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.

The first development to report is that Knowyourplace ( has been extended again and now includes the County of Devon. Many Devon people came north to Bristol in the early nineteenth century, and the site can now help you locate more precisely where they came from, with its collection of Ordnance Survey maps, tithe maps and town plans.

Findmypast seems to have been making the running in recent weeks as regards new releases. Ancestry in contrast sometimes claims something as new when it has already been announced. They proudly announced Gloucestershire Electoral Registers on 20th February, although I covered the same dataset in my article in the December Journal, which I wrote some time in October.


A variety of sources are used to write these articles. I seldom use the information which appears in the glossy family history magazines, since these are often press releases written before the new data is actually available, so can be uncritical and lacking detail. Some websites are suggested to me, and I naturally use the regular announcements made by Ancestry ( , Findmypast ( and other well-known sites. One source that I find consistently useful are the newsletters I receive from Lost Cousins. Written by Peter Calver, they contain informed details of new developments, and are good at suggesting new ways of finding out family information. Subscription is free, although to use all the features of the Lost Cousins website ( requires an annual payment of £10. If you want to know more about the 1939 Register, how and why it was compiled, what it includes, and how to get the best out of it, then I can recommend this article that appeared in Peter's newsletter a few weeks ago -

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. They are now repeating the previous trial but for a period of at least 3 months (and possibly indefinitely?). The pdf versions will cost £6 and will be supplied electronically, which will be a particular advantage for researchers living overseas. Official certificates currently cost £9.25.