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Somerset & Dorset
Family History Society


Lust and Litigation in 17th Century Dorset

Family history research can sometimes reveal the most fascinating and unexpected results This happened to me recently when I was researching my FULFORD ancestors I discovered details of a lawsuit that gave startling insight into a family member Margaret JEWELL was born in 1665 daughter of Anne Jewell (neé Fulford) The first name of her father and the marriage details of her parents are unknown (records are scarce for the Commonwealth period) On 4th August 1685 at Sydling St Nicholas she...

A Ghost in the Family

To discover that you may be descended from a lecherous murdering ghost is a startling experience and an indication that tracing your ancestry may not lead only to hidden fortunes and extinct peerages! The PITFIELDS are an old Dorset family - there is at least one reference to a ‘Pytfold’ in the Domesday book - which seems to have originated in the Allington area of the county and gradually spread out The first reference to my ancestor Sebastian Pitfield (1625 - 1685) occurs in the...

Lord Dorset’s Recompense

Serendipity (unexpected and fortunate discoveries) can be a marvelous feeling, not least in the course of family history research Some years ago at the British Library, I noticed, quite by chance, that it has an Index of Names associated with its Manuscripts Collection Such indices are invaluable to genealogists Nothing ventured, I inserted the name ‘PITFIELD’ and the search referred me to an amazing document This is a letter from Thomas SACKVILLE, first Earl of Dorset, who was the Lord...

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