01935 429609
Somerset & Dorset
Family History Society

Welcome to the SDFHS

How can we help you? 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.

SDFHS Family History Centre

Broadway House Family History Centre, our home in Yeovil, is an ideal location in the centre of the town.

Online Talks

Online talks are being hosted by some of our local Groups, giving us the opportunity to engage with our members and the family history community worldwide.

Visit Our Shop

Are you looking for family history publications? Why not try looking in our on-line shop. We have a wide range of books and CDs relating to both Somerset and Dorset, as well as more general family-history and local-history publications.

AGM and Open Day

Join us

on Social Media

Recent Facebook

Timeline photosVICAR’S CLOSE DATES FROM 1363: THE OLDEST MEDIEVAL STREET IN EUROPE – Wells, Somerset. Vicar is an interesting term – ‘’The Vicars Choral are the men of the Wells Cathedral Choir. They are not in holy orders; the word ‘vicar’ comes from ‘vice’ and simply means a deputy (as in vice-president). Historically, vicars were the substitutes or deputies for the canons, who were often away from the Cathedral while engaged on the affairs of their estates or on the King’s business’’ ~ wellscathedral org ukIt is said that before the street was built the vicars lived in the town with the townsfolk but were beginning to sin with the temptations of the flesh – as always, man never changes....Striking in many ways, it looks amazing now – what did it look like to the serfs, it was built not long after the Black Death had raged throughout the land decimating 50% of population. Incidentally, the Black Death reached England in 1348 and actually entered via Melcombe Regis (now known as Weymouth). So, the street must have look magnificent to the medieval peasant, did they question where such wealth came from to enable such buildings? Being connected to Wells Cathedral I guess they were accustomed to such grandeur and opulence. The gateway into the close is just as gorgeous and in a sense made it a gated community. Even though on a less grand scale, the street’s architecture reminds me of the almshouses at the Hospital of St Cross, Winchester.ruralhistoria.com/2023/06/15/wayfarers-dole/ ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Timeline photosFarm labourers on their way to Woodbury Hillfort, Bere Regis, Dorset. In the medieval period it was the biggest hiring fair in southern England.ruralhistoria.com/2023/10/10/medieval-hiring-fairs-in-england/ ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Traditionally, it is said, this carol is only to be sung by the cow-man on Christmas Eve to the cattle – sorry, for that reason we can’t offer you the whole carol!#EYATraditionExplore Your Archive ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
The GRO has extended the availability of its online £2.50 death ‘certificates’ up to 1957 ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
View on Facebook
This photograph is very poignant in a number of ways, particularly as we celebrated 100 years of the War Memorial Ground last year. It is there as a permanent tribute to those from Watchet who in World War I lost their lives. It is perhaps easy to forget why and how it is there. The vast majority of us if we have lived here any time at all will have taken advantage of this wonderful community space. This portrait was taken by Bert Hole, a photographer who had a studio at the top of Swain Street. He must have been called upon to take a good number of such portraits of those destined to risk their lives in defence of freedom. Is this smiling optimistic face of a 'Tommy' taken for a mother and father, a girlfriend or younger siblings or all of them ? I would guess we will never know, but it does seem very likely that he is a Watchet lad. Did he return, I wonder, or was this the final reminder for those who loved him and perhaps were never to see him again ? ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them... 🥀 ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Weston-super-Mare on Saturday 11 November 👇🏻On Saturday 11th November, to mark #RemembranceDay2023, a #WW2 Digital Collection Day will take place at Weston Central Library, Somerset!Why not remember the war generation by bringing their stories and artefacts for digital preservation?Visit: theirfinesthour.english.ox.ac.uk/event/weston-library ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

Recent Twitter