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March 2020 Update
published by Pat Hase on Sat, 29/02/2020 - 13:07

It's a Leap Year and I wonder how many of you have relations who are celebrating their birthdays on Feb 29th? According to the 1939 Register there were 323 people living in Somerset with that birth date and of them just 26 lived in Weston and Worle at that time.  Probably a bit of useless information and of course it doesn't take into account people who are still alive and whose information is redacted. 

Locking Village Talk - Looking at Locking

At our last meeting in April we had an interesting talk about the history of Locking given by one our members and resident of Locking, Simon Begent.  He highlighted the fact that there is a local history exhibition about the village, the airfield and the former RAF Locking Camp. in St Augustine's Church which is open to the public from !0.00am - dusk on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  You are welcome to visit.   The Locking website also has a plan of the churchyard and a list of the burials there. 

New Archive Card

For those of you who are planning to visit an Archive in the near future there is a new Archive Card coming into use.

The County Archive Research Network (CARN) card ceased last November and will be replaced by this new card.  You can see more details about how to apply for a card and which Archives need one on this website

New Resources Online

It's often advisable to look again to see what new records have been added to the Internet.  You do not have to subscribe to a commercial site to find out what is new.

  • The Genealogist has released some new RAF Operations Book Records which make for fascinating reading. To find out more about these records, you can read Nick Thorne's article "RAF Operations books build a picture of WWII aircrew ancestors' action".
    • For a bit of local colour about the RAF during WW2 take a look at an interview with Arthur Spencer who was later the first Head master of Priory School about his experiences as a Navigator in the RAF  
  • Findmypast update their site each Friday and you can read about their new records on their Blog.  This Friday, being near to March 1st and St David's Day their new records include Welsh Burials.  Findmypast also has new parish records from Surrey and  Hampshire, some with images of original entries.  Findmypast also has a collection of Devon Social & Institutional Records. This set of records includes information about paupers, vagrants, apprentices, peddlers and tradesmen.  
  • Ancestry has a few new collections and Jenny Towey has recommended this article about DNA for those of you who have tested with Ancestry
  • Familysearch has this article which interested me  especially as it features Mary Berry who attended the same college in Bath as I did (a couple of years earlier) but so many of her comments ring bells with me.
  • Somerset Heritage Centre has a half-day course in reading Common phrases in Latin and English  which are found in old documents.  This will be on April 28th
  • Bristol Archives has announced that the records for Arnos Vale Cemetery can be now be seen there.  This is very welcome news and I know of several Weston people who were buried there. The catalogue entry with more details about these records can be seen here 

Technology Problems

I've been struggling with technology this week.  Just over 20 years ago I backed up some research using the backup utility included with Windows 95 and 98. Safely stored on 3 1/2 inch floppy disks! I wanted to restore this but of course I no longer have a suitable disc drive so I purchased one - only to find that the backup files .QIC can not be restored as microsoft no longer supports their own backup files!  I tried a programme which is supposed to be able to open all files with no success. 

I wish I had just saved the data as a word file - those I can open - but at least I do have a printed copy - Paper it seems is best after all.  I mention this as a warning to be aware that the speed with which technology has changed over the years and how we can get caught out by it.  If any of our more technically minded members have way of restoring .QIC files I would love to hear from them.  

Activities in March

The North Somerset Archivist visit to Weston Library is on Thursday March 5th  This is so useful if you are researching a Somerset Family or building. Sessions are open from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm, and from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm For more information and to ask for documents to be brought to Weston contact somersetarchives@swheritage.org.uk

The Dorset Family History Society is having a Family History Day on Sat March 21st at Poole.  Unfortunately we will not be represented but there are many interesting exhibitors and speakers who will be there.

Our Society Meeting in March on Tuesday the 24th March will see a return visit of Shirley Hodgson who has spoken to us before about the Home Children.  This time her topic is the TS Formidable which was a Training Ship anchored off Portishead and was used as an Industrial School where young boys who had fallen foul of the local magistrates were sent to learn skills which would suit them for a life at sea.  It was set up in 1869 and in 1870 a young Henry HASE, aged about 13, from Weston-super-Mare joined their ranks for 5 years having been caught stealing from a local shop so I have a particular interest in this talk and am looking forward to it.

