Recent news and developments
We are very pleased to be able to say that, partly thanks to our Facebook page (and a lot to the tireless Lin Hoddinott) our Sedgemoor Group has been saved and now has its full complement of Officers and two new Committee members. The Group's next talk will be on February 6th when Hazel Hudson will discuss Sowing Wild Oats – Bastards & Baby Farming.
Sunday 8 December
The SDFHS Research Centre in Sherborne will be open on Sunday 8 December (10 am to 4 pm) as part of Sherborne's Festive Shopping Day taking place all around the town, followed by the Illuminated Lantern Procession and lighting of the Christmas Tree at The Conduit (just outside our Centre) at 4.15pm. We will have coffee/tea and mince pies available for a modest charge (and somewhere to sit down!) and a wide range of books on local and family history for sale which would make good Christmas presents, as might a subscription to the Society (see just below). If you are shopping in Sherborne on 8 December, please do call in.
SDFHS Events in early 2014
The Events page has been updated with details of Group talks in January and February 2014. We also have three Saturday events arranged for early 2014 at our Sherborne Research Centre; on 18 January (2-5pm) Ted Udall will give a Skills Workshop on Documents, on 1 March (2-5pm) Dr Patricia Spencer will be discussing ancient Egyptian family history in Who Was Tutankhamun? and on 10 May (2-5pm) Dr Aidan Dodson (University of Bristol) who be talking on The King is Dead: the royal tombs of Great Britain. Click here for full details and a booking form.
If you know someone with ancestors in Somerset or Dorset who is not a member, why not give them a gift-membership as a Christmas present? If you would like to do this, please e-mail with 'Christmas Gift' in the subject line.
Tracing World War I soldiers
The Society's Military Advisor, Col. Iain Swinnerton, has summarised on our blog the main basic sources for anyone trying to trace a WWI soldier, with many useful links. Iain's book Identifying your World War I Soldier from Badges and Photographs is available from our bookshop - click on 'Other Publications'.
SDFHS at Family History events in November
On Saturday 16th, the Mid-Somerset Group represented the Society at 'Explore Your Archives' in Wells and our Chair, Ann-Marie Wilkinson, has written a summary on our blog. On Saturday 23 November the East Dorset Group had major presence at the 'Roots and Legacy' event in Poole.
The Greenwood Tree
The November edition of the Society's award-winning journal The Greenwood Tree has now been mailed to all members. The Editor, Bob Barber has written about the contents of the issue on our blog.
A Plea from the Sedgemoor Group
The Chairman/Treasurer of our Group has moved out of the district and two long-serving Committee members have just retired, leaving just one person on the Committee! At our recent Group AGM no-one volunteered to serve on the Committee so our future is extremely uncertain. We will be holding our next meeting on 5th December at Highbridge which is a Members Evening and Christmas Social, see here. This looks likely to be our last meeting. If anyone would like to join us or has any bright ideas which will help us to keep the Group going, please e-mail. Thank you.
There is a review by Colin Dean of Martin Bodman's Mills on the Yeo and the men who worked them on our blog: http://sdfhs.wordpress.com/ 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, this book describes nearly 90 water-powered sites within the Yeo basin. There is also a wealth of information on named men who worked in and around the mills, making it an invaluable tool for anyone who has mill-owners or workers among their ancestors.
Other recent posts include a description by Barbara Elsmore of a Collings family wedding tradition and an account by Barry Brock of 'An evening with Sir Tony Robinson' held on 30 October and attended by several SDFHS members.
In the side bar on the Blog you can add your e-mail address to be sure of receiving news when a new post is added.
We hope using social media will help us to keep in touch with our members, especially those who are unable to attend our events locally. Please do check them out regularly and send us your feedback.
Research Centre transformed
The exterior of our Sherborne Research Centre was 'dressed' in late October as a Victorian Almshouse for the filming of the new version of Far from the Madding Crowd, see further here.
On Saturday 12 October we had an Open Day at our Sherborne Research Centre and Headquarters with a steady stream of visitors all day. You can read all about it on our blog but we would like to share (with their permission) a 'thank you' message we have received from Tracey and Steve Arnold of Honiton, Devon - seen here enjoying coffee and cakes in our Sherborne Centre.:
"Tracey and I were made to feel so welcome by everyone at your very impressive (and well equipped) centre - so full of character. Please thank everyone for us. Especially as two of your volunteers helped me get a lead on tracing an ancestor I'd hit a brick wall with."
Subscriptions for 2014
At the AGM members agreed to increase subscription rates which had been the same for several years. For new and renewing members in the UK the annual rate from 1 January 2014 will be £18 (£20 for family membership) and for overseas members the new rates will be £22 and £24. Full details have been sent in the November mailing and a renewal form can be downloaded here.
Join the Society now and get two months' membership free
Download here an application form to join the SDFHS for 2014 and you will have access to all our facilties with effect from 1 November 2013. Please note that the first issue you will receive of The Greenwood Tree will be that for February 2014 though back issues can be purchased from our Bookshop.
Postal Address: Somerset & Dorset FHS, PO Box 4502, Sherborne DT9 6YL, England (map)
Telephone/Fax 01935 389611. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening times:- Monday, Friday & Saturday. 10.00am - 1.00pm. Thursday 10.00am to 4.00pm. The 3rd Tuesday of every month 7.00pm to 9.00pm. The Centre is free to members of the Society or on payment of £2.00 per day for non-members. Closures for 2013 are as follows: 29th & 30th March, 1st April, 6th May, 27th May, 26th August, 14th October, 23rd December to 4th January 2014 (re-opens 6th January 2014).