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 (see below) are reproduced on this website 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 on-line index of all family names (or surnames) and article titles in our Journals from the first issue in 1975 to the present day.

Journal Editor - Jane Bambury
19 Harlech Way, Willsbridge, Bristol, BS30 6US

Most issues of the Society's Journal contain an article about recent family history developments on the Internet;  these are included below so that you can access the sites listed more easily by calling up the articles below and clicking on the links rather than by entering the web address into your browser.  However, please note that links in older articles may no longer work.

 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. For various reasons, the project was not completed and the work that had been done was not made public.

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. A more detailed report can be found elsewhere in this Journal.

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. The source of these is Somerset Archives and Local Studies, and although what there is is good, it is not clear which parishes are included. There are certainly entries for Bath and Cameley, but I could not trace any for Kelston or Saltford. Some entries are index only, with no image available. As always, therefore, the policy should be to make the most of what there is, but realise that there could be a lot missing.

The 1939 Register on Findmypast ( 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.