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Roy Stockdill
· December 5, 2015
To the admins - I wonder if I could draw to your attention my article in the December 2015 issue of DORSET magazine, pages 84-86. This is about my researches into the ancestries and family roots of celebrities with Dorset ancestry: Dame Judi Dench, Ricky Gervais, Kate Winslet, Emma Chambers and the spy writer John le Carre? I can let you have PDFs of the pages or you can take them from my post on Facebook (my own timeline). See More
Becky Bucks Stevens
· March 18, 2015
has some intreasting articles etc, looking forward to see what else this has to offer

Thanks to group member Celia Mycock for pointing out that this month’s 'Appeal for Relatives' from the CWGC includes a WW1 grave in #Dinder churchyard - Gilbert Victor DREW of the Somerset Light Infantry. Does anyone recognise his name? SDFHS Research Centre volunteer Dorothy gave us some background: “The SDFHS Centre helped to locate the grave in Dinder Church yard, from our M. I. Database. The inscription was along the outside edge of the kerbstones and grass had obscured details. If I remember correctly, Private Drew had been a bell ringer at Dinder Church and it was from the Guild of Bellringers that the CWGC became aware of him.” Great work by the SDFHS Research Centre volunteers! Let’s hope some relatives of Gilbert Victor Drew are found. #WW1

An appeal for relatives is a search to locate the next of kin for soldiers who fell in war. Could you be connected to any of these individuals?

New blog post by Barbara Elsmore

It was two years ago in February 2016 that I wrote my first blog while trying to understand what was going on between Ancestry and the software Family Tree Maker that I had been using successfully …

Barbara Elsmore has written a blog post for us with positively her last thoughts (for now, anyway!) on Ancestry and Family Tree Maker:…/family-tree-maker-and-the-an…/

It was two years ago in February 2016 that I wrote my first blog while trying to understand what was going on between Ancestry and the software Family Tree Maker that I had been using successfully …

Sylvia Creed-Castle of our West Dorset Group has organised this exhibition to be held in Whitchurch Canonicorum on 24/25 March 2018.

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Have you got any suffragettes in your family tree? Read the stories of Somerset's Suffragettes here #Vote100

Britain’s first female cabinet minister, the Clark family, Suffragette’s Rest and Emmeline Pethwick-Lawrence

Can anyone help Charlie Foster identify any of the players in this photo?

Charlie says “This is a photo of #ToneAlbion #Rugby team from 1903. The guy holding the ball we believe to be William Grabham who was born in Wellington, Somerset 9 Dec 1884.

Tone Albion Rugby team was made up of men who worked at Tonedale (Fox’s) Mill, #Wellington, Somerset and it would be interesting if anyone can identify any of the other players. It believed that one of the other players is Wil...liam’s brother Fred Grabham (middle row 5th left) and that William’s best friend Fred Marks (front row 1st right) is also in the team.

William emigrated to Canada around 1914, returned with the CEF and was injured in France in 1916. Whilst convalescing in Wellington in 1918 he married Emily “Emma” Brice (b: 1886 Wellington) and they returned to Canada after WW1 in 1919.

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Somerset & Dorset Family History Society
Nonprofit Organization

Rachel Hassall, the Archivist at Sherborne School, has written a fascinating account of those involved in the suffrage movement in Sherborne:…/

To celebrate the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act (which gave the vote to women over the age of 30 who met a property qualification) we look here at the role local women playe…

Poole Museum’s WW1 Project has transcribed the 1917 & 1918 Absent Voter’s for Poole, available here


Many baby-boomers will be able to relate to Barbara Elsmore's latest post on our blog, about building new homes after the end of WWII:…/02/03/britains-post-war-homes/

Did you enjoy the recent BBC2 programme ‘A House Through Time’? In the last episode Deborah Sugg Ryan showed the Book of Britain’s Post-War Homes and this sent me scurrying upstai…

Busy morning at our Family History Centre, with a new member, research enquiries and a visit from our Secretary, Ted Udall.

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FFHS Beyond the Census Conference 3 By Saturday 29th September 2018 what was, we hope, a wonderful Summer will already be a fading memory. The weather will be turning noticeably colder and the nights gradually drawing in. Only one more month and it'll be time to change the clocks. Could there possib...

We've just received this press release, which gives details of an oral history project, recording the voices of people who worked at the Westland factory in Yeovil:

"The 100-years story of Westland is being told through a series of recorded oral histories with people who worked at the Yeovil factory on a new website.

The website – - features the voices of more than 30 former Westland employees and is the result of an 18-month project to build a spoken arch...ive of aircraft manufacturing in Yeovil 1915 to 2015.

A film about the World Helicopter Speed Record set by a Westland built Lynx (G-LYNX) 11th August 1986 called Westland ONE can also be watched on the site.

The project – Yeovil’s Magnificent Flying Machines – provided students studying media at Yeovil College with skills training in editing and storytelling and members of the Westland Retirement Association transcribed the oral histories.

One highlight of the new site are the oral histories recorded with 103-yr old Mini Ostler of Higher Odcombe and 96-yr old Norman Pilton of Montacute who talk about building Spitfires at Westland during WW2.

Steve Haigh, Project Manager ‘Yeovil’s Magnificent Flying Machines’ said: “The creation of this living history is an important contribution to the social fabric of Yeovil. The intention is for the site to grow with people uploading their own memories and photographs. Without this initiative, it’s unlikely any of this remarkable material would have been preserved.”

Luke Cawley (18) Media student at Yeovil College, who helped produce Westland ONE said: “I learnt many good things making this film, not least, how to edit and write to pictures. I enjoyed in particular working alongside members of the Westland Retirement Association. Westland ONE has given me an amazing film to show to prospective employers.”

The ‘Yeovil’s Magnificent Flying Machines’ project was managed by Radio Ninesprings – a new community radio station serving Yeovil and South Somerset – with grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Leonardo Helicopters and support from Yeovil College.

To hear the oral history recordings go online to:"

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Westland 100 Years of History: Recording memories of 100 years of Westland to create a sound archive of aircraft manufacturing in Yeovil

The University of Strathclyde is doing another FREE online 6-week Genealogy Course: 'Researching Your Family Tree' starting the week beginning 29th January. Register at

Develop an understanding of genealogy – how to research your family tree and communicate the results – in this free online course.