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Somerset & Dorset
Family History Society

The SDFHS Blog

The A to Z of Yeovil’s History – Yeovil’s Virtual Museum

I wonder how many of us, me included, take this unique, photo packed source of information for granted  Please allow me to tell you about some recent research of mine In September 1933 my father, Ralph Collings was fortunate indeed to be apprenticed as an Ironmonger to Hill, Sawtell in Yeovil He had left school the previous summer, a bad time in which to find a job as it was right in the middle of what would become known as 'the great depression'  Having successfully...

The Greenwood Tree – Sept 2021

The theme of the September edition of The Greenwood Tree is Grandfathers and members and readers provided the usual fund of great stories, this time about male ancestors several generations back Editor Paul Radford previews the edition which has been mailed to SDFHS members who can also view or download it from the Members’ Area of the Society’s website The magazine also provides necessary information for the Society’s forthcoming AGM/Open Day on September 18 which will be held via Zoom...

Hethfelton building site

In 1929 my grandfather Arthur Collings, a carpenter/builder by trade, became the foreman for the construction of a new building in or near Hethfelton, Wool, Dorset He had a Box Brownie camera and he took pictures of the building site which had quite a large workforce Some of the men, including Frank Hann later identified by my father, would have travelled from Nether Compton and stayed on-site somewhere during the week  One thing that struck me was the height of the scaffolding...

Putting Somerset on the early photographic map

Somerset’s first professional photographer was someone about whom relatively little is known, even amongst photographic historians He was Thomas Sharp (1806-1896), who was born in London, but who lived much of his early life in North Devon This blog post records our efforts to have Sharp recognised as the photographer responsible for a portrait which until now has been credited to Roger Fenton, perhaps the best known early photographer Photograph: Major-General Charles Ashe Windham -...

The Greenwood Tree – June 2021

The front cover of the June edition of The Greenwood Tree shows a 19th century painting of a lawyer’s office to illustrate the theme of Wills The caption “Where There’s a Will … There’s a Won’t”, suggests that some of the most revealing information we extract from ancestral wills may involve those who are deliberately omitted from an inheritance or left something derisory Distant family feuds are hard to find in other ways Editor Paul Radford previews the edition which will be...

Member and Guest Blogs Welcome

We welcome guest and member blog posts on any topic with a family history connection and invite you to send your contributions, which should include photo/photos, to the editor Barbara Elsmore