SDFHS Events, and events where the SDFHS will be represented

For enquiries about SDFHS events at our Family History Centre in Yeovil, or held in Sherborne,  e-mail or phone: 01935 429609. 

You can now book and pay for our events, securely, using our online shop.

Details of SDFHS Group events throughout Somerset and Dorset can be found on individual Group pages, click here.

* indicates SDFHS attendance at an event organised by another FHS or organisation.




Oct 17, 2018 to Nov 14, 2018

Essential Family History

A five week evening course, with Ted Udall. On 17, 24, 31 October and 7, 14 November 2018. 7.00pm - 9.00pm.

The course is for absolute beginners and also for those who have been researching for some time and perhaps come to some dead-ends. The course consists of five two-hour sessions and covers basic research techniques both on and off the computer. Handouts will be supplied where necessary - just bring your own notebook and pen/pencil.

The course will cover:

Interviewing relatives

Has it been done already?


The Census

Parish records

Other records (a summary)

Writing it up.

LIMITED NUMBERS. Please book in advance, by phoning 01935 429609, emailing: or  book online.

SDFHS members £35 for the five sessions. Non-members £40. includes hand-outs. 

Venue: Broadway House Family History Centre, Peter St, Yeovil BA20 1PN.


Oct 19, 2018 - 02:30 PM to 04:30 PM

Family History and Photography

This event will include a talk Family History in Focus: collecting and dating old family photographs by Robin Ansell and the opportunity to view a display of images from Allan Collier's vast collection, concentrating on South Somerset and a few Sherborne photographers, including the chance to examine some original Victorian stereocards, through a 3-D stereoviewer. Robin and Allan have also offered to help you to date your old photographs - so please do look some out and bring them along.

Robin Ansell has been collecting old Family photographs for more than 40 years! The first Victorian album that he purchased, costing 3 Guineas, contained almost 150 Family photographs – none of which had any personal connection to him! However, it provided a start to a collection that has grown considerably over the years, supplemented by numerous inherited family photographs.. These varied images, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes-de-visite etc, have given him the opportunity to build up his knowledge of the historical development of photography. This then makes dating an Old photograph, in theory, so much easier!

Robin and Allan are two-thirds of the team (plus Phil Nichols) that recently completed  The compilation of  Secure the shadow: Somerset  photographers, 1839-1939 published by SDFHS in June. Copies will be available for sale at the meeting (£12.00) and can also be purchased at our online shop where prices include postage.

SDFHS Members: £3. Non-members: £5.

Book in advance* or pay at the door.

* Phone: 01935 429609, email: or book online.

Venue: The Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd, Sherborne DT9 3NL.


Nov 9, 2018 - 02:30 PM to 04:30 PM

Monumental Inscriptions: Family History on tablets of stone.

'Monumental Inscriptions' are transcriptions taken from headstones, tombstones, plaques and war memorials.

This talk, by John Damon, will explore the different types of memorial that can be found in churches, chapels, graveyards and cemeteries and how the information from them was recorded. There is often personal family information about loved ones that cannot be found elsewhere in documents or on-line. Examples of interesting inscriptions will also be given. Sometimes something found on a gravestone can lead to a whole new line of investigation.

Practical aspects of reading engravings will be discussed and where to find the information from eroded, damaged or missing stones. It is sometimes very satisfying to browse in a churchyard rather than on a computer.





St Mary’s West Stour

SDFHS Members: £3. Non-members: £5.

Book in advance* or pay at the door.

* Phone: 01935 429609, email: or book online.

Venue: The Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd, Sherborne DT9 3NL.