PO Box 4502
Dorset DT9 6YL

Phone: +44 (0)1935 389611

SDFHS Family History Centre

We will be vacating our current premises in Sherborne at the end of November 2017 and moving to Broadway House, Peter St, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1PN.

Opening Hours (until Saturday 18 November 2017. They may change after our move to Yeovil)

Monday, Friday, Saturday 10am to 1pm
Thursday 10am to 4pm

Closures 2017

The Family History Centre in Sherborne will close at 1pm on Saturday 18 November 2017. We hope to reopen in Yeovil on Monday 8 January 2018.


For benefits and 'how to join' click link
Contact e-mail


If you live in Somerset or Dorset, there is sure to be an SDFHS Group close to you. Click here for details of our Groups and their upcoming events' programmes.



The Society is on the move

We are very pleased to be able to confirm that our new Family History Centre will be at Broadway House, Peter St, Yeovil BA20 1PN. This is an ideal location in the centre of the town, close to cafés, restaurants, hotels and the central bus station, from where buses run regularly to Sherborne and other towns and villages. There is ample car-parking nearby and we will be preparing lists of the closest car-parks and their charges, for visiting members. Yeovil Junction station (on the main line between London Waterloo and Exeter) and Yeovil Pen Mill station (on the Bristol to Weymouth line) are each a short bus-ride away

Moving all our Library, equipment, research facilities, PCs, etc., will be quite a task and we will need to close to members and visitors while we pack up in Sherborne and set up in Yeovil.

The last day we will be open in Sherborne will be Saturday 18 November 2017 and we hope to be able to reopen in Yeovil on Monday 8 January 2018.

Preparing the Yeovil premises

Update: 17 11 2017: Our Volunteers are now hard at work cleaning, decorating and doing repairs and alterations to get our new Family History Centre ready for the actual move, which will happen at the beginning of December.


Burial/Cremation records for Somerset and Dorset

SDFHS Members can now view or download fully searchable PDFs of around 100,000 Somerset and Dorset burials and more than 35,000 cremations in the Members' Area.

Weymouth Crematorium. The records, transcribed by Jennifer McGowan, relate to cremations from 1939-1997 (with a gap from 1942-62). The area covered is rather larger than the normal churchyard burials. It covers not only the Weymouth area, but also the cremations of people from elsewhere in Dorset and some from Somerset, and Devon. There were a few cremations from Royal Air Force Warmwell during the war, and also many from Yeovil, before that town’s own crematorium was opened in 1971. After Yeovil crematorium opened, the area covered was reduced but because of the growing popularity of cremation, the numbers at Weymouth did not seem to go down.

Somerset and Dorset Burials. These files cover burials in Dorset parish churches (Abbotsbury to Broadwindsor, East Stoke-Lydlinch), plus burials in Somerset: Bath Jewish Cemetery (Combe Down), Castle Cary (Zion Chapel), Highbridge Cemetery, Keynsham (Baptist Chapel), Mid Lambrook (Independent) and Taunton (Baptist Chapel).

SDFHS Baptisms and Burials on 'The Genealogist'

All family historians know how important it is to have as many records as possible available online since not everyone is in a position to visit the relevant Archives themselves. The Somerset & Dorset Family History Society has been transcribing records in the two counties for more than 40 years and during that time we have been able to provide details from our extensive databases to help researchers who visit us, or send us enquiries. We will be continuing this service but are very pleased now that we have been able, working with The Genealogist, to make these records available online so that family historians can use them wherever they are based.

Our records are included in full subscriptions to 'The Genealogist' or you can subscribe to our baptisms and burials only at FHS Online:




Tales of Local Railways 

Saturday 25 November


This event will now be held in the Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd, Sherborne (next to the Digby Memorial Hall). For details see the events page.

Joining the Society

Our subscription year runs from 1 January to 31 December (and includes four issues of The Greenwood Tree). If you join the Society after 31 October 2017, your annual subscription will run until the end of 2018 (14 months, instead of 12) and you will be able straightaway to access our Members' Area and make use of our research facilities, though you will not receive the issues of The Greenwood Tree for 2017. The first issue you will receive will be that for March 2018. Download an application form.

Current annual subscription rates are:

UK individual: £18

UK Family: £20

Overseas Individual: £22

Overseas Family: £24.

If you subscribe for three years (2018-2020), you will get a discount and the three-year rates are: UK Individual £50; UK Family £56; Overseas Individual £62; Overseas Family £68.

An hour of free research for new Members

We are offering new members of the Society a complimentary hour's work on your first research request to one of our experienced Volunteers. Please see here for full details.

Download the November 2015 issue of The Greenwood Tree

If you are not yet a member of the Society and would like to see a copy of The Greenwood Tree before joining, you can download a PDF of the November 2015 edition here.



Somerset & Dorset Family History Society


Farewell to Eileen Holloway (1930-2017)


Eileen has been a regular volunteer at our Family History Centre for some considerable time. An experienced family historian she had fascinating stories to tell about her ancestor at the Crimea and another on the Oregon Trail. She did things … Continue reading

Going to School in the War Years


We are reminded that bombs were dropped over a wide area of Sherborne on 30 September 1940 with loss of life and widespread damage. John Samuel Jackson of Milborne Port, a pupil at Foster’s School remembers what it was like to … Continue reading

Stories of Exeter’s War Hospitals 1914-1919


100 years ago, in 1917, you might have been Gunner John Parr, wounded in the third battle of Ypres during a heavy exchange of fire. You’ve been given your initial medical care in the field and sent by train to … Continue reading

The Greenwood Tree, September 2017


The September issue of The Greenwood Tree will be appearing shortly, and SDFHS members can already download the PDF from the Members’ Area of our website. We have again preserved the colour content in the digital version, so it’s well … Continue reading