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Somerset & Dorset
Family History Society


Women, ‘Gateway Ancestors’, and Sources

Many of us, when we first become interested in family history research tend to focus on our surname and try to trace it back as far as possible Certainly this was my approach when I first started some fifty years ago A few years after I began I found a distant 'cousin' Hugh Pitfield who was also researching our family We combined forces and have co-operated ever since Image - Fine Art America The result is that we now have a comprehensive genealogy of the PITFIELD family that Hugh has...

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