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January 2021 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 15:43

A Happy New Year!!  I am sure none of us will forget 2020 or regret its passing. Our thoughts and prayers go to members who have lost dear ones during this pandemic and to those who are feeling the effects of loneliness and isolation while we keep ourselves and others safe from infection. Our thanks go, not only to the members of the NHS and other essential workers, but also to those who have made our lives so much easier by keeping in touch and with the random acts of kindness which have brightened our days.  Welcome to 2021 bringing a fresh start and an optimism that things can only get better!

When future generations research our lives, they will wonder how we coped and how it affected us, just as we wonder about how our ancestors lived through other historic events.  As we are part of our own family’s history, we could make it easier for them by recording our own thoughts and feelings about 2020.  I remember reading an account which was found by one of our late members amongst the papers of his grandfather which simply described each member of their family as they sat around the fire one Christmas in the late 19th century. It painted an evocative picture, not only of the individuals but also mentioned how life was treating them. Yes, we now have photography, and you could record those family Zoom meetings but could one of your New Year Resolutions be (yet again!) to write up your family history and make sure that it is passed on to younger members?

Review of Some Online Resources

  • The Genealogist  During December The Genealogist  released some new College and University Records and added to its Map Explorer Range.  Their Tithe Maps are particularly useful because as they are accompanied by the Apportionments, you are able to see whether your ancestor owned or merely occupied land.  It also shows an image of the Apportionment giving description and size of the propertyMap from The Genealogist – Tithe Maps.        It has the usual misspelling of HASE but this was William HASE who was a Blacksmith in Cross between 1819 and 1853 until he moved with his family to Weston-super-Mare. 
  • Lost Cousins  Lost Cousins  is free to use until 12th Night and as always do look at their Newsletter to keep in touch with the latest genealogical news.
  • National Archives  The National Archives is still offering free downloads of some digitalised records.  As we get back to normal during 2021 and visiting is allowed, this will probably stop but make the most of it now.
  • 1939 Register  If you have not already done so, you will find the Podcast issued by the Family History Federation about the 1939 Register interesting listening answering many questions about this survey.
  • Other Archives  Family History Blogs are useful reading and I am suggesting just one today – Other Blogs are available! – perhaps you can recommend others.   This one suggests some available family history websites  Dr Sophie Kay publishes some really thoughtful comments – it is worth looking at all of her offerings.

Society Library

  • This is an important asset for our members BUT it needs a home and someone to take responsibility for it or we will lose this feature of our Society. 
  • Please consider whether you could help – Brian Airey, our secretary and current librarian, would be pleased to explain exactly what is involved and we would all be grateful to whoever takes it on.

Surname Interests

  • The last new addition to our Surname Interests was made 4 months ago.  Is your list of Interests up to date?  -  Perhaps that is another New Year’s Resolution?   
  • A reminder that under our Surname Interests you can add a PDF with a family tree for your family or part of it – this can also be seen by non-members and is helpful in allowing others to see whether they are researching the same family.  As an example here is one of mine for part of a LONG family from Bristol. It is suggested that you do not include living people in these trees.

Weston Worthies

Those of you who are following these profiles will know that I am almost half way with them now but I am having some difficulty identifying a couple of them.  I posted a query about John HARRIS - no response to it yet -  but I am also looking for someone called JARRETT for whom I have no other information. Any help would be welcome.

~o0o~

They say that one way to keep the brain active is to use it – whether by crosswords, puzzles, quizzes etc. – and I think that researching your family’s history combines all of these and is a fantastic and productive way to exercise the brain (If frustrating at times!).  It also serves as a motivation to learn something new.  I know that genealogy was the reason for learning how to use the internet for many older users when it first became available.  Many of us are now learning the implications of DNA testing and how it can help us add to our family’s history. As we delve deeper, aspects of history become more relevant - my interest in Axbridge Workhouse and the Poor Law grew out of family history. 

