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.

Just after I wrote my previous article, it was announced that North Somerset maps had been added to Knowyourplace (, and that there was now complete coverage for Bristol and the old counties of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset. The home page now includes a helpful video showing what the site can do, and it includes a contribution from our own Geoff Gardiner. New maps and information are being added all the time, including a wonderful collection of old maps of Bath, including one from 1610.

Those with Wiltshire ancestry will be pleased to learn that Findmypast ( have released a set of over 5 million parish records. These include banns as well as baptisms, marriages and burials, but there are no images of register pages, only a transcription. Some of the entries come from Phillimore’s marriage indexes. The other good news is that Knowyourplace ( has recently been expanded to include the whole of the present county of Somerset. North Somerset council area should be included soon – perhaps before this journal is published – and maps of the whole of our local area, together with the neighbouring counties, will then be available.

 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.