Spades', therefore, the new dates for 2019 will be March, July and November. This slight change will allow for consistent spacing between the editions which, in turn, will be beneficial for preparation and distribution purposes. Members, please note the new dates for submitting your items for 'Buckets & Spades are now 28 February, 30 June and 31 October. Many thanks and the Editor looks forward to receiving your contributions.

News TopicGeneral
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Affiliate Members
published by Pat Hase on Wed, 16/01/2019 - 20:19

We shall stop having Affiliated Members when the new Web Site goes live at the end of this month.  We hope that those of you who have enjoyed the facility of being an Affiliated Member will now join as a full member so that you can continue to access the Research Forum along with the additional benefits which full membership brings.  The annual cost of Full Digital Membership to our Society is actually less than the cost of buying just one marriage certificate.  Please consider upgrading your membership before the change to the web site takes place – we don’t want you to lose out.

News TopicGeneral
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Changes to Website
published by Graham Payne on Tue, 15/01/2019 - 10:55

On the 30th January our website will be replaced with a new version to provide greater reliability and facilitate future updates. Existing data from our current site will be transferred across on the 26th January in preparation for the live launch.

You will be able to continue to use the existing site up to the launch date but please do not post any new items after the 25th January as this information will be lost.

You will find that the new site looks very much the same and functionality has remained the same apart from some minor changes.

With the exception of important news items and individual responses to research queries a summary subscription notifications will now only be emailed once a week. This will be the default setting but as before members can turn on and off emails in subscription notifications in their personal details once you have logged in.

To add a new Surname Interest click on members surname interests in the main menu and select add a new surname and complete the form. You can also add a family tree in pdf format at this stage. Members and non-members can contact members directly by clicking on the surname of interest to activate the contact form. Members email addresses are not disclosed as part of this process and they can choose whether to respond or not. As a full member you will still be able to add a comment to the Surname Interests which will appear on the web site.

To add a new Research Query just click on the research forum in the main menu and select post your question now located on the right-hand side. A facility to upload pictures is included in the tool bar. There is no change to adding a comment to research queries and recent replies except that the original tile is retained throughout the correspondence thread. Please post a new research query if you what to change the subject heading. It is helpful if all surnames are entered in capitals to make them stand out.

Once the new site goes live Affiliated Membership will be discontinued. Any existing affiliated member who wants to retain their account and access the Research Forum or answer any queries will have to register as a full member.

In the main menu under “Information Sources” you will find the heading “Places/Churches” which opens a list of places and churches. As before clicking on any church will bring up a list of transcripts associated with that church together with any associated photographs. Clicking on the place name will bring up a new layer which will be progressively populated with a description, photographs, documents, etc as they become available. If you feel that you have any information, old photographs etc for any of the places listed, which may be of interest to our members, we would like to hear from you.

If you experience any problems following the launch please contact the webmaster or membership secretary via the site contact form.

News TopicWebsite
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January 2019 Update
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 31/12/2018 - 21:58

A Happy New Year to all who are reading this! 

My thoughts on DNA Testing

  • I have a feeling that 2019 will bring more questions to your family history research.  Hopefully, the popularity of DNA testing – or at least the fact that it has been so widely publicised with special offers - will attract more people to do some actual research about their ancestors. 
  • Many will have been tempted over the Christmas season to purchase kits, lured by the offer of an insight into their ethnicity but with no idea of where their grandparents came from, let alone where their ancestors lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago!  For example, take a look at this extract from a year ago when the presenters of Good morning Britain were tested and see their reactions.
  • The results of DNA tests are another tool in the researching of our family history when used in conjunction with traditional methods.
  • If you are considering DNA testing, I found this blog on Findmypast very useful 3 Reasons every family historian should take a DNA test
  • If you have tested, or are considering testing, be prepared to spend time researching the trees of your matches to find where the link might be or adding to your own tree in preparation.  For example, my best match so far is a 2nd to 3rd cousin once removed (on My Heritage) This means that we could share great grandparents or gg grandparents.  In order to find a link I am now filling in all the descendants of the siblings of my gg grandparents in the hope that we find a connection somewhere.  I think I know all 16 gg grandparents (and all 32 ggg grandparents) but this would be a good target for everyone to aim at during 2019.
  • Over Christmas I enjoyed the Royal Institute Lectures which were on the theme “Who am I?” and explored DNA.  They can still be seen on iplayer for another 3 weeks. As a background to DNA testing I found them very interesting.

