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June 2022 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 31/05/2022 - 22:53

We start by congratulating her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her Platinum Jubilee.  The Platinum Jubilee Beacon at Uphill will be lit as part of the national chain at 9.45 pm on June 2nd preceded by a unique Bugle Call and the ringing of the old church bells.  Just one of many local events to commemorate the occasion.  More later.

Members' Workshops

During May we had the first of the Members’ Workshop Sessions which are planned for the 4th Wednesday of each month by Zoom.  The Workshops start at 7.30 and the second one covering Marriages will be on Wed. 22nd June.  The first was very successful, and thanks go to Peter de Dulin for organising this addition to our programme of activities.  The opening session on Births and Baptisms is now available on video for members who could not attend on the night - you need to sign in first to see it.

Free Helps Sessions at Weston Library

It's good news that our Free Library Help Sessions are starting up again.  Initially they will be once a month at Weston-super-Mare Library - on the first Saturday of each month - with the first session on the 2nd July, from 2.00pm to 3.30pm.  You can bring your own laptop to work on if you prefer. Please bring whatever information you have about your family which will enable the volunteer to help you.  Only four people can attend each session and this time you will have to book through the Library (the Society cannot take bookings). Contact the library on 01934 426010 or email Weston.library@n-somerset.gov.uk to make your booking.

The Weston Library is a great resource for family historians covering all the parishes in North  Somerset.  It can also give access to local to local newspapers on film; however, these are not indexed but if you are prepared to search the pages for it and not be side-tracked by all the interesting articles in the neighbouring columns it can be a rewarding experience! The Electoral Rolls and Street Directories are also a goldmine of information as are the number of maps available.  Files of information about local people and places associated with the area are anther rich source.  Don't forget Brian Austin's collection of Family Trees. 

Free Web sites

I apologise that the list of free Web Sites on our home page is in need of correction. The North Somerset Libraries no longer give access online to some of the most useful sites like the Times Digital Archive, The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and others which can still be accessed if you have a Bristol Library Card!  I will try to amend that list as soon as possible.  Please check with your local library to see whether you have access to these as it seems to vary across the country.

Addition to Ancestry Church Records

  • The Bristol C of E Marriages on Ancestry now covers 1754-1937 with images
  • The Bristol C of E Baptisms on Ancestry now covers 1813-1921 with images
  • East and West Sussex C of E Baptisms, Marriages and Burials from 1538 – 1920 (Baptisms) - 1936 (marriages) – 1995 (burials)

The 1950 Census of America

The 1950 Census of America was released during May. To search it go to https://1950census.archives.gov/search/ There is a useful series of videos on Youtube about how to use it to your advantage.    More details about these can be seen here

Who do you think you are? 

The web site has been very quiet – just one research query in the last 3 months – perhaps you may get inspiration from the current series of Who Do You Think You Are.  The first one about Sue Perkins was really interesting especially dealing with the Isle of Mann and the Knockaloe Internment Centre during WW1     The following programmes are scheduled:

  • Richard Osman - 9 June, 9pm BBC1
  • Matt Lucas - 16 June, 9pm BBC1
  • Anna Maxwell Martin - 23 June, 9pm BBC1
  • Ralf Little - 30 June, 9pm BBC1

WDYTYA is still one of the best programmes for gaining tips for future research, but remember how many researchers they use and how many people have been discounted as not being interesting enough!  Several TV programmes give a nod towards family history but many of them are designed as entertainment rather than giving any tips for research.  The best of the DNA programmes is probably “DNA Family Secrets” with the brilliant, Professor Turi King, who explains the system rather than just giving the answers.         

The experience of tracing and finding blood relations through DNA in these instances is a deeply emotional one and there needs to be a support network set up for both sides to see that mental health issues are addressed.

Irish Records Recovered

On June 27th a new free resource will become available for those of you who have Irish ancestry and who thought all records were destroyed in June 1922.  More information can be seen on this short video called "Beyond 2022" This is an encouraging and inspiring project which has gathered together evidence from a multitude of sources to enhance the resulting digital archive.

Basic Research Caveats

  • Not every record is online - one of the most valuable records - Overseers' Accounts - are difficult to transcribe or index but have fascinating information.
  • Original records may have errors - age, name etc.
  • You will make mistakes - we all do!
  • Handed-down family stories may not be accurate but may contain a grain of truth.
  • You will never finish!

Jubilee Celebrations

And now, that Jubilee!  We have Bank Holidays on Thursday and Friday the 2nd and 3rd June giving us a 4-day Holiday which we all hope that you will enjoying celebrating the 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II.  If you are meeting up with family during this time, why not take the opportunity to record any memories. In the last newsletter I shared some memories of Coronation Day in 1953 in the hope that some of you might have added your own but perhaps you are all too young, as nothing materialised.

This time I’m looking at the Silver Jubilee in 1977. I recently found some photographs of that time in Weston.  There were street parties – and a visit from the Queen.  None of my photos actually show the Queen! – just the scouts and guides displaying on the Beach Lawns  and the crowds lining the route. 

