Broadway House, Peter St, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1PN
Phone: +44 (0)1935 429609
Our Family History Centre is at Broadway House, Peter St, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1PN.
Find us on Google maps.
Monday, Saturday: 10am to 1pm
Thursday, Friday: 10am to 4pm *
On the third Tuesday in the month: 7-9pm.
* On Thursdays and Fridays we may close earlier than 4pm if we have no visitors, and if no advanced bookings have been made. To avoid disappointment, especially if you are travelling some distance to visit us, please let us know in advance when you are intending to come.
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.
Our Annual General Meeting is held as part of an Open Day organised by each of our local Groups in turn. In 2019 the Open Day/AGM will be organised by our West Somerset Group and will be held on Saturday 21 September 2019 at The Tithe Barn, Dunster.
We will help you to find documented facts about the lives of your former family members which will unlock doors to your own personal family story. Although we do specialise in Somerset and Dorset and have extensive records from our two counties, our experienced Research Volunteers have skills which can help you trace your family roots, regardless of where they might have originated.
The March 2019 issue, with a focus on DNA testing, was mailed to all members at the end of February.
The Somerset & Dorset Family History Society urgently neds a new Treasurer to take over from Rose Figgins. Anyone interested in taking on this vital role for the Society should contact Rose.
During the First World War, Yeovil men and women served on the Western Front, in Belgium and France, and many other places. Letters to and from home were welcomed by all recipients and during the four years of the war, the Western Gazette published a weekly column 'Yeovil and the War' which included letters, either in full or extract, sent home to friends and relations by local men serving at the various fronts. The 124 letters published in this book are the authentic voices of those who were there a century ago. The book also includes photographs of many of the men who wrote the letters and of Yeovil at the time, as well as postcards sent from the front.
86 pages. Soft covers. Over-the-counter price: £10.00. Available by post from our online shop, where prices include postage: UK £12.20. Overseas: £15.40.
Our Family History Centre in Yeovil has proved to be so popular with visitors that we are extending our opening hours for a trial period (starting 1 October 2018), by opening all day (10am-4pm) on Fridays, as well as Thursdays.
Our latest publication (June 2018) is a celebration of Somerset’s photographic history, as seen through the lives and work of nearly 800 photographers.
Each photographer is listed with details of where he/she was working and when, together with an indication of the source of the information.
The book will appeal to family, local, social and photographic historians, including collectors, as a reliable and indispensable reference source on the subject.
The accompanying data DVD (for use on a computer) contains more than 1,500 images produced by Somerset photographers, and a mini-biography of each of the photographers.
Book: A4 (297mm x 210mm). 105 pages. Soft covers.
DVD: 4,495 pages of which 2746 are images, mainly taken by the photographers, together with some other material such as advertisements. Please note that the DVD needs to be used on a computer. It will not work in a DVD player.
Now on sale at our Family History Centre, price £12.00, or in our online shop, where prices include postage.
One of the authors, Phil Nichols, has written a post about the book on our blog.
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).
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:
Our subscription year runs from 1 January to 31 December (and includes four issues of The Greenwood Tree). 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 (currently 2019-2021), you will get a discount and the three-year rates are: UK Individual £50; UK Family £56; Overseas Individual £62; Overseas Family £68.
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.
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 June 2018 edition here.
The base for the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society was in Sherborne for nearly twenty years until the recent successful move to Yeovil. Many a visitor will have climbed up the stairs of our last home in Sherborne, to … Continue reading
On Sunday, 7 April 2019 the doors of Herrison Hall were thrown open to anyone with an interest in the old Herrison Hospital in Dorchester and before the exhibition was officially opened every space in the car park was taken … Continue reading
The growing importance of DNA in family history is highlighted in the March edition of The Greenwood Tree which will be mailed to members at the end of February. Editor Paul Radford previews the edition, which SDFHS members can already view … Continue reading
Many of the trappings of our ‘traditional’ Christmas celebrations had their origins in the Victorian period which also saw the establishment and growth of the railway, so it is not perhaps surprising that festively decorated trains feature on a fair … Continue reading