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Family history societies often publish helpful journals, transcripts, compiled genealogies and host helpful websites. They may have ongoing projects to transcribe records and create indexes. Most societies publish queries in their journals and maintain lists of members’ research interests that may be helpful to you. You may want to join one of these societies, reap the benefits of their expertise and resources, or support its efforts.
Addresses of the societies are for the most part where their meetings are held as they are by-and-large not brick-and-mortar institutions.
Regional Societies[edit | edit source]
- ALHA is the umbrella group for local history and archaeology societies in Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. There are some eighty societies in ALHA, with a collective membership of about 10,000. Some are region-wide but with special interests like the Bristol & Avon Family History Society; while many are parish- or district-based.
- The Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society (BACAS) is an active local society, with a range of activities and interest areas. Our goal is the promotion of archaeology in all its branches. Notable excavations include those at Camerton in Somerset and Nettleton in Wiltshire.
Bristol & Avon Family History Society
BAWA Leisure Centre
589 Southmead Road
Bristol, Gloucestershire BS34 7RG UK
Telephone: 0117 9561881
Website: Bristol & Avon Family History Society
- The Bristol & Avon Family History Society provides contacts between members with regular meetings, quarterly Journals and assists members with research.
- The Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society was founded in 1967 to coordinate the research, conservation and preservation of the remains of the industrial and commercial activity in the Bath and Bristol area.
- This site was created in 2009 by the Chardstock Historical Record Group (CHRG) and has since been expanded to cover the Parishes of Chardstock, All Saints, and Wambrook, as well as the smaller settlements of Alston, Bewley Down, Birchill, Burridge, Churchill, Cotley, Holy City, Hook, and Tytherleigh. Our primary intention is to display and transcribe research material not readily available from other sources and to use our local knowledge of place and family names to ensure a high degree of accuracy.
Somerset & Dorset Family History Society
The Bow Room
Old Market Hill
Sturminster Newton, Dorset DT10 1FH UK
Stalbridge, Dorset DT10 2RG UK
Telephone: 01258 472942
Website: Blackmore Vale
Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 1AS UK
Telephone: 01202 889488
Website: East Dorset
Yeovil Archaeological and Local History Society
Holy Trinity Church, Lysander Road,
Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 2BU UK
- YALHS was founded in 1954 and has been involved in many projects and studies to uncover the past of this part of South Somerset over the intervening years.
The SDFHS Family History Centre
Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1PN UK
- The Somerset & Dorset Family History Society aims to provide assistance to all those researching their families in the two counties, no matter where they live.
Wesley Historical Society - Bristol
9 Styles Park
Frome, Somerset BA11 5AL UK
Website: Wesley Historical Society - Bristol
- The aims of the Society laid down in 1893 were to promote the study of the history and literature of early Methodism, research into the Wesley's, and investigation into the beginnings and development of Methodism. Area: Counties of Gloucestershire, (East) Somerset, (North) Wiltshire.
Somerset Societies[edit | edit source]
Axbridge Archaeological and Local History Society
Cross Memorial Hall
Axbridge, Somerset BS26 2EL UK
Telephone: 01934 712971
Website: Axbridge Archaeological and Local History Society
- We hold a series of talks throughout the winter months, given by experts in their field, and have walks and visits during the summer to places of interest.
- The Banwell Society of Archaeology studies the history and pre-history of the local area around Weston-super-Mare.
- The Society's sole concern is the well-being of the village of Batheaston, and in recognition of its commitment to this purpose, it is registered with the Civic Trust as the local amenity society for Batheaston. In part this includes an emphasis on the historical building substance and the people who have shaped the village in the past.
Blagdon Local History Society
Blagdon, Somerset BS40 7RE UK
Telephone: 01761 462 723
Website: Blagdon Local History Society
- A group of people interested in history with a particular interest in Blagdon and surroundings. There are monthly open meetings/lectures for the membership and others. Research at Record Offices, Libraries, private archives etc., transcribing old documents, recording oral histories, formation and maintenance of a database and library, visits to places of interest, regular talks by visiting experts, field walking, and in 2004 we published our first volume of a History of Blagdon, and have continued the series as our knowledge grows.
- The aims of the Society are to study the history and archaeology of Bridgwater and district, and to observe and record all excavations in the area.
- The Group's main objectives are to promote research into, and gain knowledge of, all aspects of the history of Chard and District. In this case, district was defined as roughly the mid-point between Chard and its neighbouring local history societies.
- Until people begin to understand Heraldry, they tend to think that a Coat of Arms is simply a colourful pattern. It is not. A Coat of Arms can tell you many things about a person; about that person’s family and history. Local historians neglect Heraldry at their peril – one Coat of Arms on a church memorial or on an Heraldic funeral hatchment, can often tell them something that would take many hours of research to discover any other way.
Clevedon & District Archaeological Society
The Friends Meeting House
15 Albert Road
Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7RP UK
Telephone: 07743 683756
Website: Clevedon & District Archaeological Society
- The Clevedon and District Archaeological Society was founded in the 1920s with the aim of promoting local amateur archaeological interest and learning.
- The Frome Society for Local Study was founded in 1958 by a number of Frome townspeople who realised there was a need to make the history of Frome and the district better known, and to preserve its historic buildings and records.
