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Weston Memories of WW2
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 08/05/2020 - 12:26

To commemorate VE Day, a document containing the memories of 25 Weston residents during WW2 has been uploaded.  It can be found under Places, Weston-super-Mare. Scroll down to the bottom. With many thanks to those who contributed.

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New Milton Road Cemetery Burial Transcripts
published by Graham Payne on Thu, 07/05/2020 - 10:56

The Milton Road Cemetery burial transcripts covering the period 1967-1970 Book 58 are now available for Society members to view online.

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

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Axbridge Paupers
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 03/05/2020 - 13:57

I have just uploaded part of my study of Axbridge Union Workhouse submitted for my MA in 1998. I hope that you will finds parts interesting and useful - I will add the Appendices later.  I set out to consider the symbiotic relationship between family and local history and used responses from fellow family historians in compiling this document.  Some Workhouse inmates are named and inferences drawn about their connection with the Workhouse.   You can find it at the bottom of this page
or under "Axbridge Poor Law Union" on the  home page Menu.

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May 2020 Update
published by Pat Hase on Fri, 01/05/2020 - 1:25

I’m writing this while a remarkable man is celebrating his 100th Birthday Capt (Or should I now say Col ?) Tom Moore has captured the imagination of a nation with his epic fundraising and inspiring attitude to life.  Coronavirus is bringing out the best in most people and although it is not easy and not a little scary at times  many of us have so much to be grateful for not least the way in which the NHS and all other essential workers, family and friends who are supporting us at this time. 

Because of the average age range of people who are interested in Family History it is likely to be some time before we can all meet up again whether at Society meetings or at the Free Help Sessions at the Library.  Like many of you I have been confined to barracks for about 6 weeks already and I had thought I would be able to get on with my own Family History Research but I keep getting distracted!  There are many additional resources being made available at this time.

Free Resources

  • The National Archives have released free of charge their digital collection – you can download many documents from Wills, Military records, etc.    You need to sign in but there is no charge and no wait – the documents are sent immediately.  Try searching for individual names or the places where they lived.  Some of these documents are available on other subscription sites.
  • If you are a beginner the Genealogist is offering access to  some censuses and parish records free of charge.  Called First Steps it is a useful introduction or recap to or of your research.  Try it!
  • Ancestry – The Library Edition of Ancestry is available free for you to use at home using your Library Card.  For members in this area go to this site  and follow the instructions. 


  • Graham Payne remains busily transcribing and uploading records from the local Cemetery and these are so valuable.  Thank you Graham.
  • There has been much mention lately about death rates and as the Cemetery was the only place available for burial in Weston from 1856 these records are fascinating.  Have you looked at the burials for 1918/1919?  The burials in November 1918 at the height of the Spanish Flu epidemic numbered 82 whereas only 30 were buried in November 1917 and the ages were considerably lower in 1918 than in 1917.   
  • Interestingly, I am currently transcribing the deaths in Axbridge Workhouse for the same period where the cause of death is entered and in only 3 cases is influenza mentioned.  These records will eventually go on our web site.

Surname Interests and Connecting other Researchers

  • Have you checked recently to see if any other member shares your SURNAME Interests?  Just click on Members’ Surname Interests under the Main Menu on our Home Page and then click on the surname which interests you and you will find more details about where and when that SURNAME is being researched, by whom and in some cases even a family tree – Members can add a comment or can contact them through the web site.  Non members can also make contact through the web site.
  • Use this time to make contact with people who share your interests and possibly your DNA whether it is through our site, Ancestry, My Heritage, Lost Cousins, Gedmatch, Facebook etc.   You might not always get a reply, but it just might breakdown a brickwall.  The other advantage of contacting others is that they may tackle the problem from a different perspective. This has been highlighted on the Facebook Group today when one of the members in reply to a posting wrote "Well, that's something I hadn't thought of either, that's why these family history groups are so beneficial"

Family History during Lockdown

During the lockdown I had expected there to be an upsurge in an interest in Family History resulting in more use of our Research Forum but there has been little evidence of it on our site from our members.

  • Bolton Family History Society has issued these tips for people interested in family history about how to get your family motivated! 
  • How about writing your own diary of Lockdown to add to your family History research?  When writing up your family history it is helpful to have some idea of the thoughts and feelings of our ancestors.  Spear-headed by Raye Green of the Worle History Society a book entitled One Day in Our Lives has been produced by some residents of this area recounting their thoughts and activities in the face of the coronavirus on 27th March 2020.  Profits will go to Weston Hospital and it will become a valuable resource for future family historians and will answer that question “What did you do in 2020 during the lockdown?”  It is loosely based on the “The mass observation Project” which ran during WW2 when many individuals kept diaries and accounts of their lives.  
  •  The Somerset Heritage Centre is asking for contributions because as they say  We are living through extraordinary events that are affecting all our lives in ways we could not previously have imagined.  The South West Heritage Trust wants to ensure that the stories of Somerset and Devon’s people and places are recorded during these difficult times, so that future generations can find out about the challenges we faced and how our communities pulled together”.
  • If any of you are trying to encourage youngsters into family history Weston Museum has devised this learning pack (amongst others) which you may find helpful 
  • The BBC produces what they call Bitesize lessons and for a bit of light relief I suggest you try the one on Black Death! You might decide to try some of the others in this section – after all our ancestors must have lived through these times.

In my last Update I invited you all to give suggestions about the society post Covid but not one member replied! If you have any comments about what you want from this society add them to this Update.  In the meantime, Keep Safe, wash your hands and remember to post your queries on our research Forum, answer other queries and to share your experiences of new resources and breakthroughs in your family history research. 


News TopicMonthly Update
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New Milton Road Cemetery Burial Records
published by Graham Payne on Mon, 20/04/2020 - 9:10

The Milton Road Cemetery burial transcripts for book 57 covering the period September 1964-June 1967 are now available for Society members to view online.

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

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New Milton Road Cemetery Burial Records
published by Graham Payne on Sun, 05/04/2020 - 12:49

The Milton Cemetery burial records book 56 covering the period 1962-Aug 1964 is now available for Society members to view online.

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

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