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.

This is a shorter article than usual, because some of the time and space has been taken up with a separate review and commentary of the Bristol parish registers which are now on Ancestry. That review and commentary can be found at the end of this article.

The main piece of news this quarter is that the GRO website ( now includes recent deaths. The new index covers the years 1984 to 2019, which presumably is the period covered by electronic record keeping. The procedure for checking the index is the same as for the years from 1837 to 1957, and this leaves a gap of 27 years which is covered by indexes on other websites such as FreeBMD. Unfortunately, certificates for 1984 to 2019 are not available as cheaper electronic pdf files, which means you must pay £11 and receive a copy in the post. I have not yet had to use this new service, so can only report what I have read.

Except for the famous, whose lives may be documented in the serious newspapers when they die, obituaries can seldom be found these days. It was different when local newspapers were keen to publish anything about local residents, on the basis that it was bound to increase sales. More detailed than death announcements, and less formal than funeral reports, obituaries may still linger on in more rural areas, and were still quite common in the 1980s. 

When I first started writing about the internet, many of the family history sites which I described had been set up locally and included transcriptions and information compiled by an individual or by a small group. Over time, the people involved have lost interest or been unable to maintain or grow the site, and the sites have closed down as the fees to host them went unpaid. Two local sites that have become unavailable recently are The Portbury Hundred, which covered the Gordano valley, and Scribes Alcove, which was based in Thornbury. In the case of Thornbury, much of this information is now available on the Thornbury Roots website at, but note that some is on a sister site Thornbury Roots 2.