Street Parties were put on for the residents of a number of roads – This is a poor photograph of the cake for a party near me - but it does name the streets involved:

Called the Selbourne Road Street Party (half of which was closed for the event) it included Addiscombe Road, Beaumont Close, Bedford Road, Dumfries Place, Southville Road, Stanhope Road, Totterdown Road, and Whitting Road.  Strangely the only other road on the east side of Devonshire Road, Brownlow Road, is not mentioned - perhaps there were no children from there taking part.  The food was a buffet along one side of the road and provision was made for other games for the children.

Guitar entertainment was provided by the late and talented Bob Allam from Uphill.  I would take a small bet that one of the items he sang would have been a rendition of the highly appropriate Ralph Mctell’s “Streets of London”.  

Bob taught Guitar at an Evening Class for what was then the Extra Mural Department of Weston College and the “Streets of London” could often be heard pervading the building.    

There was also a fancy-dress parade for the children.   If this “King for a Day” bears any resemblance to me, it must be due to DNA!

If you have any memories of the Silver, Golden or Diamond Jubilees, please add a comment.

A picture containing text, newspaperDescription automatically generatedOur Ancestors would have celebrated Queen Victoria’s various Jubilees. In 1897 her Diamond Jubilee was marked in Weston by a parade through the town, a tea for Children, a meat dinner for the elderly poor and a public collection to set up a free library.  The resulting Grade II listed building was opened in 1900 in the Boulevard designed by Hans Fowler Price but sadly was sold when the library moved into the Town Hall.

The newspapers were full of plans for how each of the surrounding villages would mark the occasion but there was also this historical note about the Golden Jubilee of George III in 1809.  It seems that history does repeat itself!  Read more details here 

Jubilee Road 

I assume that Jubilee Road in Weston-super-Mare was named to honour the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. How many of our members or FB members have found ancestors living there?  The 1891 census shows 73 households in Jubilee Road. That 73 does not mean that there were 73 houses because in several cases two families (households) were living in the same house.  Each house had a name rather than a number.  We have had several new members of the Facebook Group who have joined because they are researching the house in which they live.  It is fascinating to look at the history of your house or the land on which it was built. Know Your Place can often provide an insight into the previous use of the land or building, sometimes you may find photographs in the Community Layer.  County Archives are useful for planning permission and changes of use of buildings. The plans may list the original owner or architect and Censuses and Street Directories give more information.

Future Events

Looking forward to August we are planning to take a stand at the Hutton Festival - "Taste of Somerset" which will take place on Wednesday 31st August in St Mary's Field in Hutton.  More details to follow.

Next Members' Meeting

Our next Members' Meeting will take place at 2.30pm -5.00pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall, Baytree Road on Wednesday June 8th and visitors are welcome.  At this meeting the remainder of our stock of Library Books will be offered for sale.  If you are interested in any but are not attending please contact our Secretary, Brian Airey.   The doors open at 2.30pm and the Speaker, Don Bishop, will start at 3.00pm.  The topic will be the West Somerset Railway - his web site has a splendid collection of photographs of the rolling stock. For those members who are unable to attend, the talk will be recorded and made available later on our web site for viewing at your convenience.


Enjoy the coming celebrations but when researching don't forget to ask for help if you need it, either on our Research Forum on the Web site or by posting your query on the Facebook Group.  Comment and additions to the Newsletter welcome.

News TopicMonthly Update
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re Family Bible
published by Brian Airey on Thu, 12/05/2022 - 13:55

Going through the bible again I have found a Millicent BALL who died in Langford in 1968. Again if anyone is related please get in touch

News TopicGeneral
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Family Bible donated
published by Brian Airey on Wed, 11/05/2022 - 16:51

The Society has been donated a family bible  relating to family MAY from Langford/Churchill area and would like to give it back to family. If anyone is researching the MAY family please get in touch



News TopicPeople
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New Long Ashton All Saints Monumental Inscriptions
published by Graham Payne on Mon, 02/05/2022 - 10:33

The transcripts of Long Ashton All Saints MIs are now available for society members to view online.

A special thank you to Long Ashton Local History Society for allowing us to cross reference our inscriptions with their 1990's version.

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


News TopicTranscripts
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May 2022 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Sat, 30/04/2022 - 21:51

It’s another Bank Holiday and the sun is shining on the apple blossom so it’s time to welcome May, which I often think is the best time to visit Great Britain.  This May Day Holiday is said to celebrate the coming of Summer with dancing around a Maypole and the crowning of May Queens.  This photograph shows my daughter-in-law when as a pupil at Christ Church Primary School she joined in the traditional activity.

The first Monday in May was officially granted Bank Holiday status in 1978.  The traditional Whit Monday Holiday this year has been moved to Thursday June 2nd to make a 4-day break to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee together with Friday June 3rd . When coupled with the following weekend this should allow plenty of time to commemorate this special occasion.  How will you be marking the event?

Memories of the Coronation 

I wonder how many of our members can actually remember the Coronation.  My husband, who was on leave from his National Service, went with his parents to Birnbeck Pier to have lunch and to watch it all on a very small television – he thinks it couldn’t have been any larger than a 10” or 12” screen.  The day was captured for posterity by Jackson’s Faces - arriving in time for the great event.

