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Somerset & Dorset
Family History Society


Grandad’s spade – another object with a story to tell

Barbara Elsmore tells the story of another of her family treasures - one that won't fit into her box and which 'won't buckle'! It crept up slowly, the need to get the boxes of family photos and mementoes down from the loft where I had stashed them hastily following my mother's death three years previously I soon found myself transported back in time, when I found a photo of my brother Roger standing in the wheelbarrow belonging to my grandfather Arthur Collings in the garden of the old house...

Identifying a mystery object

Barbara Elsmore tells the fascinating story of an unusual object which she first encountered as a child in her grandparents' home in Nether Compton and with which she was recently reunited in Sherborne Ann-Marie Wilkinson, in her Chairman's musings in the latest Greenwood Tree, ponders on souvenirs and other items that our ancestors might have collected and prized and she suggests we should ask our relatives, if we can, why these items might be important to them I very much regret not asking...

The Greenwood Tree May 2014

Bob Barber gives a preview of the next edition of the Greenwood Tree We start the May edition of The Greenwood Tree in seasonal mode with an account by Maureen Bowler of the social history of the celebrations of May Day This brings back grim memories for me of having to learn country dances at school, but the folk customs surrounding May Day spread much wider     Bob Evered has unearthed a very nice etching of St George’s church Dunster by Elizabeth Piper, an etcher and painter...

Grandad and Charlie Hounsell

In 2013 Barbara Elsmore arranged an exhibition on Foster's School for the Sherborne Museum and recognised her grandfather on one of the Museum's photographs I found this old school photograph in Sherborne Museum and realised my grandfather, Arthur Collings, was standing on the far left with his hands on the back of the chair of the boy in front of him The photo was taken in 1898 at Foster's School in Sherborne and is of the boys in forms IV, V and VI It was published in the SDFHS journal The...

Family Wedding – Chicago Style

Before going to the USA for a family wedding Barbara Elsmore wrote here about a charming family tradition She now summarises her visit and reflects on the importance of family connections, past and present Just back from my nephew’s wedding held in a swish, downtown hotel in Chicago It was  certainly different from anything I had been to in the past but then our own, once familiar, wedding ceremonies are evolving with the changing times The minister talked of the young couple’s heritage...

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