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

Our Family History Centre is at Broadway House, Peter St, Yeovil BA20 1PN. Find out more about how we can help with your research and the facilities we have to offer.

The Society’s Family History Centre in Yeovil is still closed to members and other visitors, but we are very pleased to have reopened our bookshop for online sales and orders by post, only – please do not come to the Centre to buy books.

Our Research Volunteers are still working mainly from home but do now have some access to our resources at the Centre, so if you would like any help with your family history research email: [email protected] and we will do our best to help you.

When we are able to reopen the Centre to visitors, we will inform members by electronic newsletter and will also post the information on our website and on Facebook. If you do not already receive e-newsletters, but would like to do so, please email: [email protected].

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on Social Media

Recent Facebook

The history of the Wells & Mendip Museum is intertwined with that of the Wells Natural History and Archaeological Society. The society was founded in 1888 to encourage the practical study of natural history, archaeology and kindred subjects in Wells and the surrounding countryside.

The first museum collections were housed in the old school room over the west cloister of Wells Cathedral. In 1928 William Wyndham purchased No.8 Cathedral Green, and a charitable trust was set up to run the museum. Three of its six managers were nominated by the society. The museum moved from the cathedral cloister to its present home in 1932.

The important collections preserved and displayed in Wells & Mendip Museum, and the literature housed in the museum library, reflect the wide range of the society’s activities. In 1907, members of the society set up the country’s oldest organisation for the exploration and research of caves.

As a result, the Mendip Hills' underground cave systems became an early focus for the new science of speleology in Britain. The Mendip Hills, with their fascinating geology, natural history, and rich archaeology, is the setting for the society’s work. Members of WNHAS participate in local archaeological excavations and carry out research on historical and environmental subjects.

View from the museum garden.
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The National Archives re-opens 21 July ... See MoreSee Less

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Following careful risk assessment, Dorset History Centre will be reopening on a limited basis from next week. Please see their statement below for details ... See MoreSee Less

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This iconic photograph from the museum's collection shows the bonfire in Wells which would be lit in the Recreation Ground at the end of the Carnival procession.

The procession in the early 1900s was organised by the Carnival Committee which was headed by Tom Price, landlord of the Crown Hotel. The entries would be lit through the streets by children holding aloft flaming torches which would be thrown onto the bonfire at the end of the night to round off the celebrations.

Credit: Clare Blackmore Photo: Museum collection
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Recent Twitter

Are there any thatchers, or former thatchers, following us out there? Here is Guy Gale - he was a Master Thatcher from West Dorset. When we reopen, you will be able to take a closer look at two of the biddles used by Guy throughout his thatching years. #dorset #dorsetmuseum

We’re making plans to reopen in early August & really looking forward to seeing our visitors again. We’re keen to make the right decisions and it would greatly help our planning if you could complete our questionnaire. Thank you! http://ow.ly/rfZg50AsHmr

⚠️ Have you noticed an abandoned and derelict Victorian building near you? Are you worried a beautiful Victorian building is going to be demolished? Send the details to [email protected] for a chance for it to be featured in our Top 10 Endangered Buildings campaign.

#OnePlaceWednesday ~ My blog update for my @OnePlaceStudies @1PSDirectory @TheCrescentOPS looks at the parents & siblings of Martha Groves nee Alford. Was great to use @UoLDWL online resource of Trade Directories @uniofleicester for this post ~ @TheSDFHS http://thecrescenttaunton.blogspot.com/2020/06/4-parents-and-siblings-of-martha-alford.html