News & Information
|March 2019 Update|
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/03/2019 - 14:27
It’s March 1st bringing with it the daffodils with which to celebrate St David’s Day for the people of Wales and the promise of Spring. February, the shortest month, has finished with the most surprising weather for the UK. Days of warm sunny weather certainly makes our spirits rise. But, how did the weather affect our ancestors? British Weather from 1700 to 1849 gives us a glimpse of unusual weather events and of special concern was during 1845-46 when the weather conditions caused a widespread crop failure leading to great poverty and migration from the rural areas. This was very evident in Somerset when many left to find work in industrial areas, particularly, in South Wales.
Useful Web sites
- The British Newspaper Archive is continually adding new papers and this week has added the Central Somerset Gazette from 1862-1981 and I discovered with some amusement that in the edition of 5th June 1980 it was reported, under the heading of Women’s Institutes, that at the next meeting of the Rodney Stoke and Draycot WI there would be a “Cookery Demonstration of Summer Sweets and Salads by Mrs Hase”. I remember it well – I was working at Weston College at that time. I arrived early to take a look at the churchyard to see if I could find out anything about my husband’s CASELEY ancestors who came from Rodney Stoke!
- This advertisement caught my eye on Findmypast that “The 1921 Census is Coming” But even January 2022, when it will be released, isn’t that far away! I remember the excitement of the 1881 census being released because it had all my grandparents on it – The 1921 census will answer some of the questions of those wanting to know what happened to members of their family in the 20th Century before the 1939 register.
- Another new resource, if you have ancestors in the Bath area, is the free Bath Historical Directories which has Bath Directories from the 1840s to the 1930s and offers several ways in which to search them. I have spent many hours in Bath library searching through their Bath directories for members of the LONG family so this is actually very helpful.
- The February Newsletter from Lost Cousins included a master class on how to find birth certificates in England and Wales, which I’m sure you will find useful, especially if you are having difficulty with a missing relative. Having just written that, I received another newsletter from Lost Cousins with even more useful tips. It includes a short piece on a man marrying deceased wife’s sister – which always reminds me of the Fairy Queen in the G & S Operetta Iolanthe referring to the long- winded campaign to change the law when she sings of pricking "that annual blister, marriage with deceased wife's sister". If you do not already subscribe to this free newsletter I advise you to do so for up-to-date news about family history.
- Our own web site is expanding to include information about the villages which we cover. If you go to Information Sources in the left-hand column of the home page and then click on Places/Churches you will see a list of Places with the Church (or Churches) which serves them. If you click on the Name of the Church you get the transcriptions of their registers (for members only) but if you click on the Name of the Place you will get some information and photographs about the place. At the moment, there is information available for (in no particular order!) Abbots Leigh, Bleadon, Locking, Kenn, Chelvey, Badgworth, Brockley, Hutton, Chapel Allerton, Weare, Chew Stoke and Backwell. More will follow.
Dates for your Diary
- The North Somerset Archivist will be visiting Weston Library on the 1st Thursday of March, June, September and December. Sessions are open from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm, and from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm. The next session is on Thursday 7th March and for more information or to order documents contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- The U3A in Weston is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its founding and its Family Group has been running from the start. The U3A is holding an Open Day including an exhibition of what it offers on Saturday, March 16th at the United Reform Church in Waterloo Street.
- The next edition of Buckets and Spades will be published at the end of March and is only available to full members but non-members - including our Facebook Group - can see selected articles from old issues. Go to Journal Articles in the menu at the left hand side of the home page.
- The Family History Show – South West will be held at UWE on 6th July 2019. It is good to support this which will have interesting stands and speakers and it is much nearer than London!
I know that many of you will want to join with me in offering sympathy and condolences to Maureen Harvey on the sad loss of her husband. Brian Austin is waiting for open heart surgery – we all wish him well and a speedy recovery.
The next meeting of the Society, on the 26th March, will be about the Mapping Project “Know Your Place”. This is a very exciting and useful resource and one to which you can add photographs and information. It now covers Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset, North Somerset and Wiltshire . Take a look at the site before the meeting so that you can fully benefit from the talk.
The Saturday Free Help Sessions are continuing from 2.00 – 3.30 p.m. each Saturday in Weston Library. The facilities in the Local Studies section enables us to point you in the right direction whether you are researching somewhere in this locality or a family wherever it is. Free access to Ancestry is a tremendous help. Sometimes it just takes another person looking at your research to suggest a different path to take – this applies no matter how experienced you are. Thanks to all who freely give of their time and experience to support this.