Hinton Blewett History Group
Bristol, Gloucestershire BS39 5AN UK
Telephone 01761 452312
Website: Hinton Blewett History Group
Kewstoke Local History Group
Telephone: 01934 633407
Website: Kewstoke Local History Group
- Kewstoke Local History Group now has over 100 ledgers filled with irreplaceable material. For the millennium year every house in Kewstoke was photographed and matched with an old photo if there was one. All information concerning that property was collected, such as who built it, who has lived in it, old deeds, the price it has sold for over the years etc. We have ledgers on the history of many of the old families who have lived in Kewstoke for generations, with family trees and photos.
Keynsham and Saltford Local History Society
St. Dunstan's Catholic Church Hall
Keynsham, Somerset BS31 2BQ UK
Website: Keynsham and Saltford Local History Society
- The Society was formed in 1965 as a non-profit making voluntary organisation concerned with researching and recording the history of the Keynsham and Saltford area. Since 1965 the Society has amassed a large archive of photographs, documents, maps and transcripts from primary sources and newspaper articles.
Langford Local History Group
University of Bristol Veterinary School
Bristol, Gloucestershire BS40 5DU UK
Telephone: 01934 862248
Website: Langford Local History Group
- Our meetings cover a wide range of subjects including archaeology, family history, and notable events, usually with a local historical bias. The Group has built up an archive of records, maps, and documents which enables members to carry out research on families and houses in the area. Some of these documents date back to the reign of Henry VI, allowing us a glimpse into Medieval Langford!
Long Ashton Local History Society
The Jubilee Pavilion
Bristol, Gloucestershire BS41 9DP UK
Telephone: 01275 393617
Website: Long Ashton Local History Society
- We meet monthly for lectures on local historical topics. We also carry out research into the history of Martock, its inhabitants, and local archaeology.
- The Society was established in 1975 and aims to encourage and promote an interest in, and research into, the local history of the area. The Society is very much part and parcel of the community whose history it records. Various members of the society have helped people, from all over the world, with their enquiries about the history of the area.
Oakhill & Ashwick Local History Group
Oakhill Village Hall
Radstock, Somerset BA3 5AN UK
Telephone: 01749 840200
Website: Oakhill & Ashwick Local History Group
- The Oakhill & Ashwick local history group is keeping a diary of changes/events that occur in the parish. We have a large photographic/document record of the parish.
Radstock, Midsomer Norton and District Museum Society
Radstock, Somerset BA3 3EP UK
Website: Radstock, Midsomer Norton and District Museum Society
- The Society’s Collection of artefacts and specimens is now on show at Radstock Museum in a variety of imaginative displays.
The Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society
Taunton, Somerset TA2 6SF UK
Telephone: 01823 272429
Website: The Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society
- The Society is formed to promote the study of archaeology, natural history, local history and historic buildings with particular reference to the historic County of Somerset and is an important point of contact for anyone with an interest in understanding and protecting the heritage of Somerset.
- The Society's mission was to study and discuss the heraldry of Somerset.
Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society (SIAS)
North Town School
7 Northfield Gardens
Taunton, Somerset TA1 1XN UK
Telephone: 01278 760869
Website: Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society (SIAS)
- SIAS is interested in all aspects of the industrial history and heritage of the County of Somerset.
- The Somerset Record Society exists to make record sources for the study of Somerset history available in printed form. The Society has been preserving, promoting and making accessible the written heritage of the county of Somerset since 1886. These volumes have been heavily used and widely cited by scholars, and sets are maintained in major libraries all over the world. The Society remains the only entirely dedicated organisation to publish the written heritage of the ancient county. Somerset’s archival history contains a wealth of unique material which the Society has been making more widely accessible for over a century.
St George History Group
Summerhill Over-50s Club
Bristol, Avon, Somerset BS5 8HJ UK
Telephone: 0117 940 6202
Website: St George History Group
Weston-super-Mare Archaeological and Natural History Society
Victoria Methodist Church Hall
38 Station Rd
Weston-super-Mare, Somerset BS23 1XY UK
Website: Weston-super-Mare Archaeological and Natural History Society
Weston-super-Mare & District Family History Society
St Paul's Church Hall
Weston-super-Mare, Somerset BS23 1EF UK
Website: Weston-super-Mare & District Family History Society
- The area covered by the Society is Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding parishes, which make up North Somerset. The Society exists to help members to help themselves and with this in mind publishes a magazine on a regular basis. The Society tries to encourage and stimulate interest in family history generally and has a very positive link with Weston-super-Mare Library, which has excellent resources and facilities.
- The objectives of the Society are to promote the study of archaeology, natural history and history of the Weston-super-Mare area through talks, field studies and nature walks.
- The Society puts on a varied and interesting programme of talks, mostly illustrated, throughout the autumn and winter in which we feature a broad range of history topics. These can include local and regional subjects and items of social history as well as featuring particularly notable places and people.
Winscombe and Sandford Local History and Archaeological Society
Winscombe Community Centre
11 Sandford Rd
Winscombe, North Somerset BS25 1JA UK
Telephone: 01934 842666
Website: Winscombe and Sandford Local History and Archaeological Society
- The Society was founded in 1990 to promote the study of the history and archaeology of Winscombe.
- The objects of the Society shall be to encourage the study of, and interest in, local history in the Worle area, to facilitate studies, support education and to produce publications relating to these subjects.
Yatton Local History Society
Yatton Methodist Church
Yatton, Somerset BS49 4DW UK
Website: Yatton Local History Society
- Yatton Local History Society was founded in 1982 with the original aim of researching the history of the parish of Yatton. Public meetings and visits were added later to the programme of research.