When the Society was formed its area centred round Bristol and its boundaries followed the County of Avon which was created in 1974. This county was abolished in 1996 and Bristol regained its 'county' status but the Society still uses the old Avon boundaries to define the area we cover.
The extremities of the area covered, which includes the cities of Bristol and Bath, runs in the north from Thornbury on the banks of the Severn, eastwards to Hawkesbury. Then south via Marshfield and Bathford to Hinton Charterhouse, west to Radstock and across the Mendips via Blagdon to Uphill. Click on the map below to see where our area extends, and the parishes included.
Other Family History Societies bordering our area are to the north Gloucestershire FHS, to the east Wiltshire FHS, to the south, Somerset & Dorset FHS and Dorset FHS and to the west Weston-Super-Mare FHS. Some of these Societies were formed after Bristol and Avon FHS and to some extent boundaries overlap. You can visit the the website of all these societies simply by clicking on their names above.
We feel that to a large extent Bristol and Bath were a natural attraction for the country areas around them and many country families moved into the cities for work etc. In addition to this, many couples from the outlying areas came into Bristol and Bath to get married. Because of this we think our Society is the natural one to join if you have ancestors in the area we serve.
The map above shows parishes according to Diocese. Bristol Diocese parish records are in the Bristol Archives, Bath & Wells Diocese parish records are in Somerset Records Office in Taunton and Gloucester Diocese Records are in the Gloucestershire Records Office in Gloucester. However, we have records from these 'Avon' parishes of Bath & Wells and Gloucester Diocese on fiche in our Research Room in the Bristol Archives.
In 2011 we wanted our new website to carry a better map but soon discovered this was already available on the FamilySearch website. When you get there you will be able to navigate around a map of England and zoom in/out. Note the various 'overlay' options, the default is 'county' - click on the green 'down' arrow to the right of the word county and choose 'parish'. Since then, the excellent 'Know Your Place' website has gone online and you will also find options there to display parish boundaries in Bristol.