If you have a stumbling block in your research why not ask for help either in the library or if you can’t get there, write on our Research Forum which has been rather quiet lately. I can't really believe that there are so few queries from members - every new thing I find poses another question! If you see a query that you can help with, then please do post a comment – any help is really appreciated. Non- members, including our Facebook Group can answer your queries with a reply directly to the questioner. Have you added your surnames to the list of Members’ Surnames and perhaps added a tree as well to explain a little more about your interests?
If you have any comments about what the society has to offer please let us know as this is your Society and we want to share our enthusiasm for family history.
published by Brian Airey on Fri, 01/02/2019 - 11:43
I have recently done a stock take of the books held by the society and have "mislaid" or not signed out the following to members. If you have one such book then just let me know please. Then, if finished with, return it at February's meeting. Thanks. Brian
Somerset Wills before 1858 BMD/WILLS/6
Nelsons Navy 1793-1815 MIL/RN/1
Anglo Boer War 1899-1902 MIL/WD/2
More Sources of Army Ancestry 4th edition MIL/WD/10
My Ancestors were Agricultural Labourers OCC/11
My Ancestors were Coalminers OCC/12
A Glossary of household, farming and trade terms OCC/2
Brighton Presbyterian Registers 1700-1837 R/1
|February 2019 Update|
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/02/2019 - 11:13
Welcome to our newly updated web site - thanks to Paul and Graham who have overseen this improvement. If you are puzzled by any of the changes to the web site any queries may be answered here .Welcome also to anyone who is reading this monthly update for the first time. Each month we try to keep you up to date with Society news and newly available resources, or perhaps remind you of a forgotten one!
Buckets & Spades
- The deadline for the next edition of our Journal has been extended until the end of February – this will mean that it can be published at equal intervals throughout the year. Please send any articles or other items to Sue Maguire. Have you made a breakthrough in your research, or are there any resources you can recommend? Buckets & Spades is a way of contacting all our members whether they are computer users or not and all will be pleased to read of your family history experiences.
- Some articles from our Journal can be seen by non-members by clicking on “Journal Articles” found under the main menu on the left-hand side of the home page.
Next Society Meeting – Doors open at 7.00pm
- At the next meeting on 26th February at the Vintage Church in Hughenden Road, the speaker will be Ann-Marie Wilkinson. If you are a member of the Somerset & Dorset FHS you will know Ann-Marie as she is currently its Chair. The last time she spoke to us it was about a Photographic collection held at Wells which was very interesting.
- This time her topic is Early Censuses. I doubt if Ann-Marie will include the census which took Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem – that’s probably too early! - but there are many available if you know where to look, with varying amounts of information.
- I’ve found members of my family in the 1801 census of Huntspill, a transcription of which is included here and others are in the 1831 census of Bitton, which is in the Bristol Archives.
W-s-M & District FHS Facebook Group
- This has been formed to inform people about our society and its activities. It is still very new - You can see what is happening on it by accessing it through the Facebook link on our web page or from this link.
- Many thanks go to Lorna Gibson (supported by her son Neil) for setting it up and for being an Administrator and to Jeanette Carter who is acting as a Moderator.
- It is a closed group so you have to apply to join and give a reason for becoming a member. We now have just over 60 members.
Federation of Family History Societies
As a Society we are a member of this overarching group and this is just a reminder that its website is full of useful information. Do look at it from time to time. At the moment it is highlighting the following:
- The rise in the cost of certificates from the GRO which takes effect from February 16th. Get your orders in before they go up - Certificates will increase from £9.25 to £11.00. At the same time the PDF versions of births and deaths will rise from £6.00 to £7.00. To order visit the GRO site.
- Transcription Tuesday Feb 5th is organised by the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine. This year they've chosen to support three projects, led by FamilySearch and Heritage & Culture Warwickshire, along with a joint initiative from the University of Portsmouth, the Modern Records Centre and the National Railway Museum For more details see WDYTYA website
- Family Tree Live - a New Family History Show taking place in London in April. More details from Family Tree Magazine Let us know if you would like a visit to this organised.
Rootstech – London Oct 2019
- Rootstech is a mainstay of the American Genealogical scene and each year its Conferences are attended by researchers who benefit from the programme of Lectures and associated stands. In 2019 there will be a Rootstech event held in London. For more details visit the Rootstech London web site
- The presentations given at the 2018 Rootech in Salt Lake City can be seen online and if you have the time to watch them you can pick and choose from a wide selection of topics. I have just watched one entitled “A DNA match with No Tree? – No Problem” which gave some very useful tips for overcoming this problem.
1939 Register and Free Help Sessions
- Set up as the means of knowing who would need an Identity Card and a Ration Book during WW2, this is proving an extremely useful tool for finding members of your family who were alive in September 1939 and who have since died.
