PO Box 4502
Dorset DT9 6YL

Phone: +44 (0)1935 389611

SDFHS Family History Centre

Situated in a 17th century building next to Sherborne Museum our Family History Centre is the first port of call for our many visitors. Here you will find an informed and dedicated group of volunteers, on hand to help you at whatever level you are with your family history research. If you are unable to visit the Centre in person our Volunteers can also undertake research for you.

Opening Hours

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

Third Tuesday of the month 7pm to 9pm

Closures 2017

The Centre will be closed on: Friday 14 - Monday 17 April (Good Friday, Easter weekend and Easter Monday); Monday 1 May (Early May Bank Holiday); Monday 29 May (Spring Bank Holiday); Monday 28 August (Summer Bank Holiday); Monday 16 October (Pack Monday Fair); Thursday 21 December 2017 - Monday 1 January 2018. The Centre will reopen after the Christmas/New Year break on Thursday 4 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.



SDFHS 2017 Open Day and AGM

The Society’s annual Open Day, including the Annual General Meeting, is being organised this year by our Taunton Group, and will be held in Cheddon Fitzpaine Village Hall on Saturday 23 September (9.30am-4.00pm). Full details can also be found on the events page. Please note that lunch reservations must be received by 1 September.

The Agenda for the Annual General Meeting (at 3.00pm) and summary Accounts for 2016 will be sent to all members with the September issue of The Greenwood Tree and can be downloaded below.

Download documents for the Annual General Meeting

Agenda for the 2017 AGM and Summary Accounts for 2016

Minutes of the 2016 AGM

The Trustees' Annual Report and Financial Statement for 2016


The Society is on the move

Update: 28.7.17Sometime during the next six months we will be moving from our current premises, and members will be informed as soon as we are in a position to confirm where our new Headquarters, Library and Research Room will be located. We expect to be staying in the Sherborne/Yeovil area and we intend that there will be minimal disruption, during our move, to the services we offer to members and other visitors.

Photographic Project

Since we don’t know exactly when and where we are moving, we are going to postpone the next scheduled Photographic Project Open Day (which was to have been on Saturday 21 October). This will also give the Project team a chance to catch up with documenting all the wonderful images we have already received. As soon as we are settled in our new home, we will arrange a date and place for another Open Day.

Tales of Local Railways 

Saturday 25 November


We have been able to arrange an alternative venue for this event and it 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

If you would like to join the Society for 2017 (or 2017-2019) download the 2017 application form

Our subscription year runs from 1 January to 31 December (and includes four issues of The Greenwood Tree) and current annual subscription rates are:

UK individual: £18

UK Family: £20

Overseas Individual: £22

Overseas Family: £24.

If you subscribe for three years (2017-2019), 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.

Renewing your membership

If you haven't yet renewed your membership for 2017, it is not too late to do so, and ensure that you receive all four issues (March, June, September and December) of The Greenwood Tree.  A renewal form can be downloaded here.

Contact the Society

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society

P.O.Box 4502
Telephone: (01935) 389611
E-mail: sdfhs@btconnect.com

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society


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

The Pageant’s Progress


It has been very pleasing to receive contact from others who have discovered that someone they may have further knowledge about, or who might have been a family member, took part in the Sherborne Pageant of 1905. Any discoveries, however … Continue reading

Copyright and family history


Many family historians regularly post online, or circulate on social media, images of themselves and their families and, on the whole, these will probably not fall foul of copyright or intellectual property laws, since they are likely to have been … Continue reading