The Saturday Free Help Sessions will continue as usual throughout March and we look forward to meeting up with some of you there. The Library is certainly not a quiet zone while we are in there and all the volunteers delight in suggesting ways of continuing your research.  Beginners are particularly welcome and so are those who wish to update their skills or who just to discover what the North Somerset Local Studies Library holds.

Other Society News

Facebook Group - This continues to grow and members have made some useful contacts through it.  As it is a closed group you have to join to see what it contains but for those of you who use Facebook it might be worth a look. There is a link on our home page.

Workshops - The Committee is hoping to offer some Workshops in various aspects of Family History Research and Peter de Dulin would like to hear from any member who has ideas about timing, topics and/or venues for these Workshops.  You can contact Peter here

This is your society - let us know if there is anything you would like to see the society doing to aid your research.   

News TopicMonthly Update
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Directory of Somerset 1626-1674
published by Brian Airey on Tue, 11/02/2020 - 11:36

We have received a copy of the Dwelly National Records Vol 2 which contains the names of all persons paying taxes or exempted from payment during the period 1626-1674.  These are listed in order of the old division of "Hundreds".  If you wish to borrow the book let me know. Refernce is BI/E/SOM/84

News TopicLibrary
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February 2020 Update
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 02/02/2020 - 23:39

A warm welcome to any new members who are reading this Update and we wish you all a successful time with us finding out more information about your family history.   Please add your surname interests to the list so that you can find out whether you share a surname with other members.  

Subscriptions

A brief reminder to other members that, if you have not already done so, your annual subscription is now due and can be paid  directly to our membership secretary, Graham Payne, details here or online via Genfair when you can choose whether to have our journal supplied digitally or sent to you as  a printed booklet.

Events

  • Due to circumstances out of our control the  Weston Library will be closed next Saturday - that's the 8th February - which means that our Free Help Session will not take place.  We will be there on Saturday February 15th as usual from 2.00 - 3.30
  • An unexpected benefit of this is that members will be free to visit the Family History Show on Saturday 8th Feb which is being held at UWE in Bristol  from 10 a.m. until 4.30 p.m.  This is the largest family history event in the South West and apart from the exhibitors there will be free talks throughout the day.

Sharing Research 

  • Over the years there have been many ways in which the advent of the internet has produced helpful ways of allowing people with similar interests to meet and compare research.  But changes are now happening and those of us who have benefited from belonging to Yahoo Groups and Rootsweb Mailing Lists are having to learn new ways to keep in touch as these are closing.  Much gratitude is due to those who administered and kept them going.  I attended several annual meetings (we called them "Bunfights"! ) of people from one of the Rootsweb Mailing lists covering our area.  These were friendly and enjoyable to be able to put faces to the names who were so helpful in answering queries. 
  • New methods will take their place and I do recommend taking advantage of these - it is always beneficial to share your problem and to gain help from people with a similar interest.
  • This leads me to the use of our own Research Forum for full members and our Face Book Group for non-members.  There is a wealth of experience to be tapped - why not use these avenues for research?  We have opened the Research Forum to members who are researching their ancestors from other parts of the country as our local membership does not necessarily have local ancestors.  

Newish Resources

  • Ancestry - which is available free of charge in the Library - has updated "Find a Grave" and it now includes burials at sea, burials in other parts of the world and more from the UK.   I have been able to find some recent burials of distant relations.
  • Find my Past has a useful guide for beginners with a 5-step guide to tracing a family back to 1911 which may be particularly useful when encouraging younger relatives to take an interest! 
  • Janet Few continues to provide thought provoking blogs about research and this one about the "Words and Voices of our Ancestors" may inspire you to record any living relatives and to consider the dialects which our ancestors used and how they were interpreted by enumerators!

Society News

  • The deadline for items for the next edition of Buckets and Spades is fast approaching - February 14th - This will be the 100th edition of our journal and our editor, Sue Mcguire, is looking forward to all your contributions.
  • At the last meeting a new catalogue of the Books in our own Library was made available to our full members who attend meetings.  Brian Airey brings a selection to each meeting relevant to the topic of the evening but with this catalogue you can see the all which are available.  It is available online on our webpage and printed copies are available at meetings

Speakers and Society Meetings

  • Thanks to Peter Lander, our member, and archivist of the Birnbeck Regeneration Project for his interesting talk at the January meeting. It coincided with yet another newspaper account speculating about the future of this historic landmark.  Many of our ancestors who lived in the area would have been familiar with the pier (or bridge) and island as Peter called it, through the attractive funfare installations, the Lifeboat, the popular boat trips along the Bristol Channel and towards the end of its active life the Victorian Musical Evenings and Banquets.  If you do have any photographs of Birnbeck do let Peter have them as they all add something to its history
  • Our next Meeting, on Feb 25th, will have another member Simon Begent, as the guest Speaker.  He will be talking about Locking , his home village.  Locking is also linked closely with RAF Locking  and at least one of our members was an apprentice there.  The history of Locking is fascinating linking it with Woodspring Priory and the Bristol Merchant Venturers amongst others.  What would it have been like to live there during the Monmouth uprising?

