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.