News & Information
|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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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?
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.
|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.
|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!
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 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!!
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...
|Free Help Sessions in 2020|
published by Pat Hase on Tue, 24/12/2019 - 13:16
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.
|December 2019 Update|
published by Pat Hase on Mon, 02/12/2019 - 15:18
It's nearly Christmas and late in November, our Society had a stand at the enjoyable St Mark’s, Worle, Parish Christmas Event which had been organised by our member Grace Rubery.
There we met people who were new to family history and were able to stress the point that we are open to anyone, not only those who are researching Weston families.
A school choir performing Christmas music meant that there were families present and the new My family Tree Booklet was very popular. If you haven’t seen it - look at the Family Federation Site and perhaps print it off to give as a stocking filler to your young relations. Perhaps you could help them fill it in?
During the November Monthly Meeting the Society held its AGM, returning a Committee which saw the official recognition and election of Jenny Towey as Chair. A full house enjoyed a light-hearted quiz, refreshments and an interesting presentation by member Ann Lockyer about a black sheep member of her family who suffered the privations of a spell on a Prison Hulk. The November 2019 edition of our journal – Buckets and Spades – was available and it is also available online to full members.
Christmas Day Marriages
At this time of year, it is more difficult to spend time researching the past amid the festivities and meeting up with living relatives. But it is interesting to spare a thought for the number of marriages which took place on Christmas Day. In my own family I have recorded 29 Christmas Day marriages. Most of them 120 - 300 years ago and I wonder how the day was spent after the ceremony?
The majority of these being before 1837 will have had to have taken place in Church of England Churches. My husband’s grandparents were married on Christmas Day in 1885 in the Congregational Church in Waterloo Street.
This building was destroyed by enemy action during WW2 and replaced by the United Reform Church using the same site and footprint.
It is amazing how new information emerges from the woodwork. I have been given some photo albums and documents by a cousin and was delighted to find a letter from Australia written in 1895 to my great grandmother in Bristol. A number of different family members were mentioned, and a story is developing – however, the photo albums have the age-old problem of un-named photos! Only a handful have any identification and it brought home to me once again the need to label photographs. It is so disappointing especially as one of them resembles my grandson as a child – I think the young boy in the photo might be my grandfather who was born in 1874 but have no proof.
There have been several TV programmes lately with a family history and war time flavour - you might be able to catch up with them still.
- I was particularly interested in gary Lineker's "My Grandad's War" originally broadcast on Remembrance Day, Nov 11th. A description of the programme can be seen here. My own father was severely wounded during the Monte Cassino Campaign in May 1944 and the description of Gary Lineker's grandfather's experiences added to my understanding of the event. As I write this there are 16 days left to view this programme on BBC iPlayer
- Channel 4's 'My Grandparents’ War' featuring Helena Bonham-Carter can be still be viewed and the next programme in this series will be shown on Wed Dec 4th at 9.00pm it concerns Mark Rylance who explores the extraordinary World War II story of his grandfather Osmond Skinner, who spent almost four years as a Japanese prisoner of war.
- There are 10 days left to view the two programmes which cover Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey on ITV when Ant and Dec are given a unique insight into their lives using innovative DNA science and technology to trace their ancestors.
I continue to be pleased with the Wills which I have received at £1.50 each since they were reduced in price. It isn’t so much about what was left to beneficiaries but the names which are mentioned in the Will. The latest one to arrive added little to what I already knew but the Will was written just one month after the writer married (nothing strange there) and the witnesses were his father-in-law and the husband of his bride’s sister. Everything was left to his wife but as I knew the people involved it all built up a picture of the family.
- The Research Forum query about the Gallop Tea Gardens at Dundry produced some very interesting replies and the use of maps to aid in research was very useful.
- The newspaper accounts of events which took place concerning residents were a useful reminder that all that you read in newspapers might not be correct! Things haven’t changed much over the years. In this case the first name of someone who died 20 odd years previously was incorrect – but perhaps he was known by another name, different from the one he used on censuses and when he married?
- If you have any query and it doesn’t have to be about family in the Weston area please consider using the Research Forum. The replies can help others and suggest ways of furthering your own research.
Free Help Sessions
The Free Help Sessions in the Library continue every Saturday afternoon and the Volunteers are pleased to meet new people. The free access to Ancestry enables the helpers to deal with queries about people in other parts of the country. Situated in the North Somerset Local History Library we also have access to newspapers on film which have not yet been digitalised and therefore are not available online. However, unless you have a specific date of an event allow yourself plenty of time to trawl through the pages!.
We do not have a Society Meeting in December so the next meeting is on Tuesday, January 28th when member, Peter Lander will be talking about Birnbeck Pier: Past, Present & Future. Peter is closely involved with the Birnbeck Pier Regeneration Trust and is very interested in the history of the Pier in particular with the people involved with it.
Wishing all our members (past, present and future) a joyous Holiday season with plenty of opportunities to ask questions of and record the answers from older relatives - as Gary Lineker said - "Although we were close, my grandad never spoke to me about his wartime experiences… and now he’s passed away, it’s too late for me to ask him.” and name those photographs!!
|George REED of Burnham on Sea|
published by Pat Hase on Sun, 10/11/2019 - 18:34
With thanks to member John Rigarlsford and a group of fellow researchers we have added a PDF under Burnham on Sea about the life and times of George REED 1805-1869 who was Lord of the Manor of East Brent and Benefactor of Burnham. The Groups involved in this were the George Reed Study Group, the North Sedgemoor Local History Group and the East Brent Parish History Group and we are grateful for their permission to publish their findings on our web page. Some years ago I researched the life of George REED and have been able to contribute to this document. If you have ancestors in Burnham between 1836 and 1869 it is likely that they would have known George REED and his legacy to Burnham is still visible today. Go to Information Sources, click on Places / Churches. Click on Burnham on Sea (not the church) and you will see the document relating to Burnham on Sea.