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Skidmores in WW1 Exhibition at Weston Museum
published by Graham Payne on Fri, 02/11/2018 - 9:05

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November 2018 Update
published by Pat Hase on Wed, 31/10/2018 - 21:43

100 years ago this month saw the end of WW1 which is being widely commemorated with gratitude and with remembrance of the terrible loss of life.  In Weston there will be several events to mark this occasion and details can be found on our own web site and here under Pages of the Sea  Do take a look to see what is going on and remember that although the war was officially over, deaths from influenza of returning soldiers continued to be recorded well into 1919. 

For those who have ancestors in Wedmore there is a very moving  Facebook Page called The Isle of Wedmore Remembers which has been active since 2014 remembering the fact that the Isle of Wedmore in Somerset sent over 400 of its men to fight during the First World War.  It has highlighted each of these men on the 100th anniversary of their death and a book listing all involved has been published information about it on the Facebook Page.

Our society is publishing a book covering the people from Bleadon who were involved in the First World War and has been researched by Paul Tracey – Look out for information when it will be available.

Latest Resources


  • This free site now includes Irish Civil Registration records of births from 1864 to 1913, marriages from 1845 to 1870 and deaths from 1864 to 1870.   Go to Ireland Civil Registration, 1845-1913 which isn’t the index but does have other information such as mother’s maiden name on births and father’s names on marriage entries.
  • Also on Familysearch are some Passenger lists of ships which arrived at Sydney from the UK between 1839 and 1923.  These are unassisted passengers and do not include convict ships. They are listed under Australia, Victoria, Inward Passenger Lists, 1839-1923 and are free to use.

School Records

  • The Genealogist had advertised an increase in the school records which it has on offer.  I’ve been checking them out and they seem to be largely for private schools.
  • I note that FindmyPast has a great many National School admission books which give the dates of birth and guardians of the pupils.
  • Ancestry gives access to London School Records under the heading  London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911.

The Research Forum

The Research Forum has been rather quiet lately, does this mean that you have no research queries at all?  It doesn’t matter if your question is not about a problem based in a North Somerset Parish – we have members with expertise in all parts of the country who may be able to help you.  The Forum is indicative of the activity of our membership and others reading the questions and answers are helped with new ideas and suggestions for their own research so please make use the forum. 

Saturday Help Sessions

The numbers coming in to the Saturday help Sessions in Weston Library usually rise in September/October with new members starting their family history in the Autumn. This hasn’t happened this year and the volunteers have been busy doing their own research instead of helping others.  You do not have to be a member to come into the Library and there is no charge for advice.   Please spread the word to anyone who might be thinking about starting their research (or are stuck and feeling frustrated) that help is at hand. 

Autumn Lunch

Unfortunately, I missed the Autumn Lunch this year but I am told that a good time was had by all and it was an excellent meal in the company of like-minded people enjoying an informal social gathering.  Many thanks to Peter de Dulin for organising what is becoming an annual event.

Society Meetings

  • Peter spoke at the September meeting about his research and it was reported to me that he was entertaining and informative.
  • In October the society welcomed Shirley Hodgson with some timely advice about basic research techniques and a reminder that well-resourced research is essential to produce an accurate list of ancestors.
  • November brings our AGM and a light-hearted Members’ Evening.

Jim & Margaret Nigh

At the October meeting Jim and Margaret Nigh relinquished their long-standing roles of guardians of the Exchange Journals.  We are so grateful to them for expertly taking control of the Journals for so long and hope that we will continue to see them at some meetings when they feel that they can attend from their home in Bristol.  Thank you both.

If you have any Journals from other societies to which you belong please consider sharing them with our members by bringing them to meetings as we would like to continue the service which has for such a long time been supported by the Nighs.

Society News

I must finish with my heart-felt thanks for all the messages of good will I received during the sessions of chemotherapy which I am having.  Sadly, the first session went pear shaped and I ended up in hospital for 12 days but I’m glad to say I am now much better and am about to start another session this week.  Although I will not be attending meetings while my immune system is lowered I hope that once this is all over I will be able to take full part in the society’s activities.

It never rains but it pours and Peter de Dulin, our Vice-Chair, who was standing in for me, is now in hospital waiting for heart surgery following a heart attack. We wish you a speedy recovery Peter and send our best wishes to Gillian at this time while we look forward to you joining us again.