Monthly Updates

We would welcome comments from members, especially if they have discovered new helpful resources or have any ideas about what they want from this society.

News TopicMonthly Update
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No Free Help Session on Feb 8th.
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 02/02/2020 - 13:28

We have received news that the Library will be Closed next Saturday, Feb 8th, so we will not be able to hold our Free Help Session as usual.  We will be there the next Saturday, Feb 15th but if you have any queries or brick walls please use the Research Forum.

News TopicEvents
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January 2020 Update
published by rockerjt9 on Fri, 27/12/2019 - 15:56

Welcome to 2020

A new year, a fresh start - new resolutions?...before you consider what to write on your list of resolutions...please ensure that you have renewed your membership in order to benefit from attending meetings, receiving the journal and having access to all the birth, marriage and death transcripts of local records - as well as being able to pick the brains of your fellow members on the forum!

Membership

Methods of payment can be found in the membership section...you can opt whether to receive your Buckets & Spades journal electronically or in the traditional paper form.

Select the Click Here to Download Membership Form to join or renew.

DNA

DNA testing for genealogy has set the family history world alight!  Why do it? - because you can connect with cousins you never knew existed...and they may have photographs and family information that you don't.  You will expand your knowledge of your greater family tree: discovering, for example, that great uncle Fred emigrated to Australia (voluntarily or otherwise!), Canada or elsewhere in the world.  He may have lived an amazing life that you can tell your children and grandchildren about.

Brickwalls can be knocked down via DNA testing but - more importantly in my opinion - you can verify your research!  I have been researching my ancestors for over 45 years so I have a lot of information - and when I find a DNA match with someone whose mutual ancestors go back to the C20th, C19th or even the C18th I am cock-a-hoop!!

Do email me with any DNA queries and/or come along to one of my U3A DNA sessions (1st Monday, 2pm - 4pm, at 5A Madam Lane, Worle; 2nd Thursday, 2pm - 4pm, at 4, Channel Heights, Bleadon).

Free Help Sessions

Every Saturday afternoon volunteers from the Society attend Weston Library, in the Town Hall, 2pm - 3.30pm, to freely advise and assist anyone (member or not).  With our experience and expertise we can - usually! - discover information to add to your family tree: anywhere, not just in Somerset.  Bring us your brick walls!!

Next Meeting

The next Members' meeting - open to all - is on Tuesday 28th January at the Vintage Church, 25 Hughenden Road, BS23 2UR.  Our speaker is Peter Lander on the subject of the Birnbeck Pier and people connected with it.  This iconic, Grade II listed pier, designed by architect Eugenius Birch, deserves a future and, hopefully, Peter will be able to give us an update on what the future holds...

Refreshments are available.

Hope to see you there...

News TopicMonthly Update
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Free Help Sessions in 2020
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 24/12/2019 - 13:16

Sat Help Session

This is a reminder that the next Free Help Session at the Library will be on Saturday 4th January 2020 from 2.00 until 3.30 p.m. when everyone, members or not, will be welcome to join us.  We can offer advice to beginners or to those who have started but hit a brick-wall.  Computers with Ancestry and other world wide records are available, as are all the resources in the North Somerset Studies Library, including newspapers, electoral rolls, street directories, postcards etc.

Wishing all our members, past, present and future a Very enjoyable Christmas & a Happy New Year. 

News TopicEvents
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Forthcoming Events

Free Help Session
Saturday, 29th February, 2020 14:00 - 15:30
Free Help Session
Saturday, 7th March, 2020 14:00 - 15:30
Free Help Session
Saturday, 14th March, 2020 14:00 - 15:30
Society Committee Meeting
Tuesday, 17th March, 2020 19:30 - 21:30
Free Help Session
Saturday, 21st March, 2020 14:00 - 15:30
<- View calendar for more






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