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Blackford Holy Trinity Monumental Inscriptions
published by Graham Payne on Sun, 19/09/2021 - 9:47

The Blackford Holy trinity MIs are now available for Society members to view online. 

Once again thank you to member Sue Hoddinott for providing the photographs. 

If you see any transcript errors or can complete any of the missing inscriptions please contact the author of this news article.

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Compton Bishop St Andrews Monumental Inscriptions.
published by Graham Payne on Tue, 07/09/2021 - 11:18

The Compton Bishop St Andrews MIs are now available for Society members to view online.

Thank you to member Sue Hoddinott for providing the photographs.

Please contact the editor of this news article if you can fill in any missing inscriptions or find any transcript errors.

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Weston Super Mare Milton Road Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions
published by Graham Payne on Thu, 02/09/2021 - 12:41

The Weston Super Mare Milton Road Cemetery MIs are now available for society members to view online.

Due to the size of the file it has been divided by surname into four sections.

The MIs are based on the survey undertaken by Society members in the late 1990's and was subsequently managed and updated by member Stan Baker until his death. These records also include records from an earlier survey carried out by Brian Austin.

Please report any transcript errors or additions to the author of this news article.

News TopicTranscripts
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September 2021 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Wed, 01/09/2021 - 13:29

John Keats (1725-1821) summed it up perfectly in his “To Autumn”.  Few of us remember more than the first line – “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”, but the whole poem evokes the rural atmosphere familiar to many of our ancestors.  This time of the year also often heralds a new interest in Family History when conditions favour time which can be spent in research. Since early in 2020 things have been very different and we have had to rely on the availability of online records but, for those who are able to visit, the gradual reopening of Archives and Libraries will be welcomed.  Do check before travelling to an Archive that you know all the conditions required to attend.  You will need to pre-book your visit to the Somerset Archives  and information is available on their web site.  

Mercer v Puxton - A Folly of Litigation - 19th Aug.

The Society is very grateful to one of our own members, Anne Lockyer, for her patience and perseverance during a technical problem which prevented her presentation in August from being transmitted.  Anne then recorded her talk, and it is available for all members to see at a time convenient to them. Just log in and go to Videos under your name on the main menu. It is a fascinating story and congratulations and thanks to Anne for unravelling her family from the complications of Chancery Records and sharing it with us.

Results of Questionnaire

A precis of the results of the Questionnaire about the future of the Society was posted on our web site  If you have further thoughts about its results please add comments or let a member of the committee know.  If you said you could give a talk, please contact Jenny Towey and if you said that you would write an article for Buckets and Spades Sue Maguire would love to hear from you.  As we have said before - this is your society - what can you do to help others?

All Parishes Covered by the Society

We do need to add more information to the web site about the parishes which surround Weston.  We have marvellous transcriptions for them but need more background.  I started to add basic information from the 1914 Kelly’s Directory for each parish but failed to finish that project.  Perhaps now that the Worthies are completed, I will revisit that!  Links to Local History Societies covering the same areas could also be included under the Places.  I also suggested in a newsletter sometime ago that members could add information about their own connections with these parishes on the Places Pages.  I added “My Wraxall Connection” to the Wraxall page and have several others which need finishing.  If you have anything which could enhance the website, please contact Paul Tracey who will be able to assist with the uploading.

I knew that my STOKES family of Wraxall were connected with Market Gardening and some years ago I attended a meeting of the Nailsea and District Local History Society    which sadly no longer meets,  to hear a talk about the importance of market gardening in that area.   It covered not only the relevance of market gardens to the diet of the glass makers of Nailsea but also the growing and selling in London of the popular Victorian flower, violets, from the Tickenham area.  Other interesting aspects of Nailsea and Wraxall can still be seen on their web site by looking at the Free Pennants    N&DLHS - Free Pennant (ndlhs.org.uk)  (their journal) and their free ebooks

Market Gardening also featured in the Milton and Worle area until the land was sold for building in the 1960s.   Gillian Moore published a book entitled “The Good Earth” about this subject which is available in Weston Library.  It gives the background to the development of market gardening in this area in conjunction with the rise of Weston as a holiday resort and highlights the changes in this trade over the years.  I wondered whether a copy was in our own library but  unfortunately it does not feature.  For those who said that they did not know where to find the Library - it's on the main menu, after you have signed in, and you can search for any title.  Many of the books have been donated my members and contain useful information - it's not all on the internet!

Re-reading books

Recently I’ve found pleasure in re-reading books which I have had on my bookshelves for years!  When I originally bought them, I probably skimmed through them – from the index backwards – looking for names I was researching!  Now I have been reading them properly and have been surprised how useful and meaningful they are in giving an idea of the conditions in which our ancestors lived – whether it was through the Bristol Riots of 1832, the Monmouth Rebellion, as Irish immigrants to this country or America, being transported to Australia, life as a servant, or simply the changes in the ways shopping was undertaken etc. The last being very relevant with the current decline of the High Street.

Society of Friends

As family historians we can spend hours looking for church records, but have you considered that the reason you have been unable to find any is that your family might have connections with the Society of Friends? 

  • To look at Quaker Records you need to understand a little about them.  This site - Getting Started is very helpful
  • The Quaker FHS gives some very helpful advice about the basics of research and a details description of their records can be found here.   
  • An additional glossary of terms which you might find in Wills is also included on this site which contains information which is general and not only connected with Quakers.  
  • As the first building at Sidcot was given to the Society of Friends as far back as 1690 – there is a distinct possibility that you may find Quakers in this area.

Charles Booth Poverty Maps

I know I have mentioned this before but if you have ancestors who lived in London you may be able to trace their road and the conditions in which they lived by using the Charles Booth Poverty Maps.  It does take a while to learn to use this site but it is worth the effort.

Family History & Life Stories

Many of us decided to use the Lockdown to write up their own research but perhaps, like me. the time went so quickly that it is still to be accomplished.  In January 2020 the U3A published this useful guide which you may find helpful. You will need to scroll down to download it.  Although originally written in 2010 this article still holds good and provides some interesting ideas for those of us who still have to complete our family history.

Next Society Meeting

The next Society meeting is scheduled for Thursday September 23rd at 7.0 p.m. which we hope will be free of technical problems.   

News TopicMonthly Update
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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


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Forthcoming Events

Society Committee Meeting
Thursday, 23rd September, 2021 10:00 - 12:00
Zoom Members' Meeting
Thursday, 23rd September, 2021 19:00 - 21:00
Zoom Members' Meeting
Thursday, 21st October, 2021 19:00 - 21:00
Zoom Members' Meeting
Thursday, 18th November, 2021 19:00 - 21:00
Zoom Members' Meeting
Thursday, 16th December, 2021 19:00 - 21:00
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