PO Box 4502
Dorset DT9 6YL

Phone: +44 (0)1935 389611

SDFHS Family History Centre

Situated in a 17th century building next to Sherborne Museum our Family History Centre is the first port of call for our many visitors. Here you will find an informed and dedicated group of volunteers, on hand to help you at whatever level you are with your family history research. If you are unable to visit the Centre in person our Volunteers can also undertake research for you.

Contact details as above.

Opening Hours

Monday, Friday, Saturday 10am to 1pm
Thursday 10am to 4pm

Third Tuesday of the month 7pm to 9pm


If you live in Somerset or Dorset, there is sure to be an SDFHS Group close to you. Click here for details of our Groups and their upcoming events' programmes.


For benefits and 'how to join' click link
Contact e-mail


Welcome to our new website!

Our website has been reconfigured so that the content will display better on tablets and mobile phones and we have taken the opportunity to freshen up its appearance. We very much hope that you will like it.

Pay your subscription online

30 November 2014: You can now pay your subscription to the Society, whether you are a new member or are renewing your membership, using a credit/debit card or a PayPal Account online.

Members' Forum

26 November 2014: Our Members' Forum is now live and can be accessed at the right hand end of the horizontal menu bar above. To register to join the Forum, you must be a Member of the Society and you will need your membership number to complete your registration. This is number of up to four digits and it can be found above your address on any mailing from the Society, but if you are unsure of your number, or can't find it, send an e-mail and we'll send it to you. The Forum will give you the opportunity to share your research  with other members and to ask for help and advice. We hope you will find it both useful and enjoyable and would welcome your feedback and suggestions for developing and extending the Forum.

November edition of The Greenwood Tree

The November issue of our award-winning Journal The Greenwood Tree has now been mailed to members. The Editor, Bob Barber, summarises the contents on our blog.

Family History Open Day and SDFHS AGM

The Society's 2014 Family History Open Day, including our Annual General Meeting, was held in Weymouth on Saturday 20 September. Read about it here.

Subscriptions for 2015

If you join the Society any year after 1 November we take your applications as being for the following year - so you will get two free months! The annual rate for UK members is £18 (£20 for family membership) and for overseas members £22 and £24. We are offering new members a complimentary hour's work on your first research request to one of our experienced Volunteers. Please see here for full details. If you wish to apply for Membership, click here to download the application form and then post to: Membership, SDFHS, PO Box 4502. Sherborne, Dorset DT9 6YL.

If you are already a member and your subscription expires at the end of 2014, you should have received a renewal form with the November edition of  The Greenwood Tree.

Forthcoming SDFHS Events

The programme of events at our Sherborne Family History Centre up to April 2015 is now available - full details. Since the Centre is open on Saturday mornings, why not combine a visit to research your family history with an afternoon event - we will look forward to seeing you. For details of the extensive programmes of talks organised by our local Groups (see below), click here.

SDFHS Groups

If you live in Somerset or Dorset, there is sure to be an SDFHS Group close to you. The Groups are one of the Society's greatest strengths as in addition to arranging interesting talks, most hold self-help events, and they are run by very experienced family historians who can help you with your research. Our Groups are all very friendly and informal and their events are open to non-Members so please do go along to a meeting if you are thinking of joining the Society and talk to Members - you will be made very welcome. Our Groups also represent the Society at local Family History Fairs and other events in their area.

Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to our Facebook Page we now have a rapidly-growing Facebook Group where you can discuss your research with other members and anyone interested in the two counties. We can also be followed on Twitter.


Please do check out our Wordpress Blog (see also the right-hand column on this page) where you can add your e-mail address to be sure of receiving news when a new post is added. It includes accounts of recent activities such as our very successful 'pub walks' held in the summer and our Study-days and Workshops at our Sherborne Family History Centre, in addition to accounts of family history research undertaken by some of our members. We would love to hear from any members who have family or local history items that could be published on the Blog. Please e-mail if you would like to contribute an interesting snippet from your own research

Mills on the Yeo

The November 2013 issue of The Greenwood Tree has a review by Colin Dean of Martin Bodman's Mills on the Yeo and the men who worked them here. The book is available from our bookshop: Price £10 to personal callers. By post: £12.60 UK and £15.30 overseas. Fully illustrated with photographs and maps, it describes nearly 90 water-powered sites within the Yeo basin, with a wealth of information on named men who worked in and around the mills.

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society


William Rowland – iron founder of Sherborne.


William Rowland, one of Sherborne’s iron founders, whose name can still be seen on gratings around the town, featured in one of Graham Bendell’s talks at our Industrial Archaeology Day on 22 November. William Rowland was born in Bristol about … Continue reading

Industrial Archaeology Day


Our last Saturday event of the year was a real tour de force by Graham Bendell and Barry Brock who described aspects of Sherborne’s industrial heritage in a series of short illustrated talks which contained a positive wealth of information. … Continue reading

Identifying a mystery object


Barbara Elsmore tells the fascinating story of an unusual object which she first encountered as a child in her grandparents’ home in Nether Compton and with which she was recently reunited in Sherborne. Ann-Marie Wilkinson, in her Chairman’s musings in … Continue reading

The Greenwood Tree for November 2014


The Editor of The Greenwood Tree, Bob Barber, previews the contents of the November 2014 edition. The November edition of The Greenwood Tree returns to the more usual format, after the single-themed edition in August. It seemed appropriate to devote … Continue reading