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.

If you prefer to send a sterling cheque, please download the booking form, complete it and post it to: SDFHS Events, Broadway House, Peter St, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1PN.

Download booking form

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.




Apr 11, 2018 to May 9, 2018

Basic Family History

A five week evening course, with Ted Udall. On 11, 18, 25 April, 2, 9 May. 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.

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

Download booking form above or book online.

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



Apr 21, 2018 - 10:30 AM to 02:30 PM

SDFHS Photographic Project Open Day

The Society has created a fully-searchable database of photographs of named people from Somerset and Dorset and to make this project a success we need contributions from members and friends. At this fourth Open Day local members are invited to bring photographs in to the Family History Centre so that they can be scanned and the data inputted by our team. For more details see:

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

Our Family History Centre is on the first and second floors of Broadway House and there is no lift. If you would like to bring some photographs to the Open Day but cannot climb stairs, please let us know in advance, and we will arrange to meet you, probably on another day, at an accessible venue.



Apr 28, 2018 - 02:30 AM to 04:30 AM

Exploring the History of your House

If you enjoyed the BBC's 'A House through Time' and want to find out how the research was done and how you can investigate the history of your own house, or, perhaps, one lived in by your ancestors, Barry Brock and Barbara Elsmore will talk about houses that they have researched and guide you through the various resources available.

The afternoon will include two talks:

Getting started with your Sherborne house history - Barry Brock

The story behind an old set of house plans  - Barbara Elsmore

with time for discussion.

SDFHS Members £3. Non-members: £5. Includes refreshments.

Book by downloading the form above or securely at our online shop

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


May 12, 2018 - 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

Skills Workshop; Reading Old Documents

Anyone who wishes to research original sources before the typewriter will soon realise that there are many different scripts to be mastered when reading old documents. In this workshop Ted Udall presents some of the more common ‘hands’ and gives practical advice on deciphering them. Please bring your own pencil and notepad - other materials will be provided.

For a summary of Ted's previous 'Documents Workshop', see here.

SDFHS Members £3. Non-members: £5. Includes refreshments.

LIMITED NUMBERS. Please book in advance by downloading the form above, or at our onine shop.

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


Jun 9, 2018 - 02:30 AM to 04:30 AM

The Railway History of Yeovil, South Somerset & West Dorset

Roger Marsh will discuss the origins and development of the railway system in our area.

With the advent of Brunel’s broad gauge railway from London to Bristol and onwards to the west and the London & South Western Railway line from London to Southampton under the leadership of Joseph Locke, South Somerset and West Dorset found itself in an area eagerly wanting to join the new era in transport. During the late 1830s and early 1840s several local businessmen felt that there was a fortune to be made from the railways being the future mode of transport and subsequently various schemes were put forward  across our local area that would provide much needed prosperity. Needless to say many schemes failed but eventually a railway network developed that not only revolutionised local transport and communications but also changed local industry for ever. However, in our lifetime we have seen the decline of the local railways into the rationalised network of today

SDFHS Members: £3. Non-members: £5. Includes refreshments.

Book by downloading the form above or securely at our online shop

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


Sep 22, 2018 - 10:00 AM to 04:00 PM

SDFHS Open Day and AGM, 2018

The Society's 2018 Open Day, including our Annual General Meeting, is being organised by our East Dorset Group at Queen Elizabeth's School, Blandford Road, Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 4DT.

The Open Day will include a talk on family history by Dr Nick Barratt, President of the Federation of Family History Societies, and one on house history by Gill Blanchard. Exhibitors will include other regional family history societies, historical organisations and retailers. 

Further details will be added at a later date. Enquiries: Rita Pettet (mobile) 07821 032118; (land line) 01202 772327.