Our Journal

Our quarterly journal has been published continuously since the Society was formed in 1975.  A complete set is available for reference in our Research Room in Bristol. Each issue aims to keep members up-to-date about events that may be taking place and presents regular features and a range of articles about family history and local history. On the Internet articles are reproduced here in the month of publication and My Parish articles are published 12-18 months after publication in the Journal.

Journals are distributed to members each quarter (June, September, December & March) and members who join part way through the membership year (which begins in April) are sent copies of past Journals for that year.

We have an index of all family names in our Journals and another of all article titles in our Journals.

Journal Editor
Jane Bambury

Most issues of the Society's Journal contain an article about recent family history developments on the internet. However, please note that links in older articles may no longer work.

December 10, 2017

On the Internet – December 2017

About a year ago, the General Register Office launched the provision of new indexes of some births and deaths, and also trialled, for a limited period, the supply of certificates in pdf format at a lower price, something that family historians had been requesting for many years...
May 30, 2017

On the Internet – June 2017

Those with Wiltshire ancestry will be pleased to learn that Find My Past have released a set of over 5 million parish records. These include banns as well as baptisms, marriages and burials. Also Know Your Place has recently been expanded to include the whole of the present county of Somerset...
March 8, 2017

On the Internet – March 2017

After I had written my article for the December 2016 Journal, the General Register Office made an unexpected announcement. Some years ago, the GRO began a project to reindex and digitise its records in order to ensure that the available indexes were as accurate and useful as possible, and to enable the supply of certificates online...
November 23, 2016

On the Internet – December 2016

Just before starting to write this article, it was announced that the next phase of the expansion of Know Your Place had occurred. The site now covers the council areas of Bristol, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and Bath & North East Somerset. Further expansion to include Somerset and North Somerset is planned...
August 27, 2016

On the Internet – September 2016

The big news this quarter is the release by Ancestry of Somerset parish records. These cover from the sixteenth century up to 1914. As well as baptism, marriage and burial, there are also school, confirmation and gaol records, and the records include digital scans of the originals which are admirably clear and legible, and can be enlarged to suit...
June 9, 2016

On the Internet – June 2016

The 1939 Register on Find My Past continues to provide useful information, and the occasional surprise, but it is easy to get carried away with the image of the original, and the transcription, and ignore the map and other data that is lower down the page...
February 25, 2016

On the Internet – March 2016

The release by Find My Past of the 1939 Register occurred just as the last Journal went to press. I was unable to include any review as part of my usual article, but a brief note appeared elsewhere as a filler. I have now used the Register to a greater extent, and have also learnt from the experience of others...
December 6, 2015

On the Internet – December 2015

A recent visitor to the Research Room asked where he could find the electoral registers for Staple Hill in the 1930s. After some digging, we discovered that they are available at Gloucestershire Archives in Gloucester...
September 3, 2015

On the Internet – September 2015

After their big release of local parish records at the beginning of the year, Ancestry has been rather quiet. Local records for other parts of the country have been published, but perhaps more interesting for us are images from the Ordnance Survey Popular Series maps 1919-1926...
June 22, 2015

On the Internet – June 2015

Anyone with local interests will welcome the recent release of new data from parish registers for the Bristol and Gloucester dioceses. Ancestry and Find My Past are both involved in this, but their offerings differ and there are the usual questions about what is actually included...