We have been very fortunate in that Jenny Towey has offered to temporarily hold the fort until either Peter or I return, and she will be taking the chair at the AGM.  To have someone with Jenny’s experience available and willing to take over is a tremendous benefit to the society and the committee is very grateful for her support.

News TopicMonthly Update
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Pages of the Sea
published by Paul Tracey on Mon, 29/10/2018 - 14:09



Film-maker Danny Boyle invites you to join him in marking 100 years since
Armistice and the end of the First World War. On 11 November 2018,
communities will gather on beaches across the UK to say goodbye and thank
you, to the millions of men and women who left their shores during the war,
many never to return.

     In Weston-super-Mare, Theatre Orchard offers
         Thursday 8 November, 3-5pm

      Loves Café, Weston Street, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1JR

Please reserve your free space by emailing info@theatreorchard.org.uk as soon
as possible: there is a limited number of places on this workshop.

“The pages of history must never be wiped clean. One hundred years on, we
must remember.  In this creative writing workshop, we will read and
appreciate some of the powerful writing that was produced in the 1914-18 War
and you will have the opportunity to write your own page in the sea of
remembrance in whichever way you think best.”

Writers and experienced workshop leaders Bob Walton and Sue Hill present this
free public workshop which is open to all.

For further information about all the Pages of the Sea activities in Weston,
go to:

News TopicGeneral
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Parish Transcripts Updates
published by Graham Payne on Wed, 10/10/2018 - 7:55

The following parish transcripts have been updated and are now available for Society members to view online.

Congresbury baptisms, marriages and burials to include the period 1916-1918

St Pauls Weston Super Mare baptisms to include the period 1912-1918

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

News TopicTranscripts
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Parish Transcripts Updates
published by Graham Payne on Thu, 04/10/2018 - 11:53

The following transcripts have been updated and are now available for society members to view online.

Hewish baptisms, marriages and burials to include the period 1911-1918.

Kewstoke burials to include the period 1914-1918

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

News TopicTranscripts
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October monthly update
published by Peter de Dulin on Sun, 30/09/2018 - 19:25

October 2018 Monthly update

October – the start of the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!

Let’s hope that our research will bear fruit and not get too lost in the mists of time!

Pat is now in the throes of chemotherapy, and I hear that she has had a bad reaction to her latest session.  We wish her all the best.

October events

October 1st: Annual autumn lunch Worlebury Golf Club 12 for 1230

October 6th: Oxfordshire FHS Family History Fair: Marlborough School, Woodstock 10-4

October 6th: Devon FHS Conference and AGM: Torquay Academy 930-5

October 13th: Glamorgan FHS Family History Fair, Merthyr Tydfil: 10-3.30

At our next meeting we welcome Shirley Hodgson, the author of the book “Bristol’s Pauper Children”. She will be talking about “Have we forgotten the basics?”

I have been reading a book by Lois Elsdon (our speaker of February) called Radwinter. It tells of a newcomer to family history research. He was looking at the 1841 census and wondering why there were triplets in one family all aged 25. I am sure we know why that is, but this is getting back to basics.

News from the websites

FindmyPast have added more electoral registers to their package, and there are now over 53 million people in their registers online.

The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium have released 440000 historic records dated from 24 June 1856 to 7 October 1955. They are digitally imaged and are free to look at at www.col-burialregisters.uk. They aren’t indexed but if you know roughly when someone dies they could be useful/

Family Search (run by the Mormons), www.familysearch.org, have put online all the Ellis Island records from the US. These list the emigrants to the USA, the ships they sailed on. This has been available through paid sites, but it is now free.

Finally, a few unusual names from the records.

Although Autumn is now a girl’s name, and has been quite popular, there are a few in the 19th century, and then none until 1948. It was originally a boy’s name.

The one I like is Master Autumn WINTER who was born and died in Oldham in 1876.

There is a marriage in 1913 of William BLACK to Alice BERRY in Sunderland. Pie anyone?

Of course the leaves turn to brown, as Florence LEAVES turned to Frederick BROWN in Paddington in 1915.

In the 1911 census in Surrey we have a person who is called Charles Darke KNIGHT!

Then in Middlesex we have Hazel NUTT!

That’s all for now.



News TopicMonthly Update
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Forthcoming Events

Society Meeting
Tuesday, 28th April, 2020 19:00 - 21:00
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Society Meeting
Tuesday, 28th July, 2020 19:00 - 21:00
Society Meeting
Tuesday, 29th September, 2020 19:00 - 21:00
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