- It gives the full birth date of each entry and also if a woman has since married it gives her new married name. It can be consulted on pay for view web sites such as Ancestry, Findmypast and My Heritage but also in the Library (free of charge).
- If you come into Weston Library on any Saturday afternoon to the free help sessions you can be given some tips on using this.
Looking for a woman in your tree?
- Findmypast includes useful blogs which you can access without a subscription – here’s one about how to find the maiden name of women in your family
- Similarly, the Ancestry Academy has a video about searching for women. It is very American orientated but the basic information it gives is sensible. You do not need an Ancestry subscription to use any of videos in the Ancestry Academy - Just lots of time!!
Members’ Surname Interests
- Has a member of this society already shown an interest in your family surname? If you click on Members’ Surname Interests under the main menu you will find a list of names being researched by members and in some cases family trees have also been posted.
- One of the changes on the new web site is that although only members will be able to enter names and make comments under that heading, anyone, whether a member or not will be able to contact that member directly through the site with information for them but the members’ email address will not be divulged. More information about that can be seen here.
New Year’s Resolutions.
- In the January Update I included this – "Lastly, it is the time for New Year Resolutions – one of mine is to get you all involved – so please when you have read this add a comment where it says “Add new Comment” describing what your New Year Resolution will be in respect of Family History!” Where were those comments? Have you nothing planned for this year?
- It’s probably too late for your resolutions now - but we are looking forward to members adding comments about anything on the web site (including the Monthly Updates!) and using the Research Forum to share problems and to help others solve theirs.
My final tip is that although many of you will be reading this initially as a notification on your phones do go to the web site and look at all that is available to you from the society. There’s a lot there! Good Luck with your research.
|Buckets & Spades Journal|
published by Paul Tracey on Mon, 21/01/2019 - 10:06
It was recently agreed by the Committee to revise the issue dates for our Journal, 'Buckets & Spades', therefore, the new dates for 2019 will be March, July and November. This slight change will allow for consistent spacing between the editions which, in turn, will be beneficial for preparation and distribution purposes. Members, please note the new dates for submitting your items for 'Buckets & Spades are now 28 February, 30 June and 31 October. Many thanks and the Editor looks forward to receiving your contributions.
published by Pat Hase on Wed, 16/01/2019 - 20:19
We shall stop having Affiliated Members when the new Web Site goes live at the end of this month. We hope that those of you who have enjoyed the facility of being an Affiliated Member will now join as a full member so that you can continue to access the Research Forum along with the additional benefits which full membership brings. The annual cost of Full Digital Membership to our Society is actually less than the cost of buying just one marriage certificate. Please consider upgrading your membership before the change to the web site takes place – we don’t want you to lose out.
|Changes to Website|
published by Graham Payne on Tue, 15/01/2019 - 10:55
On the 30th January our website will be replaced with a new version to provide greater reliability and facilitate future updates. Existing data from our current site will be transferred across on the 26th January in preparation for the live launch.
You will be able to continue to use the existing site up to the launch date but please do not post any new items after the 25th January as this information will be lost.
You will find that the new site looks very much the same and functionality has remained the same apart from some minor changes.
With the exception of important news items and individual responses to research queries a summary subscription notifications will now only be emailed once a week. This will be the default setting but as before members can turn on and off emails in subscription notifications in their personal details once you have logged in.
To add a new Surname Interest click on members surname interests in the main menu and select add a new surname and complete the form. You can also add a family tree in pdf format at this stage. Members and non-members can contact members directly by clicking on the surname of interest to activate the contact form. Members email addresses are not disclosed as part of this process and they can choose whether to respond or not. As a full member you will still be able to add a comment to the Surname Interests which will appear on the web site.
To add a new Research Query just click on the research forum in the main menu and select post your question now located on the right-hand side. A facility to upload pictures is included in the tool bar. There is no change to adding a comment to research queries and recent replies except that the original tile is retained throughout the correspondence thread. Please post a new research query if you what to change the subject heading. It is helpful if all surnames are entered in capitals to make them stand out.
Once the new site goes live Affiliated Membership will be discontinued. Any existing affiliated member who wants to retain their account and access the Research Forum or answer any queries will have to register as a full member.
In the main menu under “Information Sources” you will find the heading “Places/Churches” which opens a list of places and churches. As before clicking on any church will bring up a list of transcripts associated with that church together with any associated photographs. Clicking on the place name will bring up a new layer which will be progressively populated with a description, photographs, documents, etc as they become available. If you feel that you have any information, old photographs etc for any of the places listed, which may be of interest to our members, we would like to hear from you.
If you experience any problems following the launch please contact the webmaster or membership secretary via the site contact form.