West Dorset

We are a small friendly group that meet at Loders Village Hall, Loders, Bridport, DT6 3SA at 2pm on the second Saturday of each month. Usually we start with a few minutes catching up on any news from Yeovil HQ or elsewhere and then we usually have a guest speaker followed by tea and biscuits and a chance to chat to others and ask questions, ending at 4.30pm.

Of the talks, while there will always be a couple in the year based in and around Dorset and Somerset, many of our group do not have local ancestors and so we try to include talks with a wider appeal.  As well as the more formal talks, after the AGM in January (a summary and some photographs of the 2014 AGM can be found here), members of the group have brought in some aspect of their own research to talk about and also once a year we also try to have some sort of workshop or exhibition involving members’ research. 

While there are no meetings in July or August, in July we try to arrange a group visit. The afternoon is always finished off with tea and biscuits. 

Do come along and meet other family and local historians researching ancestors from all over the world, not just Dorset! Everyone welcome. SDFHS Members £1.50,  Visitors £3.00   (Afternoon tea included)


Jane on 01308 425710 or e.mail 

Programme 2018

13 January Show and Tell - Members

10 February Life around a Hill; the communities around Hardowm Hill - Jane Ferenzi-Sheppard

10 March  19th Century Pilots in sailing Boats in the Bristol Channel - Diana Trenchard

14 April  To Buy a Whole Parish: Rousden and the Peek Family - Nicky Campbell             

12 May  My Family and Jack the Ripper - Pat Hase 


9 June  Summer Special - Study Day  ’20 Years on’ West Country connections to the new World, Lyme Regis revisited.  Migration studies 2018. 

9.30 – 5.00

Chair: Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard and Celia Martin, guests Janet Few and Lucille Campey.

There will be specialist talks, presentations and displays by members showing the results of their research into those who left the West Country mainly in the 1800s and plenty of time for discussions.

If you would like to do a short presentation or help in any way, let Jane (contact details above) know as soon as possible. 

Cost  £5.00 members, £8.00 visitors. Registration form.

Tea, coffee and biscuits provided. Bring lunch, or pre-order from the pub



10 July Visit to the Fleet Air Arm Museum. Meet at the entrance at 1.30pm. Museum entry with opportunity to visit the Archives: £10. Cream tea: £5.50. Must be booked in advance. Email Sylvia.

8 September  Channel Islands: families divided by the war - Paul Radford 

13 October The Dorset Regiment in 1918 - Chris Copson (Keep Museum)  

10 November  Ralph Treswell’s survey of Purbeck: Tudor map making and estate management - Mark Forrest Dorset History Centre

December Christmas Lunch date TBA


Exhibition in Whitchurch Canonicorum - 24/25 March 2018

Sylvia Creed-Castle organised an exhibition about the men listed on the Whitchurch Canonicorum WWI memorial. You can download here a list of the men with more details of their lives and deaths.