Remember that your family history experiences are interesting to others so write them up and let Sue Maguire have them for insertion in Buckets & Spades.  Use the Research Forum to solve your brickwalls, submit your Surname Interests and enjoy and benefit from your membership of this society.  Wishing you all a very different year for 2021 during which we will be able to meet up again 

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Weston Worthies - 18 George HARSE
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 20/12/2020 - 23:56

I have uploaded another Weston Worthy to the Weston-super-Mare Page It is no 18 and is about George HARSE, a wheelchairman.  If you have a comment or information about any of the Worthies please add it to the appropriate one.  I'm still short of information about John HARRIS.

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Weston Worthies HANCOCK & HARRIS
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 14/12/2020 - 11:15

I have uploaded two articles in the Weston Worthies Series.  No 15 Cornelius HANCOCK and No 17 Mrs Elizabeth HARRIS both were long lived - into their 90s - and contributed to the history of Weston and surrounding parishes.  The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that No 16 is missing.  Weston Worthy No 16 is a John HARRIS and I have found it difficult to decide which of the several men called John HARRIS was the Worthy!.  If anyone can help with this I would be very grateful. 

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A House Through Time
published by Brian Airey on Thu, 03/12/2020 - 9:47
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December 2020 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 01/12/2020 - 19:25

Let me start this Newsletter by saying how honoured I am by my new position as President of this Society which you will have seen announced in the latest edition of Buckets & Spades.  I am incredibly grateful to those who have contacted me with their congratulations, but I can only be President with the support of our excellent committee and the membership as a whole. Thank you all.

Well, here we are nearly at Christmas and still severely affected by restrictions in our lives due to the Covid Pandemic.  The one constant factor is our family history research.  I have found it invaluable as a distraction from the reality of life and being able to assist others with their research queries gives me great pleasure and satisfaction.  Researching people with whom I have no genetic connection has widened my experience and has made me look at records from other parts of the Country which in turn helps me with my own research.

The success of the BBC’s programme “A House through Time” has inspired others to look at their own House Histories.

  • One of our Members, Keith GRAHAM, is researching Hill Road – his request for help can be seen on our Research Forum    He is particularly interested in the house built and lived in by the architect Hans Fowler Price,  Tyn-y-coed.
  • David TYLER is researching Moorland Road and would welcome information about any of the families who lived in that road over the years.  Several houses were damaged during the blitz with fatalities – CHINN, ETTERIDGE and WILKERSON
  • John HARDING is also researching Moorland Road – in particular his ancestor’s connection with “The Moorland Pedler”   Can you read what is reflected in that window?
  • Some years ago, I took a look at Holland Street because I was fascinated by the buildings (designed by Hans Fowler Price) with their very long gardens, wide access to the rear, and stone built out-buildings. The censuses revealed that the majority of the men worked at the nearby Pottery whilst the women took in washing which were washed in boilers situated in the buildings at the bottom of the gardens and the washing lines made the most of the long gardens.  Was this use just a coincidence or were the houses built with this occupation in mind?
  • The Bristol & Avon FHS is advertising a book written by one of its members “Saints, Crooks and Slavers” about their own house which was short-listed for the BBC programme  It includes tips on how to research your house.

AncestryWest Midlands, England, Police Files and Ledgers, 1850-1950

Birmingham Police

Ancestry has released some new records some from the Birmingham Police and I was surprised to find a HASE relation amongst their ranks.  I knew about Dora HASE – I even had a letter from her when we were first married – but had no idea that she had ever joined the Police.  This must have been her war work as she was with them from 1942-1946.  This is one of the advantages of having a relatively unusual surname (although it often gets misspelt) and to look at new records “just in case”  Dora's grandfather was a greengrocer in Meadow Street, Weston-super-Mare.

Family History is not just collecting names and dates, we need information such as this to add necessary detail to our tree.  The Women's Auxiliary Police Corp was a new one to me.  Founded in August 1939 after the National Council for Women pressed for and were successful in ensuring the creation of the WAPC. They dealt with a large range of police duties, initially mainly administrative but expanding to take on roles formerly performed by Police Officers. On the 1939 Register Dora was a Ledger Clerk and Assistant Cashier so presumably her office skills would have been utilised in the Police Force.   This document also describes her stature and appearance but we have to look elsewhere to discover that she was a keen and competent pianist and singer and married a widower in 1957 but had no children.