Social History and Family History

  • I consider that apart from the documentary evidence which we use in family history research that the Social History of the period in which our ancestors were living is also important. This video provides some assistance in understanding the background to our families and gives some tips for research.  
  • There have been a few queries about addresses on our Research Forum lately.  For Weston addresses it is possible to have some idea if the number changed by using the address search available on Findmypast on censuses for 1901 and 1911.  If any of the residents in the street are there on both censuses, note their addresses for both years.  Many of Weston houses did not have numbers initially but were given names (which did sometimes change!) Look on Google StreetView for up-to-date images of the road – the numbers today should be the same as they were in 1911.

Cost of BMD Certificates from the GRO

  • If when you are doing any research you need to buy a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate you should try to do it before the prices go up on Feb 16th 2019. See the Latest News Item on our own web site for more details
  • Don't forget that the GRO Index will give you the mother's maiden name from 1837 - 1917 and the age at death from 1837 - 1957.  The cost of the PDF versions is also going up.

BillionGraves

  • I have been surprised recently by finding some burials of relations on BillionGraves – they were in Manchester but there are a few more local ones as well. 
  • I also found the grave of Arthur Harold John PUDDY who was a 2nd cousin to my husband in Highbridge Cemetery.  The site is worth investigating and is free to search.

Roman Catholic Records

  • This blog on Findmypast explains the importance of Roman Catholic Records and where to find them and how to read them. 

Dates for your Diary

  • Just a reminder that the dead-line for articles for the next edition of Buckets and Spades is fast approaching – it’s the end of January and Sue Maguire will be delighted with anything you have to offer short or long.  Any new findings over Christmas or have any brick-walls been demolished?  Any resources you can recommend? Our Journal is a way of contacting all our members whether they are computer users or not and all will be pleased to read of your family history experiences. 
  • The U3A Family History Group will meet at St Paul’s Church Hall on Friday January 4th at 2.15pm – This Group has people who are beginners and some with vast experience so in the true spirit of the U3A is a Self-Help and Sharing Group.  It will meet monthly and the first meeting will be led by Grace Rubery who will offer an introduction and refresher presentation as well as investigating the needs of the group for 2019.  Grace has a programme planned until the summer – please contact her for more details.  Thank you, Grace and your team, for keeping this group going.
  • There are also two DNA for Family History Groups run by the U3A. One group meets in Worle from 2.00pm – 4.00 pm on the first Tuesday of the month and the other at Bleadon from 7pm – 9pm on the second Thursday of the month. Contact Jenny Towey for more information.
  • Society Subscriptions covering the calendar year from Jan 1st – Dec 31st and are now due and you can pay at the January meeting, use the form in the centre of Buckets and Spades or pay by credit card via the Parish Chest website.  See full details here 
  • After a break of a couple of weeks the Saturday Free Help Sessions at the Library will start again on Saturday the 5th January.   If you have any queries - please go along to the Library in the Town Hall in Weston between 2.00 until 3.30 pm to seek help.  Come at the start of the afternoon to ensure being seen by one of our volunteers. You don't have to be a member to come along.
  • The next meeting of the Society will be on Tuesday, January 22nd when Bill Caple will be looking back to September 1903 and the big storm and its effect on the Somerset Coast.  I was given a copy of Knightstone, The Story of Weston-super-Mare’s “Island” Theatre by Jonathan Shorney for Christmas.  The Theatre had been opened in 1902 and the audience of 500 that September evening was trapped until the storm subsided.

Lastly, it is the time for New Year Resolutions – one of mine is to get you all involved – so please when you have read this please add a comment where it says “Add new Comment” describing what your New Year Resolution will be in respect of Family History!

Many thanks for all the good wishes and cards I have received - Get Well, Birthday and Christmas Cards still fill the house and I am thankful for them all.  I am now almost half way through my chemotherapy and with the adjusted dosage I am not having the side effects which caused the problems with the first cycle.  I hope very much to be back with you all in the summer but I can still sit at a computer and research!

A Very Happy and  Successful New Year!

News TopicMonthly Update
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Forthcoming Events

Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 23rd February, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Society Meeting
Tuesday, 26th February, 2019 19:00 - 21:00
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 2nd March, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 9th March, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 16th March, 2019 14:00 - 15:30
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