My Great Aunt Maud was the only member of our family who had their own television.  She organised a family party at her home in Bristol.  There were probably about 15-20 people crammed into her living room around a TV set about the same size as the one on the Old Pier.  Great Aunt Maud had catered extremely well, and we were kept going on sandwiches and cakes, which seemed to go on for ever as did the ceremony!

Diary Keeping

Memories like those are the bedrock of family history.  My husband has kept a diary since a schoolboy and it is interesting reading the entries which highlight issues which concerned him most at the time of writing.  The cost of chocolate is entered (almost daily) once sweet rationing ended and after he was 17 and the proud owner of his first car the cost of fuel becomes important - about 4 shillings a gallon (20p).  Chocolate has maintained its place in his daily life whereas the recent hike in fuel prices has passed him by as he no longer drives.  Do you have access to any diaries?

DNA Journeys

I have been watching the DNA Journeys on ITV and although entertaining these programmes have little to do with actual DNA research.  However, I was interested in the revelation that one of Christopher DEAN’s ancestor had become a Mormon in this country and had subsequently travelled to Salt Lake City where a branch of the family still lived.  In the commentary it was stated that at that time there were more active members of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints in this country than in America.

In my own research Great Aunt Kate née LONG married Albert E DAYER in 1907 and when looking at the DAYER family I came across this census entry and was intrigued to see that Albert’s elder brother, George, was born in America in Salt Lake City.  Their parents had been married on the 23rd June 1873 in Salt Lake City.  George T DAYER had arrived in the USA in July 1868 and Jane McBURNEY had arrived from Ireland in August 1871 so presumably they had met through their connection with the Mormon Church.

1881 England, Wale & Scotland Census

4, Sydney Street,Ss Philip & Jacob (Out) Barton Regis, Bristol

First name

Last name


Marital status


Birth year


Birth place

George T






Rail clerk

Newport, Mons








Ireland, Ballymena

George T







United States, Salt Lake City

Albert E








Herbert C








A great aunt of Albert’s  called Ann DAYER had married a David SPOONER in 1835 in South Wales and had 5 children in Glamorgan.  After David SPOONER’s death in 1850, Ann emigrated with her children to Salt Lake City where she married again in 1856 to an Isaac MORLEY.   In 1857 Ann’s daughter Sarah married Benjamin Franklin JOHNSON, who was an elder of the Mormon Church.  Under the auspices of this Church, it was possible for Benjamin to have 8 wives of whom Sarah was the fifth, all living at the same time.  It is likely that these experiences may have influenced George DAYER’s decision to go to America. Missionaries from America were active in this country at that time.  

There is anther series of programmes this time called DNA Family Secrets, beginning 9pm on May 11th on BBC2 – it will be interesting to see what format these take.

 Next Society Meeting

Also on May 11th we have our next Society Meeting, when the speaker will be Stuart Burroughs with the title “The Poor Man’s Friend? Bath and the Workhouse”.  Stuart is the Director of the Museum of Work at Bath and is immensely knowledgeable about life in Bath. Read about him here The Museum of Bath at Work is a fascinating place to visit.  All too often Bath is described as the Georgian Town catering for those in Society,  but it had its poorer residents as well and they have their history to be discovered.


As a Society we are a member of the ALHA (Avon Local History Archaeological) Association which has just updated their web site.    You can discover what each of the member Groups are offering to their members and whether there is a group covering the area in which your family lived. 


If you are a member, you will have received an email from Peter de Dulin about our proposed Workshops.  Please reply to him with any requests for topics you would like covered or giving details of any brickwall you are trying to break down.  Very little use is made of the Research Forum on the Web site but please respond to Peter if you need any help, however simple it may seem.

Facebook Group

We have had some interesting requests for help in the past month and discovered some surprising information about ancestors of our FB members.  It has highlighted the problem of an inaccurate transcription of a marriage on FindmyPast which led to many hours of futile research.  It is always best to check with the original document if possible.  



News TopicMonthly Update
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Workshops for members
published by Peter de Dulin on Thu, 28/04/2022 - 16:23

Exciting news!

After much discussion and thought we have decided to start workshops on the 4th Wednesday in the month at 7:30 pm.

The first three will be about births (May 25th), Marriages (June 22nd) and Deaths (July 27th). From the replies to my questionnaire the biggest response for a topic was General Family History, so we will be discussing these three topics first.

i will be sending out an email to all members. Please reply to it if you have any questions, problems or anything you want to add to the workshops.

Peter de Dulin

vice chair

News TopicEvents
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Forthcoming Events

Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 2nd July, 2022 14:00 - 15:30
Society Committee Meeting
Monday, 4th July, 2022 10:00 - 12:00
Physical Members' Meeting
Wednesday, 13th July, 2022 14:30 - 17:00
Workshop by Zoom
Wednesday, 27th July, 2022 19:30 - 20:30
Weston Library Help Sessions
Saturday, 6th August, 2022 14:00 - 15:30
<- View calendar for more

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