Between the wars, I'm told that Dora's brother, John, cycled to Weston from Birmingham - I wonder whether he saw any of the attractions on this leaflet?  I recently put this image on the Facebook Group called Memories of Weston and it provoked quite a bit of interest.  I have a Guidebook to Weston for 1928 and I found it inside.

I wonder what an Electric Turkish Bath involved or was that just the way the water was heated?  It is also interesting to consider how specialist shops like Over's coped with shops such as Woolworths offering "Pick 'n Mix" as the High Street developed over the years.

Wills

A reminder that the £1.50 Wills for England and Wales from 1858 are still available from the GRO.

I have found that the Wills of unmarried members of the family are surprisingly valuable as they often name nephews and nieces and other members of the family.  

The National Archives

Whilst we are still unable to visit the National Archives they are still offering the Free Download of their digitalised documents.  They include PCC Wills, Military Records and many others.  Try entering the Place your ancestor lived to see what is available.  Click on "available for Download only" to see the range of documents which you can obtain.

Closure of Victoria Methodist Church

During the Pandemic we were saddened to hear that the Victoria Methodist Church in Station Road was closing.  The foundation stones for the original church on this site were laid in April 1899 and the School Room opened for services in September of that year with the church opening in Sept 1900. There had been a Methodist Church in Weston in Regent Street since 1847 (now Barclay's Bank).  If you are searching for Christenings the records are sometimes confusing.  For example Mary Ann PUDDY was born in Mark on the 4th April 1861 and christened in Mark Chapel on Mark Causeway, but listed  as part of the Weston Circuit of which Regent Street was the main Church. 

 

But the England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 on Ancestry has this entry!

Victoria Chapel had not been built in 1861 but this would have been correct for later entries after 1900.  Is it surprising that so many trees on Ancestry are muddled!

Family Heirlooms

Like many of you I have been enjoying "The Repair Shop".  It is amazing how items can become so important in our lives.  Each programme you hear "Family History" mentioned in connection with these articles. Normally in November at our "Members' Evening" we invite members to share stories about their treasured artefacts. This year we haven't been able to do that but perhaps you could write a short article for Buckets and Spades explaining the importance of your heirlooms and why you want to pass it on.  Sue Maguire is always grateful for contributions however short to add to our journal.  The latest publication has some fascinating articles - highlighting various aspects of family history.

Society Library

Brian Airey is still waiting for someone to volunteer to take over the responsibility for the Society Library. Please consider helping out.  Contact Brian to find out exactly what it entails.

Facebook Group and Research Forum

I hope to encourage those of you who are reading this and are members of the Facebook Group to post more queries about your family history to that Group.  We have some very knowledgeable members who will be pleased to offer suggestions about how you can find out more about your family members.   

Full members of the Society can of course post their queries to the Research Forum on this web site and the same thing applies. 

Don't leave it to others to offer suggestions have a go yourself

Christmas

This year we will be limited to how many can get together - As an experiment why not look at all your family on the 1911 census and calculate how many lived close enough to celebrate together on Christmas Day 1910.  Who was pregnant?  Who died between Christmas and the Census? Did anyone get married on Christmas Day?

Have Christmas celebrations changed over the years? I remember Christmas during WW2 - yes I was a child so excitement levels were high - but looking back, the home made decorations and gifts all added to the fun.  Simple games played in front of a roaring fire with hilarious results still bring back happy memories. How about writing up your own Christmas Memories for inclusion in your Family History?

Christmas and 2021

So, with seasonal greetings from your newly exalted President, wishing all our members as good and enjoyable a Christmas as you can in the circumstances and looking forward to 2021 with optimism as the year when we will all meet up again, starting probably with Zoom Meetings!  Watch this space! 

 

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Weston Worthies - 14 John GREGORY
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 27/11/2020 - 10:23

With thanks to those who assisted with the research for members of the GREGORY family I have uploaded the profile of John GREGORY which can be seen with the other Weston Worthies on the Weston-super-Mare Page.  All the documents are at the bottom of that Page.

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