News

On Saturday 17th February 2018 there will be a further visit to the National Archives at Kew.

The price of tickets is £25 per person BUT book before 31st December 2017 and the 'early bird' price is £20. 

Pick-up at Chipping Sodbury Car park 7.10am, BAWA, Club, Southmead Road at 7.30 a.m. and 'motorway' pick-up by arrangement.

You will need a Reader's Ticket to access the archival materials area at Kew. To obtain this please bring proof of identity (passport or driving licence) and proof of address (recent utility bill or driving licence).

The National Archives now has on-line readers ticket application. Completing the process before visiting Kew will save you valuable time when you arrive there.

Go to: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/readers-ticket.htm.

DO NOT REGISTER MORE THAN SIX WEEKS BEFORE YOUR VISIT

Seats must be reserved by writing to Patricia Holmes, 78 Oakdale Close, Downend, BS16 6EB or by phoning 0117 9561881.

If you are interested in the Kew Botanical Gardens Orchid Exhibition, you are welcome to book a seat on this coach (addityional entry fee payable for exhibition at Kew)

 

 

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Provisional date for our next Family History Fair in 2019:-

Bristol & Avon Family History Society plans to hold its next Family History Fair

on Saturday 28th September 2019

All visitors welcome - if you are not a member of a family history society, come and find out about us

at  BAWA, 589 Southmead Road, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7RG

Open 10.00 - 1600

 

further details will appear here when they are available

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE TRUTH BEHIND BRISTOL’S PAUPER CHILDREN

A little-known chapter from Bristol’s past has been brought to life in a fascinating new book which explores the plight of the city’s Victorian vagrant children.

An estimated 60,000 Canadians are believed to be descended from more than 1,500 orphaned, destitute and abandoned children who were sent to Canada in the belief they would have a better life.

The Bristol children were among around 100,000 child immigrants sent across the Atlantic between 1869 and 1939 from all over the UK; it’s estimated that 12% of present-day Canadians are descended from these “British Home Children”.

The trials and tribulations faced by these poverty-stricken children is uncovered in a revealing new book, Bristol’s Pauper Children, which will be officially launched on Saturday 7th October by Bristol Books.

Author Shirley Hodgson’s working life was devoted to the care and education of children across Bristol, where she worked in various schools, ending her career with a ten-year stint as head of Victoria Park Junior School in Bristol until she retired in 1992.

She was introduced to the story of the British Home Children sent to Canada during a lecture in Exeter given by Dr Moira Martin of the University of the West of England.

Little was known about the Bristol pauper children who were part of this exodus, so Shirley started investigating the organisations and individuals who played key parts in the education and emigration of the city’s street children.

Bristol’s Pauper Children is the result of Shirley’s painstaking research and its pages reveal a tragic, little-known chapter in the city’s history.

Some of Bristol’s pauper children were lucky; they were fed, clothed, educated and taught skills by church and charitable organisations, workhouses, reformatories and industrial schools, run mostly be well-meaning people like Mary Carpenter, Maria Rye and Annie Macpherson, with philanthropic intentions.

When these institutions started to struggle to cope with the number of children in their care, emigration to Canada was considered the best option for some of these children.

Many of them were sent to Canada to work as agricultural labourers or domestic servants, but far from the better life promised, many suffered loneliness and despair.

In many cases the children were sent abroad without the consent of their parents and were separated from their siblings, prompting then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown to make a statement in the House of Commons in 2010 in which he said these children had been “robbed of their childhoods.”

He said the UK had turned its back on them instead of caring for them, and had ignored their cries for help.

Now, however, their story is being told in full, through Shirley’s touching tale, which was officially launched on Saturday 7th October - you can buy a copy of the book throuigh our website shop.

 

 

An index of Bristol municipal burial registers covering Greenbank cemetery (1871 - 1991) was published by BAFHS in 2014 and is available from our website either as a CD or by download.

Volume 2 has now been published covering the following cemeteries:-   

 Avonview (1883-1991)

Brislington (1905-1991)

Canford (1903-1991)

Henbury (1923-1991)

Ridgeway Park (1888-1991)

Shirehampton (1898-1991)

There are more than 145,000 entries. The new CD will be priced at £9 and will be available from 9th September but you can purchase the download now for £7 from our home page :-  click 'SHOP' on our main side menu then 'INTERNET SALES' from the dropdown menu